Politics & Policy

Gingrich: Don’t Hike Debt Ceiling Without Equal Cuts


Newt Gingrich thinks that Republicans should only hike the debt ceiling by as much as Democrats are willing to cut spending by.

“The principle for a long-term debt ceiling hike ought to be very simple: the president does not get any more money in the debt ceiling than he signs into savings. So if he wants a trillion dollars increase in the debt ceiling, there has to be a trillion dollars in savings in how the government is run,” Gingrich said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

Gingrich focused on waste, fraud and abuse when talking about how spending could be cut, arguing that applying Six Sigma business practices to the government could save as much as $500 billion. He also cited a study done by his Center for Health Transformations that estimated Medicare and Medicaid theft amounted to $70 billion to $120 billion. He pointed to Rep. Paul Ryan’s $700 billion savings estimate for block granting Medicaid, and recommended that cabinet officers should eliminate the 10 percent of workers least effective under them.

If that means a series of short-term debt ceiling hikes, the former speaker is fine with that.  “This idea that we have to have some magic long-term solution is baloney,” he said, saying that a three-month or six-month debt ceiling hike should be seen as acceptable.

Gingrich said he did not support the elimination of any tax credits, such as the home mortgage credit, to raise revenue.  “This country is over-spent. It’s not under-taxed,” he said.

Gingrich had harsh words for President Obama

“Obama really put the bully back in the bully pulpit,” he said, discussing President Obama’s remarks that Social Security checks could fail to go out if the debt ceiling wasn’t hiked. Gingrich advocates the House passing a bill that would guarantee enough money to be set aside for August that senior citizens would receive their checks, regardless of whether the debt ceiling was raised or not.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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