Newt Gingrich revealed his 10-point 21st Century Contract With America in a one hour long speech to about 150 people gathered at a town hall-style meetings sponsored by the Principal Financial Group, an entity holding a series of such forums with presidential candidates in Iowa.
Some of the key elements of his new contract include repealing President Barack Obama’s health care plan, giving taxpayers the option of paying a flat tax and allowing young people to opt out of Social Security, boosting domestic energy production, easing government regulation of businesses, curtailing the power of the courts, and providing a boost to medical research aimed at combating diseases like Alzheimer’s. [see details below]
While this new contract is not ground breaking, it is a clearcut plan to apply traditional Republican principles to government and is his attempt to set the tone of the presidential campaign season. If successful, Gingrich could force candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry to play on his turf and give Gingrich an upper hand in the election. By making his new Contract With America a plan that the ongoing presidential debate addresses, Gingrich will have the opportunity to do something that none of the other candidates can do as well ………………….articulate and defend the conservative cause and its principles.
No one has the ability to define conservative values and policies in the way that Newt does. He has an uncanny ability to explain ideas and issues in a way which defines them in terms that are so easy to relate to, that they are seen as hard to deny, common sense points. Newt offers a type of simplification and humanization of the issues that is similar to that of Ronald Reagan’s own capacity for making complex issues understood by relating them to the everyday lives of all Americans. This is Newt Gingrich’s greatest quality. It his ability to present both his vision and solutions in common sense terms that become undeniably logical and difficult for many to argue against.
His only problem now is making sure that he has enough face time with the Republican electorate to put that talent to work.
Currently Gingrich is lacking both the organization and financial resources to effectively compete with the likes of Romney and Perry and now, even Herman Cain. This is a point he admitted while at the same time claiming it will not hold him back. According to Newt, while his campaign war chest may not be able to compete with others, he will compete in the marketplace of ideas, the place that Newt Gingrich is most comfortable in. Gingrich states, “Voters are so worried about the condition of the country that they are demanding detailed solutions from candidates.”
While Gingrich’s plan is not revolutionary, it does offer significant change for the better and is a step towards the type of total transformation of our existing arcane tax code . Such change will be required for America to expand its economic growth and be competitive in the global economy. But while Newt’s plan is a strong solution to our problems, his greatest challenge will be convincing Republican voters that the messenger is as strong a candidate as his message. That for me is one of the greatest tragedies of the 2012 presidential election cycle.
Newt Gingrich is a conservative hero to me. He is a man who made it possible for much of the success that conservative policies saw in the late twentieth century. While he may not have been solely responsible for those successes, he played a major role in developing the policies, shaping the debate, and setting the agenda that ultimately achieved conservative success in the 80’s and 90’s. Yet despite his being a major architect of contemporary conservatism, he has been to a great degree, sidelined in the 2012 Republican nominating contest because of an incorrect initial perception that he was too much of a lightning rod.
Having not yet endorsed any of those candidates running for the Republican nomination, I for one am still giving Newt a chance to prove himself. We all should.
If given a chance and a fair hearing, Newt could surprise people. Not me however. I am confident that if he is given that chance, people will see that he is the type of leader who is not afraid of introducing new approaches to old problems and is not intimated by new approaches and ways of thinking. In many ways, Newt is a conglomeration of all that the TEA movement stands for. They are an anti-establishment movement that wants to make sure that government changes its ways. And while Newt worked within in the establishment, he was always reforming the establishment. He can still do so. He is capable of coming up with, and implementing, the plans for change we need to insure that in the 21st century, Americans have a federal government that is based on the needs of today and tomorrow, not yesterday.
The media may not want to give him the opportunity to prove that, but as republicans, we should not be so willing to follow the media’s lead. We should give Newt the chance to prove himself that he deserves.
Executive Summary of Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract With America
- Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.
- Return to robust job creation with a bold set of tax cuts and regulatory reforms that will free American entrepreneurs to invest and hire, as well as by reforming the Federal Reserve and creating a training requirement for extended federal unemployment benefits to encourage work and improve the quality of our workforce.
- Unleash America’s full energy production potential in oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, wind, nuclear oil shale and more, creating jobs, stimulating a sustainable manufacturing boom, lowering gasoline and other energy prices, increasing government revenues, and bolstering national security.
- Save Medicare and Social Security by giving Americans more choices and tools to live longer, healthier lives with greater financial independence.
- Balance the federal budget by freeing job-creators to grow the economy, reforming entitlements, and implementing waste cutting and productivity improvement systems such as Lean Six Sigma to eliminate waste and fraud. Pass a balanced budget amendment to keep it balanced.
- Control the border by January 1, 2014 and establish English as the official language of government; reform the legal visa system, and make it much easier to deport criminals and gang members while making it easier for law abiding visitors to come to the US.
- Revitalize our national security system to meet 21st century threats by restructuring and adequately funding our security agencies to function within a grand strategy for victory over those who seek to kill us or limit American power.
- Maximize the speed and impact of medical breakthroughs by removing unnecessary obstacles that block new treatments from reaching patients and emphasizing research spending towards urgent national priorities, like brain science with its impact on Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mental health and other conditions knowledge of the brain will help solve.
- Restore the proper role of the judicial branch by using the clearly delineated powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit, or replace judges who violate the Constitution.
- Enforce the Tenth Amendment by starting an orderly transfer of power and responsibility from the federal government back “to the states, respectively, or to the people,” as the Constitution requires. Over the next year, state and local officials and citizens will be asked to identify the areas which can be transferred back home.
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