Taking Back America!
Although most of us knew this was coming for some time now, I can not help but feel some sadness, both for the Speaker and for our great nation. My hope now is that at least some, if not most of what he was advocating for will be taken up by the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney. It should not be entirely out of the question, as we never really got a sense of what Romney ever really stood for anyhow, other than that he believes himself to be the only Republican capable of defeating Dear Leader. Such is the state of American politics in today's world I'm afraid, it's more about perception, obfuscation, and the ability to successfully attack one's adversaries.
With that being said, I am officially throwing my support completely behind Mitt Romney. He is now may man, and will be until November 6, 2012. One day after the election, I will begin working on support for a third party in American political discourse that speaks with the voice of Conservatism. Until that date, this will be the last that I mention it. This election is too important to get bogged down with anything that would distract from the all important task at hand, which is the electoral defeat of Barack Obama.
As an open letter to Mitt Romney, here are some of the things that Speaker Gingrich was campaigning on, that I would like to see become your causes as well.
Repeal of Obamacare:
Legislative Proposal #1: Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.
Obamacare is a disaster and the first task of my administration will be to repeal it.
The Obamacare law is unconstitutional, unaffordable, unworkable, and stunningly unfair. Its so-called "individual mandate" is blatantly unconstitutional and an unprecedented expansion of federal power.
In addition to the unconstitutional nature of individual and employer mandates, we are learning that they simply don’t work. If the federal government can coerce individuals—by threat of fines—to buy health insurance, there is no stopping the federal government from forcing Americans to buy any good or service.
Their intractable problem is this: once you have a mandate, the government has to specify exactly what coverage must be included in insurance for it to qualify. This introduces political considerations into determining these minimum standards, guaranteeing that nothing desired by the special interests will be left out.
And once the government mandates such expensive insurance, the government becomes responsible for its costs. It has to adopt expensive subsidies to help people pay for the expensive plans that it is requiring. The resulting cost to the taxpayer and strain on the budget leads the government to try and control healthcare costs by limiting healthcare services. The inevitable result is rationing by a nameless, faceless, unaccountable board of government bureaucrats.
The Obamacare law also creates one thousand, nine hundred and sixty eight separate grants of power to bureaucrats, most of them to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and her bureaucracy. It creates 159 new boards, agencies and other government entities to administer health decisions that should be up to the individual in consultation with their doctor. This unprecedented grant of discretionary power to unelected bureaucrats guarantees the rise in arbitrary and corrupted decision-making by the federal government.
For these reasons and more, I will fight for the repeal of Obamacare until it is repealed in its entirety.
We must either limit government or we will have government limit us.
Restructure of our punitive and disastrous regulatory environment:
To empower job-creators, we must get rid of regulations that prevent them from growing and hiring. This means taking decision-making power away from bureaucrats who don’t understand how job creation works.
My Jobs and Prosperity package would repeal the Dodd-Frank legislation, a 2,300-page law passed in 2010 that mandates 400 new regulations written by unelected bureaucrats. Dodd-Frank is paralyzing lending to entrepreneurs, killing small banks, crippling small businesses, driving down the value of housing, and creating corrupting Washington controls over the biggest banks.
Repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley law, which has crippled American start-ups with burdensome compliance costs, driven publicly-traded companies private, and forced American companies overseas.
Replace the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which is harassing job creators. When businesses are targeted unfairly by government for creating jobs in different states, businesses simply won’t create jobs in any states. We need to stop this unaccountable, activist bureaucratic agency from harassing job-creating companies. The NLRB is currently harassing Boeing, our country’s biggest exporter, because it decided to build a new factory and create hundreds of new jobs in the right-to-work state of South Carolina instead of the forced-unionization state of Washington. We need a new common sense organization for labor-management relations to replace the NLRB.
Later in this Contract, I outline ideas for pro-market, pro-growth, pro-consumer reforms to the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Truly unleash our full energy potential, which coincidentally will rebuild our manufacturing sector:
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, strengthening the dollar, and bolstering national security.
