Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says if Congress does not return from its summer recess and tackle the nation’s financial decay now, when lawmakers return in September they will face a “very, very dangerous condition.” The presidential hopeful also said on Fox News Wednesday the U.S. economy is crumbling under “bureaucratic socialism in which Washington dictates every aspect of life.”
“I think Congress should come back in and . . . go through as many federal regulations as they can and repeal them in order to let state governments, local governments, businesses focus on doing their jobs,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “This economy is crumbling under a bureaucratic socialism in which Washington dictates every aspect of life. The result is people aren’t hiring — folks are running out of money — I think we are going to see the economy stay in deep trouble unless there’s a profound change in direction.
“I just think when you have 14 million Americans out of work and another 10 million either underemployed or have given up looking, and you see the disastrous, 2,000-point drop in the last 14 days of trading on the Dow Jones average, for example, you have to ask yourself: Shouldn’t the political leadership of the country do something?” he said. “I’m respectful of the fact that August vacations are sort of sacrosanct — I’m also very aware if we have three, four more weeks of this kind of decay they are going to come back in September to a country that is in very, very dangerous condition.”
Van Susteren asked why President Barack Obama doesn’t demand that House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Harry Reid return to Capitol Hill and then force their respective legislative bodies to follow.
“I think they are in a period of denial — you look at the mess over the debt ceiling and you think to yourself: It should be possible for Americans to come together and find a way to do some things,” Gingrich said. “Without getting into a budget fight there are six, eight, nine things you can do overnight. I’ve been talking with a gentleman name Michael George who helped found a management system. He believes if you tried to modernize the federal government you would save $500 billion a year — that’s $5 trillion over 10 years.
“I don’t sense any appetite in Washington for serious thinking about doing it differently — it’s as if everybody says we want a different outcome, now let’s go back and do the same stuff that isn’t working — and I think that is unfortunate in both parties,” he said. “We need to take a deep breath, step back and realize that this ain’t working and it is time to try some very different, new approaches.”
Van Susteren noted that considerable hope is being placed in the super committee mandated under the debt-ceiling deal to determine needed budget cuts.
“I think, first of all, that the Congress ought to focus [on the] now, not wait until November not, look for some magic,” Gingrich said.” Second, I believe this so-called super committee should have all of its meetings in public, on C-SPAN — every proposal should be in writing on the Internet.
“I am deeply opposed to 12 people becoming a super Congress — hiding, and then magically springing a bad idea on us at Thanksgiving — it is like being told we need to cut off your right leg or we can shoot you. Which do you prefer?” he continued. “I’m fed up which the series of crises in which politicians come up with a set of bad choices and ask us to pick which we dislike least. I think what we ought to have — frankly — is the legislative process, committees doing their job, subcommittees doing their job. We ought to have hearings on new ideas, new approaches.”
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