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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 228 -- "Do Not Call" Telemarketing Registry. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 229 -- Government Spending & GDP. »

Quotational Therapy: Part 62 -- Newt Gingrich, On Medicaid.

Newt Gingrich, Battling With Actual Ideas-

With visits to New Hampshire and Iowa, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is leaving the door open for a 2008 run for president. Much like Hillary Clinton, though, he has almost no chance. His negatives are simply too high; his personal baggage is too cumbersome.

But I like Newt quite a bit. He's an idea guy.

Idea guys are rare in Washington. People actually willing to offer solutions to problems and explain them in depth are rare, indeed.

So, without further delay, here's Newt, on Washington, DC:

This is a city where everybody jumps up in the morning and their idea of real change is whatever the gossip is that relates to the politics of the personalities who are maneuvering to occupy seats. But if you come in and say now let's talk about real change, they rapidly shrink the concept to the smallest, narrowest, and, frankly, least relevant component. And so my underlying theme -- and you'll see it in this paper when you get it -- is to think of this city today as trapped in a box of 19th and 20th century institutions.

And Newt, on Medicaid:

I want to talk today about Medicaid. If you combine Medicare and Medicaid, there are at least 39,000 pages of regulations, not counting what we believe are 15,000 pages of waivers at the Medicaid level, and not counting 50 states full of laws and regulations.

And one of my challenges to the Congress is to get all the documents together in one room -- (laughter) -- because it will make the case on the -- you'll look at it and you'll say this is silly; it can't possibly work. We told the Soviets this for 70 years: large centralized command bureaucracies don't work. Guess what? We were right, they were wrong. They disappeared. (Laughter.) But we won't take our own medicine.

This point is so true. The United States won the Cold War for a reason, and now many folks want to forget the lessons of why America won.

Ideas have consequences, too:

...20 years ago, the average German earned 26 percent more than the average Irish. Today, the average Irish earns 28 percent more than the average German. That is a change of relative income of 54 percent in 20 years. And it's a sign that good policies work, and people have more money and more happiness and more take-home pay; and bad policies fail, and people are more miserable and more unhappy.

And so if we're going to compete with China and India -- and I think my grandchildren have no choice. If we want to be the leading country on the planet, we have to transform litigation, regulation, taxation, education and health. If we don't transform those five, we will not compete.

Read the entire August 21, 2005 speech on, among other things, Medicaid reform, here.


Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Bush In Mongolia.

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy every Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 28 November 2005 10:55 AM



I agree with you on Newt, he is an idea guy and has many good ideas and points. However, he has one fatal flaw: he wants to be liked. You see him out there working with Hillary Clinton and trying to present a smiley face to the unfair persona he was branded with in the early 90s. He can "reach out" all he wants, that's fine, but if it's an effort to be all things to all people and get some adoration, it will only hurt him in the end.

Posted by: Jim Rose at November 28, 2005 02:46 PM