Ron Haskins called Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that public schools hire students to perform janitorial work “vintage Newt.” He’s right: Gingrich made a similar suggestion almost 20 years ago. In January 1995, Gingrich was teaching a course at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Ga. And in one of his many obiter dicta, he said this:
It turns out in a recent Wall Street Journal study or a Wall Street Journal report of a study, over half of all the first-generation millionaires they interviewed had their first job by the time they were ten. It may be a lemonade stand, it may be cleaning up around the yard, it may be carrying newspapers, but notice how different that is from the welfare-state mentality. Can you imagine what trouble I’d be in if I said every poor child should actually be earning money? Gingrich wants to exploit child labor. Return to — you know, return to 19th-century coal mines.
I just threw that in so the reporter who’s distorting the class can go ahead and do it, will have some help.