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Newt Gingrich on Budget & Economy

Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House


1995 budget: cut taxes, regulations, & spending

After the 12-year siege of Reagan-Bush, I thought the plague of Reaganism had passed. How was I to know that a more virulent strain, personified by Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America, was about to lay us low? It was rolled out, like a big legislative Trojan horse, just six weeks before the congressional elections. It was fiendishly brilliant; in the end we lost 54 seats.

The guts of that Trojan horse were taken nearly verbatim from Reagan's 1985 State of the Union speech. The core of that speech, the heart of Reaganism, venerated the new Republican mantra of cutting taxes on wealth and slashing government spending on entitlement programs. "Entitlement" became identified with a newly-revised, all-purpose political scapegoat: the undeserving poor.

The massive budget cuts in the Gingrich Congress in 1995 were the cutting edge of Reagan's 1985 vision of boosting growth and balancing the budget by cutting regulation on corporations, taxes on the wealthy, and spending on the poor.

Source: A Bad Day Since, by Charles Rangel, p. 229-30 Aug 5, 2008

Negotiated 1998 budget: first one balanced since 1969

Economic growth in the first quarter of 1997 was reported to be 5.6%, which pushed the estimated deficit down to $75 billion, about a quarter of what it was when I took office. On May 2, I announced that, at long last, I had reached a balanced budget agreement with Speaker Gingrich and Senator Lott and the congressional negotiations for both parties. Senator Tom Daschle also announced his support for the agreement. Dick Gephardt did not, but I was hoping he would come around once he had a chance to review it.

I met the Republicans halfway on the amount of Medicare savings. The Republicans accepted a smaller tax cut, the child health insurance program, and the big education increase. We had produced the first balanced budget since 1969, and a good one to boot. Senator Lott and Speaker Gingrich had worked with us in good faith, and Erskine Bowles, with his negotiating skills and common sense, had kept things going at critical moments.

Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.754-755 Jun 21, 2004

Focus on customers; use employee knowledge

[One of the] basic principles that I believe form the heart of our civilization [is] pragmatism and the concern for craft & excellence, as expressed most recently in the teachings of Edward Deming.
    Deming’s name is not familiar to most Americans. But he embodies so many of the traits of the American character that he deserves a place in the nation’s mythology. He is already honored in Japan, where the highest annual award bestowed upon a Japanese company each year if the Deming Award for Quality. Although Deming’s work defies any easy summary, his teachings generally focus around four basic points:
  1. The customer should be the focus of any business.
  2. Systems, rather than individuals, should be the focus of improving production.
  3. There has to be a theory or hypothesis before each change or action. Prediction is the key to management.
  4. Every employee can be a key player in improving a process or product. Employees should be treated as knowledgeable contributors to their activities.
Source: To Renew America, p. 44-49 Jul 2, 1995

Supports balanced budget amendment & line item veto.

Gingrich wrote the Contract with America:

[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:

The Fiscal Responsibility Act:
A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out-of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA3 on Sep 27, 1994

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Newt Gingrich on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010