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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Newt Watch - He's Just Not Honest

Nov 29th, 2011

With the spectacular flame-out of the last, most recent, front-runner for the GOP nomination, Herman Cain, nearly complete, it does seem that Gingrich is getting what some are calling a "Cain bounce." The latest numbers from Public Policy Polling certainly bear this out.

That said, serious conservatives, meaning those who believe in limited government as opposed to some infantile, anarchistic free-for-all, should be appalled. More so, they should be alarmed at Newt's disrespect for the truth. Bruce Bartlett writes:

"On Nov. 21, Newt Gingrich, who is leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination in some polls, attacked the Congressional Budget Office. In a speech in New Hampshire, Mr. Gingrich said the C.B.O. "is a reactionary socialist institution which does not believe in economic growth, does not believe in innovation and does not believe in data that it has not internally generated."

Mr. Gingrich’s charge is complete nonsense. The former C.B.O. director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, now a Republican policy adviser, labeled the description “ludicrous.” Most policy analysts from both sides of the aisle would say the C.B.O. is one of the very few analytical institutions left in government that one can trust implicitly.

It’s precisely its deep reservoir of respect that makes Mr. Gingrich hate the C.B.O., because it has long stood in the way of allowing Republicans to make up numbers to justify whatever they feel like doing.

For example, Republicans frequently assert that tax cuts, especially for the rich, generate so much economic growth that they lose no revenue. This theory has been thoroughly debunked, most recently by the tax cuts of theGeorge W. Bush administration, which, according to C.B.O., reduced revenues by $3 trillion. Nevertheless, conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation (where I worked in the 1980s) still peddle the snake oil that theBush tax cuts paid for themselves."

Newt has never been very fond of either facts or that his own words seem to used against him. He famously declared that "any ad which quotes what I said... is a falsehood."

With that in mind, let's review some things; Earlier this year, with an eye on a Presidential run, he said of the Affordable Care Act that "the resulting costs to the taxpayer - and strain on the budget - leads the government to try and control health care costs by limiting health care services. The inevitable result is rationing by a nameless, faceless, unaccountable board of government bureaucrats."

Okay. Pretty standard stuff in GOP circles of late. But, as TPM reports:

" recently as 2005, well beyond the 1990s, Newt was vociferously championing the mandate — just a few years before Democrats took it up, and in the process reversing pretty much all past support for it among some Republicans.

At a forum in 2005, alongside then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and former Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), Gingrich explained the tradeoffs that both the right and the left would have to make in health care: For the right, some transfer of wealth is involved in providing health care for the working poor, the disabled, and other groups. And for the left, individuals should still have control over their health care, rather than total government management."

"I mean, I am very opposed to a single-payer system — but I’m actually in favor of a 300 million-payer system. Because one of my conclusions in the last six years, and founding the Center for Health Transformation, and looking at the whole system is, unless you have a hundred percent coverage, you can’t have the right preventive care, and you can’t have a rational system, because the cost-shifts are so irrational, and create second-order problems."

This flip-flop makes Romney look positively consistent. More importantly, it helps to expose the fact that Newt has no serious conservative credentials. Bending with the prevailing winds (and reaping the resulting financial benefits) is not conservatism. It's ideological radicalism.

Andrew Sullivan agrees. Addressing the Bartlett piece, asks if we can "put to rest any notion that Gingrich is a conservative in any meaningful way? He's one of the most radical of radicals to ever seek the office as the nominee of a major party."

We've been calling him out on the crazy for some time. Examples are HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

It's good to know we aren't alone.

1 comment:

  1. Great work, Grey. You might like this tribute to Newt et. al.