Register exclusive: Newt Gingrich releases ’21st Century Contract with America’

jackalope

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Register exclusive: Newt Gingrich releases ’21st Century Contract with America’
JENNIFER JACOBS
11:59 PM, Sep 28, 2011

Republican Newt Gingrich, who has positioned himself as the idea guy in this presidential campaign, will today call for Americans to have new choices in how they buy health insurance, pay their income taxes and save for retirement.

In his “21st Century Contract with America” that he shared with The Des Moines Register and will officially release today in Iowa, Gingrich says people should to be able to choose either a tax credit or the ability to deduct the value of their health insurance up to a certain amount.


He wants two systems for income taxes: People can stick with the current one or use an optional flat tax rate.

Seniors could choose to remain in the existing Medicare program. Or they could select their own health insurance provider and get government help covering the premiums.

And with Social Security, younger Americans should have the option to put a portion of their contributions into personal savings accounts, he said.


The contract would “fundamentally change the trajectory of America,” Gingrich told the Register last week, but would most likely take him eight years in the White House to accomplish.


The document is a new take on the “Contract with America,” which Gingrich became famous for in his heyday as U.S. House speaker.


(snip ... )

Hammond said the contract was written by Gingrich, who typed it with his thumbs in the memo section of his BlackBerry as ideas struck him.


Unlike the original contract, which was in its final form when it was released, the new contract is just the beginning of a conversation that won’t be finished for a year, Hammond said.

“It’s more of an open letter,” he said.

In several cases, Gingrich doesn’t get specific, but simply says he wants to have a national conversation — about how to “rein in lawless judges,” develop a new national security strategy and other ideas.


Gingrich intends to complete the contract by Sept. 27, 2012, to ensure voters there won’t be any surprises in his presidential priorities, Hammond said.

(snip ... )


CONTRACT, 2011 version


Here’s a summary of Newt Gingrich’s “21st Century Contract with America,” which he releases today in Iowa:


1. REPEAL “OBAMACARE” AND REPLACE IT: The federal health care law is unconstitutional because it coerces people to buy health insurance by threat of fines, and it creates 1,986 grants of power to bureaucrats, he wrote.


Gingrich would replace it with a system “with no individual or employer mandate of any kind.”

Instead, Americans would get the choice of a tax credit or the ability to deduct the value of their health insurance up to a certain amount.


The plan would increase price competition in health care, improve patient safety, digitize all medical records, let Americans purchase insurance across state lines and introduce medical lawsuit reform, he wrote.


2. OPTIONAL FLAT TAX AND OTHER REFORMS: All tax filers would have a choice on income tax: Use the current provisions, or pay under a lower single rate with limited deductions.

Gingrich envisions a single-page tax return, where marital or military status doesn’t affect taxes owed.

“Subtract your income from a standard deduction and deductions for charity and home ownership, multiply the result by a fixed single rate of taxation, and the process is over.”


Other reforms he likes would reduce the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent. It’s now 35 percent. Abolish the capital gains tax to lower the cost of investments. Abolish the “death tax” — the inheritance tax on large estates. Allow companies to write off 100 percent of the expense of new equipment in one year.


3. ENERGY PRODUCTION IN AMERICA: Replace the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a Environmental Solutions Agency, Gingrich wrote.


Allow development in places currently blocked by the federal government such as the Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico. End restrictions on oil shale development in the western United States. Authorize the Keystone XL pipeline.


4. MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY: Seniors could choose to remain in the existing Medicare program. Or they could select their own health insurance provider and get government help covering the premiums.


With Social Security, younger Americans would have the option to put a portion of their contributions into personal savings accounts. “There are many exciting solutions … and I look forward to discussing these.”


5. BALANCE THE BUDGET: Gain federal revenue through development of federally owned land, “including the 69 percent of Alaska and the 85 percent of Nevada that we the people own through our government.”


Use credit card companies’ fraud detection techniques and industry waste-cutting techniques such as Lean Six Sigma.


Don’t raise taxes. Pass a balanced-budget amendment.


6. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: Control the border with Mexico by January 2014, Gingrich proposes.


If necessary, move half the bureaucrats who work for the Department of Homeland Security in the Washington, D.C., area (11,500 people, he says) to the borders in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.


Reform the legal visa system to make it much easier to deport criminals and gang members while making it easier for law-abiding visitors to come to the U.S. go to college and do business.


7. NATIONAL SECURITY: The country needs to restructure and adequately fund our security agencies, Gingrich wrote.


Develop a new security strategy, he said. Update dangerously outdated military infrastructure. Prepare to deal with technologies such as electromagnetic pulse weapons and cyberwar .


