During this Labor Day's GOP Presidential Forum hosted by right-wing South Carolina Sen. Jim Demint, Newt Gingrich decided to triple down on his statement calling President Obama "the most effective food stamp president in American history" and using the city of Detroit as an example to claim that "class warfare and bureaucratic socialism kill jobs."
Never mind globalization and the loss of our manufacturing base, the American auto industry making cars people didn't want to buy instead of keeping up with the Europeans and the Japanese and closing down plants in the United States for cheaper labor in Mexico and overseas, Reagonimics, tax policies that reward businesses for shipping jobs overseas and rotten conservative trade laws that don't protect American workers. No, it's "class warfare" and "socialism" to blame for Detroit's problems. He might be right when it comes to class warfare, except Gingrich and the rest of these right-wing talking heads pretend they don't know what class warfare means.
What did Gingrich follow with for our solution to the jobs crisis in America? More of the same of course that we've been hearing from all of them. Get rid of regulations, lower taxes, replace the EPA, no capital gains taxes, and of course more "drill baby drill." I'm waiting to see how long it takes Newt to run out of money so he's got to go back to hawking his books until the next time he wants to pretend he actually wants to be elected President. Gingrich is supposed to be the big "ideas" man according to the conventional wisdom from our beltway Villagers. The only ideas I've heard out of him are more trickle-down economics and terrible policies that got us into the mess we're in now.
Transcript below the fold.
DEMINT: President Obama told us that his near $1 trillion stimulus plan, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, mortgage bailouts, that all these programs would get our economy back on track, keep our unemployment below 8 percent. And, obviously, that hasn't happened.
He's going to give another speech this week about his next jobs plan. What would be your proposal to get our economy moving and get people back to work?
GINGRICH: Well, let me just say first that I have said pretty clearly that he's the most effective food stamp president in American history.
And if you think about it, that's actually a tragedy.
I mean, that means that millions of jobs have been killed unnecessarily. And we should all understand, this economy is in grave danger of getting worse, not getting better. And nobody should assume that 9 percent is the bottom. And in the absence of effective activity now, not when I'm president in 2013, but now, we could end up in a much deeper problem.
And I think -- I just say that as a starting point. Second, it's tragic that President Obama cannot learn that class warfare and bureaucratic socialism kill jobs. And it's sad that he went to Detroit, the perfect symbolic place to go, if he had gone there to listen. Detroit in 1950 had 1.8 million people and the highest per capita income in the United States.
Bad government has destroyed the city of Detroit. They now have fewer than 800,000 people. Over half their housing stock is unneeded. And they're 67th in per capital income. It would wonderful if the president had gone there to learn that really bad government policies can do to America what really bad government policies have done there.
So what would I do? First, I would urge the House to send you immediately the appeal of Dodd-Frank. Dodd-Frank is a devastatingly bad bill which is inherently corrupt and which is killing small banks, killing small business, killing the housing industry. Not a single House Republican voted for it in the first round. It would be easy for them to repeal, set the stage for a huge fight over the very nature of highly centralized bureaucratic government.
Second, we need to replace the Environmental Protection Agency with an environmental solutions agency. When EPA is so out of cycle that even Obama has vetoed one of their rules, it should tell you how bad the agency has become.
Third, you ought to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley, which is a destructive bill which cripples startups, cripples public held companies and gains no particular advantage to the country.
Fourth, you need a 21st century Food and Drug Administration whose job is to go in the laboratory to help the scientists get the product to the market as fast as possible, so we dominate the world health market, which will be the biggest market in the world.
On tax policy, you ought to say no tax increase in 2013, period. Go to zero capitals gains so hundreds of billions of dollars pour into the country to be invested. Go to a 12.5 percent with corporate tax rate. And I say to my liberal friends, ironically, General Electric will pay more taxes at 12.5 percent than they are paying at 35 percent because it won't profit them to hire all the lawyers to avoid the taxes. They currently pay zero at 35 percent.
Fourth, you ought to go 100 percent expensing, so that every American farmer, every American factory has the most modern equipment in the world, so we are the most productive, so we can compete with China and India and win. Fifth, you ought to abolish the death tax permanently, because it is an immoral tax which says, if you work, save and do the right thing your entire lifetime, politicians have the right to take your money. I think that is profoundly wrong. We want family businesses expanding, not getting smaller.
We want them focused on job creation, not tax avoidance. Finally, you need an American energy plan. Here in South Carolina, you have at least $29 billion worth of natural gas offshore and that's almost certainly a gross underestimate. We ought to have a bill like the Webb-Warner bill, which I hope the House will pass unamended in the near future.
Democratic bill, two Democratic senators of Virginia, it says Virginia gets to develop oil and gas offshore -- 50 percent of the revenue goes to the federal government, 37.5 percent to the Commonwealth of Virginia, 12.5 percent to land conservation and infrastructure.
Here, you could take offshore development to create jobs, take part of the royalties to dredge the Charleston Harbor to make it modern so when the Panama Canal is widened in 2014, you're ready for it. You create jobs in Charleston, jobs offshore, you increase the wealth of the state, you increase the wealth of the country.
Let me be clear. I am for more revenue through economic growth. I'm for more revenue through the development of federal lands. I'm for more revenue through an American energy policy, but I'm against raising taxes.
And here's a little reminder from Jon Stewart on the GOP's definition of "class warfare" that Newt was using in the clip above -- The Daily Show: World of Class Warfare.
And here's part two.