Newt’s October not-so-surprise
Every week I get Newt Gingrich’s column e-mailed to me, and it’s usually very good reading. Obviously since he left inside the Beltway politics, Newt hasn’t rested on his laurels and continued to grace the conservative movement with his input. For my tastes, he leans a little more on the federal government to provide solutions to American issues than I would like but he still carries a worthwhile opinion to me.
Today Newt’s column stated something those on the liberal side will certainly latch onto out of context as he emphasized, “The Bush-Paulson economic strategy has been a disaster.” He then launched into an attack on the $152 billion stimulus plan passed earlier this year as “wasted money.” That’s probably where the liberals will close quote. But the rest of the paragraph and other points Newt made deserve discussion:
It should have been invested in science, technology, energy, infrastructure and pro-jobs, pro-savings tax cuts.
Imagine repealing the business killing Sarbanes-Oxley bill, eliminating the capital gains tax, going to 100 percent annual expensing for small businesses, and other practical steps to create jobs and generate wealth to mop up the bad debts.
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Imagine half of the $152 billion invested in clean coal, biofuels, solar power, wind power, nuclear power, natural gas vehicles, hydrogen vehicles and drilling for oil and natural gas. Imagine the other half being invested in the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and in a space-based air traffic control system that would increase capacity in the Northeast by 40 percent. That would have been a long-term investment strategy instead of a wasted stimulus package.
Whenever one says that the government needs to “invest” in something, almost invariably it means they need to spread the pork around to favored constituencies and groups. That’s the problem I have with a lot of Gingrich’s ideas, because I think occasionally he forgets where the money comes from in the first place. (Well, in this case it’ll be from whoever invests in the securities Fedzilla had to write in order to make that $152 billion come from whole cloth. But most of what the government spends comes from the wallets of you and I.) Newt makes a much better point here though:
The Paulson bailout was initially bad and made worse by the Congressional Democrats. Then, John McCain and the House Republicans moved the bill from terrible to merely bad.
Still, lobbyists are already lining up to get their piece of the Paulson pie. They see a goldmine of new government regulation and involvement in private industry for them to exploit for their clients. One lobbyist told the Hill newspaper: “This will ripple through every piece of major legislation we are looking at next Congress. This is a paradigm shift.”
I like it when great minds think alike. It’s been my contention for some time that all the money in Washington attracts people who want to get it into their hands like chicken farms attract flies. (And the smell is about the same.) But now we have the precedent for bailing out the financial system, just like we had the precedent for our so-called stimulus during the last period of tough economic times – neither were all that effective for more than a short time.
Another pull quote those on the left will enjoy and take out of context is when Newt flat-out states, “Clearly, by any reasonable standard, the Bush-Paulson stewardship of the economy has failed.” Before you folks jump on that, you should read the rest of Newt’s thought, here in context:
Clearly, by any reasonable standard, the Bush-Paulson stewardship of the economy has failed.
But the Barack Obama-Barney Frank-Chris Dodd-Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid-left-wing policies of big government, high taxes, more litigation, and insider deals for their left-wing special interests will be even worse.
We’ve heard a lot about predatory lenders in this current economic crisis. They deserve their share of the blame. But it’s time to introduce a new term that gets us closer to the real roots of this crisis: Predatory politicians.
Predatory politicians are much more dangerous than predatory lenders. Predatory politicians have the power of the government to coerce you.
Government under Obama, Frank, Dodd, Pelosi and Reid will be government by and for predatory politicians. It will make dealing with predatory lenders seems like a walk in the park.
The banks can’t put you in prison for not paying your mortgage, but Fedzilla in the form of the Internal Revenue Service can put you there for not paying your taxes. And it’s not like Democrats in office haven’t taken the opportunity to peek into FBI files; it’s just my gut feeling that the Obama Administration would make Bill Clinton’s corruption and cronyism look clean in comparison. Nixon’s “enemies list” will be nothing compared to everyone Barack Obama and his far-left allies would want to target.
Gingrich terms the next 4 weeks as the “last chance” for John McCain, but the Senator needs to in essence kick ass and name names starting tonight. I’d say McCain needs to start drinking whatever water Sarah Palin is drinking because Governor Palin has no compunction in telling things like they are, not being politically correct, and making the Beltway elites squirm. Staunch, unapologetic conservatism is the new maverickism, and we need more of it for John McCain to squash the Obama chances come November.
Crossposted at monoblogue. I encourage those on the left to comment there too – I need some target practice, as it were.