Beck-Gingrich Interview Highlights European-Conservative Worldview

Joseph Ashby

Yesterday I argued on these pages that Newt Gingrich is an unlikely alternative to Mitt Romney because both candidates have a similar worldview. Gingrich, like Romney, sounds a lot like a leader of one of Europe's conservative parties.

In Europe, the Conservatives have given up on shrinking the scope of government and are content to campaign on their ability to run the bureaucracy more efficiently. Gingrich used identical rationale when asked to explain his support for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit passed in 2003.

On the government, my position is very straightforward. If you're going to have Medicare, which was created in 1965, and was created at a time when practically drugs didn't matter. There weren't very many breakthroughs at that point. To take a position that we won't help you with insulin but we'll pay for your kidney dialysis is both bad on a human level and bad on financial level.

"If you're going to have Medicare," he begins. That's the point, isn't it? If American conservatives begin their worldview by accepting the welfare state as a given, then we've already adopted the European model. 

Ostensibly, we pay for prescription drugs in order to avoid the cost of surgeries later on. Nevermind that "preventative medicine" was one of the main arguments for Obamacare, the problem is that we've forced seniors into a government-run quasi-welfare medical care program in the first place.

The former Speaker went further as the interview progressed. Beck asked, "Aren't subsidies really some of the biggest problems that we have with our spending and out-of-control picking of winners and losers?"

Gingrich replied, "Well, it depends on what you're subsidizing."

No it doesn't. Newt Gingrich might well be a better investor than Barack Obama, but that's no justification for making government the world's largest, least successful and inevitably most corrupt hedge fund.

Gingrich added, "What I object to is subsidizing things that don't work and things that aren't creating a better future."

Who exactly decides that? And what gives them the right to make those decisions? The former Speaker himself is a big supporter of ethanol subsidies. Is ethanol part of what "works" and "creates a better future?"

"Anybody but Obama" comes the refrain. "At least Gingrich isn't trying to destroy our country," retort many conservatives. True enough. The point is not that Gingrich or Romney or another Republican is following the path of Europe's disastrous left (Obama's path). The point is that Romney and Gingrich are taking the path of Europe's disastrous right -- a path of political appeasement and a willingness to maintain government's power, as long as the bureaucracy runs a little better.

Yesterday I argued on these pages that Newt Gingrich is an unlikely alternative to Mitt Romney because both candidates have a similar worldview. Gingrich, like Romney, sounds a lot like a leader of one of Europe's conservative parties.

In Europe, the Conservatives have given up on shrinking the scope of government and are content to campaign on their ability to run the bureaucracy more efficiently. Gingrich used identical rationale when asked to explain his support for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit passed in 2003.

On the government, my position is very straightforward. If you're going to have Medicare, which was created in 1965, and was created at a time when practically drugs didn't matter. There weren't very many breakthroughs at that point. To take a position that we won't help you with insulin but we'll pay for your kidney dialysis is both bad on a human level and bad on financial level.

"If you're going to have Medicare," he begins. That's the point, isn't it? If American conservatives begin their worldview by accepting the welfare state as a given, then we've already adopted the European model. 

Ostensibly, we pay for prescription drugs in order to avoid the cost of surgeries later on. Nevermind that "preventative medicine" was one of the main arguments for Obamacare, the problem is that we've forced seniors into a government-run quasi-welfare medical care program in the first place.

The former Speaker went further as the interview progressed. Beck asked, "Aren't subsidies really some of the biggest problems that we have with our spending and out-of-control picking of winners and losers?"

Gingrich replied, "Well, it depends on what you're subsidizing."

No it doesn't. Newt Gingrich might well be a better investor than Barack Obama, but that's no justification for making government the world's largest, least successful and inevitably most corrupt hedge fund.

Gingrich added, "What I object to is subsidizing things that don't work and things that aren't creating a better future."

Who exactly decides that? And what gives them the right to make those decisions? The former Speaker himself is a big supporter of ethanol subsidies. Is ethanol part of what "works" and "creates a better future?"

"Anybody but Obama" comes the refrain. "At least Gingrich isn't trying to destroy our country," retort many conservatives. True enough. The point is not that Gingrich or Romney or another Republican is following the path of Europe's disastrous left (Obama's path). The point is that Romney and Gingrich are taking the path of Europe's disastrous right -- a path of political appeasement and a willingness to maintain government's power, as long as the bureaucracy runs a little better.