Of the many people attempting to secure the nomination for the Republican candidate for President of the United States, Newt Gingrich definitely amuses me the most. Not because of the time that he was the first (and thusfar, I believe, only) House Speaker to be penalized $300,000 for ethical wrongdoing. Not because of the way that he served his wife with divorce papers as she lay in the hospital struggling with cancer. Rather, what really gives me the giggles is how he seems to regularly say one thing and then behave in a manner completely inconsistent with what he has said.
One excellent point, the main one of today’s article, is how he can’t seem to decide whether spending a lot of money on something of questionable value is a good thing or not. In this video, you can clearly hear the former House Speaker discussing how important it is to eliminate waste from the US Government budget.
During the course of the video, Gingrich makes claims that he helped balance the budget when he was Speaker of the House. It is funny because exactly the opposite is true — he did not help whatsoever and impeded efforts to help the economy. He spoke out against every initiative put forward by President Clinton, many of which led to the balancing of the budget. He predicted that Clinton’s initiatives would destroy the economy and that is exactly what did not happen. Fast forward to the current year. He is now arguing that he helped balance the budget. Not at all.
The way we know that former speaker Gingrich knows less than nothing about eliminating wasteful programs comes in the form of one program he would want to introduce, that being an expanded space program with a moon colony and a Mars program as well. The moon colony and plans to visit Mars are fantastic from a scientific perspective but in a time when we are trying to cut spending wherever it is possible without hurting our economy in the long run, they are extremely ill advised — particularly coming from someone who advocates cutting government waste.
As my father frequently has reminded me, the idea of a company is to be profitable to its investors. If there is no commercial goal to a program, then there is no profit to be made and therefore the money would all have to come from the government — and unlike many government programs which recover money, such as lower spending in other areas (education leading to lower crime as one example) this seems to have no way of recovering money as it is more like a school boy’s fantasy than a pragmatic program for a nation.
In short, Newt Gingrich’s moon colony idealism without any sense of reality is what amuses me most about him.