The United States has more energy resources than any other country in the world – more than Russia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, or Brazil. Expanding the development of these resources could create up to 1.1 million new jobs and deliver $127 billion in new government revenues by 2020, according to a recent Wood Mackenzie study. With the right regulatory policies, the United States could be the largest oil producer in the world by 2017.
It is time to harness the immense natural energy resources our country has, get Americans back to work, and lower gas, diesel, and other energy prices for every American. Yet we pay nearly $4 per gallon for gasoline and continue to import nearly half of our oil from foreign countries, many of which have governments hostile to the United States. Meanwhile, millions of Americans in energy-rich regions of the country remain unemployed.
My administration will pursue an “all of the above” American Energy Policy that allows expanded development of oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, wind, and nuclear sources of energy.
An effective pro-American energy bill will lead to a boom in American jobs, a dramatic increase in the value of the dollar as we spend less on energy from overseas, and more revenue for state and federal government from royalties and increased economic activity.
As President, I will immediately reset our energy policy by removing bureaucratic and legal obstacles to responsible oil and natural gas development in the United States.
This means development of offshore oil and natural gas resources in places currently blocked by the federal government, such as the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelves and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
It also means ending the restrictions on oil shale development in the western U.S., where we potentially have three times more oil than Saudi Arabia.
Under this plan, coastal states will receive a share of the royalty revenues the federal government takes in – a benefit that states that drill on land already enjoy -- to give them an incentive to allow offshore development.
This plan will also ensure that federal agencies get out of the way in places where drilling is already allowed.
For example, even though companies have been cleared to drill in the western Gulf of Mexico for months, the Department of Interior has dragged its feet on reissuing permits – and Gulf Coast economies continue to languish.
Through citizen action, we can liberate America’s energy resources. For example, in the spring of 2008, gas prices were surging towards four dollars a gallon, a citizen-led petition called Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less, called upon Congress to immediately address the energy crisis.
One and a half million signatures later, Congress voted to end its 25-year ban on offshore drilling. By the end of 2008, gas prices had plummeted to under $2 dollars a gallon.
A pro-American energy plan must also recognize the enormous natural gas potential in the United States, especially the development of vast shale gas resources across the country. America is a world leader in responsible shale gas production, and we must continue to promote this form of safe domestic energy production that is creating jobs and strengthening our economy, from Pennsylvania to Texas to Colorado.
This also means maintaining the strong and effective regulation of hydraulic fracturing at the state level and ending the federal government’s attempts to clamp down on this vital technology that has been used safely for more than 60 years.
We must also replace the EPA, which pursues an anti-jobs agenda the economy simply cannot sustain. A pro-growth Environmental Solutions Agency in its place will operate on the premise that most environmental problems can and should be solved by states and local communities. Rather than emphasizing centralization and regulation, it would emphasize coordination with states and local communities, the sharing of best practices, and focus on incentives for new solutions, research and technologies.
The imperative to unleash American energy is not just economic. It is also a basic question of national security. The more energy we can produce here, the less dependent we are on foreign countries, many of whom have interests hostile to our own. At the same time, we must strengthen our relationships with close allies that have vast natural resources, such as Canada. For example, we must immediately authorize the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring 700,000 barrels of oil a day from Western Canada, Montana, Oklahoma, and the Dakotas to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas, reducing our dependence on Latin America and the Middle East and creating tens of thousands of new jobs.
I look forward to learning more about your ideas and solutions for a bill that will end our man-made energy crisis, and pursuing solutions that will create jobs, bring in more revenue, and lower prices for all Americans.
We have done this before, and we can do it again.
Fiscal Responsibility by balancing our federal budget and reforming entitlement spending:
Balance the federal budget by freeing job-creators to grow the economy, reforming entitlements, and implementing productivity improvement systems, such as Lean Six Sigma, to eliminate waste and fraud. Pass a balanced budget amendment to keep it balanced.
