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Newt Gingrich on Jobs

Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House


Auto bailout was unprecedented capitulation to unions

ROMNEY: Obama's people wrote $17 billion in checks to the auto companies.

Q: Mr. Speaker, that's a tough one--a major American industry, in a time of trouble....

GINGRICH: It's not tough. There was a huge amount of the American auto industry that was just fine. BMW in South Carolina was terrific. Mercedes in Alabama was doing just fine. Honda in Ohio was just fine. Toyota was just fine. What we have is the United Auto Workers and a management system that had grown incapable of tough decisions because they were used to selling out to the UAW . And so they came in and said, oh we can't change. And this president on behalf of the UAW said, you're exactly right. I think that they would have been much better off to have gone through a managed bankruptcy. I think what would have happened is the UAW would have lost all of their advantages. [The actual] result was an unprecedented violation of 200 years of bankruptcy law by Barack Obama to pay off the UAW at the expense of every bondholder.

Source: CNN's 2012 GOP Debate on eve of Arizona Primary , Feb 22, 2012

Bigger government lead to more food stamps, not more jobs

We have a crisis of work in this country and Pres. Obama proposed nothing in the way of policy changes that will get us to robust job creation and dramatic economic growth. Instead, the president described his conviction that his big government is built to last and should be paid for with higher taxes.

But bigger government and higher taxes will not lead to jobs and growth. Bigger government and higher taxes will instead lead to more people on food stamps, a situation which the President and his party defend as a fair outcome.

Economic growth and prosperity is not really at the top of Obama's agenda. He will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair.

For the president and a large part of the political class, it's about their power, their right to rule. That's why so much of that nearly trillion-dollar stimulus didn't create jobs but just went into the pockets of special interests who support Obama and the Democratic Party.

Source: Response to 2012 State of the Union speech , Jan 24, 2012

Create transitional program for returning vets, like in WWII

PAUL: After WW II, we had 10 million came home. What did we do then? They cut the budget by 60%. They cut taxes by 30%. Everybody went back to work again and you didn't need any special programs.

GINGRICH: The US government did 2 dramatic things after World War II. They created a GI Bill which enabled literally millions of returning veterans to go to college. My father, who was in WWII, went to college on a GI Bill. So there was an enormous expansion of opportunity that enabled them to integrate into a new, emerging society. The second thing they did is, they dramatically cut taxes, and the economy took off and grew dramatically, and it absorbed the workforce. So I would say we ought to both have a transition process for veterans to enable them to have a real advantage in getting a job when they come home, and we ought to have a very aggressive economic program of regulatory cuts and tax cuts, so that virtually every veteran would have a very good job at the end of the transition period.

Source: South Carolina 2012 GOP debate hosted by CNN's John King , Jan 19, 2012

Go to college instead of 99 weeks of unemployment

Q: How to address the 72 entitlement programs?

GINGRICH: You must start with the question on whether or not means-testing requires people to stay below. We have the most effective food stamp president in history right now and that is not a good thing. Do you want to rise above the point where you would be means tested? You create a discouragement--read the book LOSING GROUND--you are teaching people to be dependent and fail. You need to rethink the idea that people are getting something for nothing, because that's not how it works. If someone is an able bodied person who is getting something for nothing than we are stupid for giving it to you. We need to fundamentally change unemployment compensation. We need to require training. 99 weeks of unemployment sitting doing nothing could be turned into an associate's degree. I think that each state needs to have primary responsibility for most of these domestic issues.

Source: Head-to-head debate between Herman Cain & Newt Gingrich , Nov 5, 2011

Fundamentally wrong to give unemployment pay for 99 weeks

Q: You criticized extending unemployment benefits, saying that you were "opposed to giving people money for doing nothing." Benefits have already been extended to 99 weeks, and they are set to expire soon. If you were president today, would you extend unemployment benefits?

GINGRICH: I think unemployment compensation should be tied directly to a training program. And if you don't have a job and you need help, then in order for us to give you the help, you should sign up for a business-led training program so that that 99 weeks becomes an investment in human capital, so you can get a job. But I believe it is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks for doing nothing. That's why we had welfare reform. The easiest thing for Congress, if the president sends up a proposed extension, is to allow all 50 states to experiment at the state level with developing a mandatory training component of unemployment compensation. But I believe deeply, people should not get money for doing nothing.