8. DISEASES OF THE BRAIN: Maximize the speed and impact of medical breakthroughs.

Transform the Food and Drug Administration, whose regulatory guidelines are scaring off new investment, he wrote.


Invest in brain science to help people who struggle with Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s and mental health trouble.


9. JUDGES: Rein in lawless judges, re-establish a constitutional balance among the three branches of government, and bring the courts back under the Constitution.

Use “the clearly delineated powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit or replace judges who violate the Constitution.”


Gingrich doesn’t spell out precisely what he’d do, but said President Thomas Jefferson abolished over half the federal judgeships.


10. STATES’ POWERS: Over the next year, Gingrich will ask state and local officials and citizens to identify areas of the federal government that can be transferred “back home.”


There are 184 means-tested entitlement programs that states could handle on their own with block grants from the federal government, he said.


“One program alone — Medicaid — could save the federal government over $700 billion in the next decade according to Congressman Paul Ryan’s 2012 Republican budget.”



CONTRACT, 1994 version


After a frustrating four decades of powerlessness in the U.S. House, Republicans 17 years ago released the Contract with America, part political manifesto and part campaign tactic.

The contract, which Newt Gingrich helped write, promised specific action in the first 100 days if they won the majority in the House in 1994.


House Republicans voted on all 10 of their pledged proposals — on taxes, the budget, crime, welfare and others — and passed all but one: term limits. (Some of the bills later died in the Senate or were vetoed by President Bill Clinton.)

Here’s a run-down of the 1994 contract:


1. BUDGET: A balanced budget and tax limitation amendment. (House passed a balanced budget but a balanced-budget constitutional amendment died in the Senate.)


2. CRIME: An anti-crime package to strengthen sentencing and death-penalty provisions; cuts in social programs in the 1994 crime bill to pay for prison construction and law enforcement. (Became law.)


3. WELFARE REFORM: Cut spending for welfare programs to discourage teen pregnancy, deny benefits for additional children born to women on welfare, and other provisions. (Became law.)


4. CHILD SUPPORT: Tougher child-support laws, tax incentives for adoption, heftier penalties for child pornography, tax breaks for adopting a child and care for an elderly dependent. (Became law.)

5. TAXES: A tax credit of $500 per child, begin repeal of the tax penalty for married Americans, middle-class tax relief. (Passed but vetoed by Clinton.)


6. UNITED NATIONS: No U.S. troops under United Nations command, increase national security spending. (Became law.)


7. SENIOR CITIZENS: Raise the Social Security earnings limit, which currently forces seniors out of the work force. (Became law.) Repeal the 1993 tax hikes on Social Security benefits, provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance. (Passed but vetoed by Clinton.)


8. SMALL BUSINESSES: Small business incentives and capital gains cut. (Passed but vetoed by Clinton.) Unfunded mandate reform. (Became law.)


9. LEGAL REFORM: “Loser pays” laws and reform of product liability laws. (Passed but vetoed by Clinton.)


10. TERM LIMITS: A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators. (Defeated by House and Senate.)

more: Register exclusive: Newt Gingrich releases ’21st Century Contract with America’ | Iowa Caucuses

I don't know, I just don't think this year's contract will have the same oomph as the '94 one did.
 

Babba

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I haven't read the whole thing through this stuck out for me:

7. SENIOR CITIZENS: Raise the Social Security earnings limit, which currently forces seniors out of the work force.

The problem with that is that the young people really need the older people to get out of the workforce. If an older person has an alternative source of income they should take it and allow the younger generations to move on up.
 

jackalope

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I haven't read the whole thing through this stuck out for me:

7. SENIOR CITIZENS: Raise the Social Security earnings limit, which currently forces seniors out of the work force.

The problem with that is that the young people really need the older people to get out of the workforce. If an older person has an alternative source of income they should take it and allow the younger generations to move on up.
Oh, sorry, I didn't do a good job of separating the '94 contract, from today's contract. That item was part of the original contract. The top ten are the current version, the bottom ten are the old version.
 

Babba

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So. Md.
Oh, sorry, I didn't do a good job of separating the '94 contract, from today's contract. That item was part of the original contract. The top ten are the current version, the bottom ten are the old version.
Oops, no it's my fault. I really didn't read it very well did I. :p But in his current version he says he has lots of ideas on it and I would be surprised if he's retained the idea of encouraging older to continue working.
 
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It seems this plan is about giving Americans more choices, not less. That is the right direction, imo.