If, however, there is a commitment to balancing the budget, then each agency has to find better ways to do things and more innovative ways to get things done. If you want innovation, better outcomes at lower costs, greater productivity, and a spirit of entrepreneurial public management, the balanced budget creates much more pressure for real innovation. Getting to a balanced budget is absolutely vital. When there is a permanent budget deficit there is no reason for any politician to say no to any interest group. That is, in fact, how we ended up with the current, absurdly bloated, undisciplined federal government. If deficits do not matter and spending is open-ended, the most rational strategy for every bureaucracy is simply to ask for more money.
Over time, the requirement to balance the budget leads to smaller government. Politicians who have to face the voters because they are raising taxes have a much harder sell to make than politicians who can bring home "free" goodies with only some distant deficit to explain.
Two months after I became Speaker in 1995, we came within one vote in the Senate of passing a constitutional amendment that would have required a balanced federal budget.
Even though we didn’t win the vote, the House Republican leadership decided to act as though the Balanced Budget Amendment had become law.
We had pledged to balance the budget within seven years of getting elected, and experts laughed at us – but we ended up doing it in three. And we balanced it for four straight years for the first time since the 1920s.
The financial impact of achieving balanced budgets was startling. When I was sworn in as Speaker of the House in January 1995, the Congressional Budget Office projected that over the next decade the cumulative federal budget deficits would total $2.7 trillion.
Shortly after I left office in January 1999, CBO projected that over the next decade federal surpluses would total over $2.2 trillion– a four-year turnaround in the fiscal outlook of the United States of nearly $5 trillion. A comparable four-year improvement in the U.S fiscal outlook today would total over $8 trillion (as a percentage of GDP).
Today we find ourselves in a situation similar to 1994: Deficits projected as far as the eye can see and an urgent need to return to balanced budgets.
But Americans should not have to accept a defeatist attitude from Washington: There is every reason to believe a comprehensive program of economic growth, government modernization, returning power to the citizens and states and dramatically expanding American energy production can lead to a balanced budget far faster than experts now predict.
The biggest key to reducing the deficit is robust economic growth. Elsewhere in this contract, I outline principles that would empower job-creators to hire millions more Americans by dramatically reducing tax and regulatory burdens, and a program to unleash our bountiful untapped sources of American energy. By creating more wealth and more taxpayers, and by developing billions of dollars worth of new American energy resources, we will dramatically increase federal, state and local revenues and decrease budget deficits.
More revenue can also come through American energy development and through better development of federally owned land including the 69% of Alaska and 85% of Nevada that we the people own through our government.
We can have higher revenues without having higher taxes.
More revenue through economic growth may be the surest method of reducing the deficit, but the federal government must also commit to spend no more of Americans’ money than is needed. That is why this legislation will strive above all to corral the reckless growth of federal spending.
Finally, the bureaucratic rules and procedures that are commonplace in the federal government have no place in the twenty-first century. This legislation must dramatically overhaul the entire structure of the federal civil service, and make it clear that Americans will only tolerate a government that aggressively targets and eliminates waste and fraud, and incorporates private-sector best practices.
Strong America Now, an organization dedicated to bringing modern management to government at every level, estimates that we can save $500 billion a year in spending through proven waste-cutting and value-enhancing techniques from the private sector, such as Lean Six Sigma. The Defense Department has already used Lean Six Sigma to save more than $22 billion, increasing productivity 1,000 percent in some facilities.
IBM’s Business of Government consultancy makes a more conservative estimate, suggesting that the federal government could save $100 billion annually by implementing commercial best practices.
Using fraud detection techniques similar to those employed by credit card companies, we could save between $70 and $120 billion a year in Medicaid and Medicare fraud, according to the Center for Health Transformation.
The opportunities for improvement and waste reduction are endless, and I look forward to hearing Americans’ ideas about other ways to make the federal government more efficient.
Rebuild the decimated military:
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 to limit American freedom.
The current leadership of the United States is severely out of touch with the escalating dangers that threaten our security.
