The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Newt, Today: ‘We Have Always Had a Bias In Favor of Investing in the Future.’


I completely understand and agree with the argument that Mitt Romney’s support for the individual mandate at the state level will greatly complicate and undermine his criticism of Obamacare.

But I don’t quite see how one can hold that position and not believe that these sorts of comments from Newt Gingrich to Glenn Beck today wouldn’t complicate and undermine criticism of runaway spending during the Obama administration:

GLENN: Why would we, why would we go into subsidies, though? Isn’t €‘‑ aren’t subsidies really some of the biggest problems that we have with our spending and out‑of‑control picking of winners and losers?

GINGRICH: Well, it depends on what you’re subsidizing. The idea of having economic incentives for manufacturing goes back to Alexander Hamilton’s first report of manufacturing which I believe was 1791. We have always had a bias in favor of investing in the future. We built the transcontinental railroads that way. The Erie Canal was built that way. We’ve always believed that having a strong infrastructure and having a strong energy system are net advantages because they’ve made us richer and more powerful than any country in the world. But what I object to is subsidizing things that don’t work and things that aren’t creating a better future. And the problem with the modern welfare state is it actually encourages people to the wrong behaviors, encourages them not to work, encourages them not to study.

In Newt’s defense, he could always tell President Obama that he thought of this stuff first, as his 2005 book shows:

Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review