As American presidents have traditionally found, our nation’s peace and safety is best maintained through a robust military capacity, tireless vigilance, and a clear strategy for identifying and countering potential threats—a policy widely known as “peace through strength.” Adherents of such a policy do not seek confrontation. To the contrary, America leads the world in spending on the military and on national security precisely to ensure that our wars are as rare and as swift as possible.If the people’s security cannot be assured, the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are meaningless, which is why the first responsibility of government is to defend the nation. In the preamble to the Constitution, providing “for the common defense” is identified as a primary reason for forming the new government.
This world is in danger of becoming dramatically more dangerous in the not-too-distant future, and we need to overhaul our entire strategy now if we intend to continue being the safest, freest and most prosperous country in the world.
It is very dangerous for Washington to consider dismantling key parts of our national security structure during a time of war. When we convey weakness and confusion, we become most vulnerable to attack. As Ronald Reagan warned in 1980, “We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong; it is when they are weak that tyrants are tempted.”
General John Abizaid, former Commander of the Central Command, points out that in America “there is a bigger strategic deficit than the fiscal deficit.”
We need to be able to discuss the threats that face us in a clear and open manner. The courage to be free is only sustained by the moral capacity to distinguish between good and evil. If evil cannot be called by name, we will not be able to deter—or even recognize—threats to our nation. Likewise, if we cannot proclaim the righteousness of our values, then we won’t be able to mobilize the spirit necessary to defend America.
The next Administration and Congress must decisively address the following realities:
There are very, very different challenges emerging simultaneously and each requires a fundamentally different strategic response.
The bureaucracies of national and homeland security, intelligence, diplomacy and space activities are all decaying in their effective implementation capability and are wrapped up in red tape and inefficiency.
Our military infrastructure has become dangerously outdated, with our arsenal and equipment in urgent need of new investment.
There are new emerging technologies endangering us – for example, electromagnetic pulse weapons, cyberwar, and lawfare, which we are not prepared to deal with.
American leaders are tired after seven decades of being the world’s preeminent power, and are very resistant to putting in the time and energy it will take to understand the emerging threats and the necessary responses.
We need a new strategy that is as decisive and comprehensive as our bold and unprecedented response to the rise of the Soviet threat after World War II. It will streamline our security, intelligence and diplomatic departments, and recapitalize our military infrastructure.
This bill would be the beginning of that process, not the end.
These immediate executive orders:
Eliminate the 39 White House "Czar" Positions Created During the Current Administration: The president does not have the authority to appoint bureaucrats to power who are not accountable to the Congress.
"Mexico City Policy" of Respect for Life: Reauthorize President Ronald Reagan’s policy – also known as the "Mexico City Policy"— to stop tax payer dollars from being used to fund or promote abortions in foreign countries.
Restore Conscience Clause Protections for Healthcare Workers: No American working in a medical environment should be forced to perform any procedure that he or she finds morally or ethically objectionable based on religious teaching. This protection should include, but not be limited to abortion. Existing conscience clause protections need to be strengthened.
Respect Each Sovereign Nation’s Choice of its Capital: Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own Capital. Accordingly, the U.S. State Department should be instructed to respect the choice of each sovereign nation and place the American embassy in their Capital. (Israel is the only country the United States discriminates against in this regard. The people of Israel have designated Jerusalem as their capital. Yet the United States retains its embassy in Tel Aviv.)
End the Attorney General's Assault on the States: Instruct the Attorney General to withdraw all immigration-related lawsuits against states immediately, including those pending in Arizona and South Carolina. The Obama Administration refuses to enforce federal immigration laws, and instead sues states who are merely trying to enforce the laws that the federal government neglects. The Gingrich Administration will secure the border by Jan. 1, 2014 by any means necessary.
The Keystone Pipeline: Unleash American Energy by Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline. Instruct the State Department to approve a Presidential Permit immediately for the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that will send 700,000 barrels of oil a day from Great Plains and Southwestern states to Gulf Coast refineries lower staggering energy prices, and create up to 120,000 American jobs.