Source: 2011 GOP Google debate in Orlando FL , Sep 22, 2011

The American people create jobs; not government

Gov. Huntsman, Gov. Perry, & Gov. Romney each explained how their state was the best at job creation. So we checked. In the four years I was Speaker, we created--the American people, not me--created more jobs in Utah than under Gov. Huntsman, more jobs i Massachusetts than under Gov. Romney, and more jobs in Texas than in the 11 years of Gov. Perry.

Now, I don't claim credit for that because it was done by investors. But I just want to point out, the American people create jobs, not government.

Source: 2011 GOP Tea Party debate in Tampa FL , Sep 12, 2011

Jobs & Prosperity Plan: cut business taxes & regulations

Q: Can a president create jobs without expanding the role of the federal government?

A: My Jobs and Prosperity Plan: No tax increase, 100% expensing, reduce business tax to 12.5%, eliminate cap gains & death tax; audit & reform the Federal Reserve; repeal Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes Oxley, Community Reinvestment Act; break up Freddie and Fannie; Repeal & replace Obamacare and fully develop American energy. These would all create jobs by REDUCING government.

Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

Defund National Labor Relations Board; favor right-to-work

Q: New Hampshire could soon become the 23rd state to pass right to work legislation. Unions don't like it because it makes membership voluntary. Would you support a federal right-to-work law?

A: One of the things the Congress should do immediately is defund the National Labor Relations Board which has gone into South Carolina to punish Boeing, which wants to put 8,000 American jobs in S.C. by fundamentally eliminating right-to-work at the National Labor Relations Board. That's a real, immediate threat from the Obama administration to eliminate right to work. And I think that it is fundamentally the wrong direction. I hope that New Hampshire does adopt right-to-work. I frankly keep it at the state level because as each new state becomes right to work, they send a signal to the remaining states, don't be stupid. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, we ought to let the states learn from each other. And the right-to-work states are creating a lot more jobs today that they heavily unionized states.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Number one job today is to create jobs

The number one job today is to create jobs. America only works when American's are working. And nothing would do more to balance the budget than to go from 9.2 percent back down to 4 percent unemployment, taking 5 percent of people off of unemployment, off of food stamps, off of Medicaid, put them back with a job, paying taxes, giving their family a future.

And I'll be candid. We did not need a deficit commission. We needed a jobs commission who talked with people who only create jobs. I am sick and tired of Congressional hearings, where people who have never created a job show up to explain what their theory is of doing something they have never done.

I am going to outline two large strategies that will move us towards job creation: an American Energy Plan and an Environmental Solutions Agency to replace the Environmental Protection Agency.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

Jobs plan: lower taxes; lower spending; domestic energy

During the present job crisis, leaders at all levels of government must understand the needs of our small-business job creators. With that Goal, American Solutions, a citizens action network for which I serve as general chairman, developed the following 3-step job-creation plan:
  1. Reduce spending and replace inefficient and often corrupt government programs with limited, effective government in order to balance the budget.
  2. Enact five key tax reforms to reward job creation, entrepreneurship, savings, and investment.
  3. Implement an American energy plan to create American jobs and keep American money at home. Developing more domestic energy while protecting the environment would means millions of new American jobs.
    Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p.179-182 , May 17, 2010

    Card Check strips workers of right to secret ballot

    Last year, the House passed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) card check legislation that would strip American workers of the right to a secret ballot when deciding whether to join a union. It would also institute "binding arbitration" that takes power away from the US employers and employees and gives it to new arbitration bureaucracies. The political rationale for this bill is that unions--long-time power centers of the global socialist movement and a powerful Democratic constituency--have been shrinking in size and influence over the past fifty years (with the notable exception of public employee unions). This bill is a clear attempt to reinvigorate them with new powers, even if workers don't agree.
    Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 43 , May 17, 2010

    Union power games the system to minimize work

    Soviet workers had a motto: "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us." American had a remarkably different slogan: "An honest day's work for an honest day's pay." American today is still filled with small businesses, self-employed people, professionals, and others who live by that principle every day.

    Because we are self-reliant and operate in markets where people won't pay us if we cheat, Americans have created an environment where honesty pays. In contrast, the secular-socialist machine, with its commitment to a socialist vision of wealth redistribution, has undermined the very concept of "an honest day's work," especially through its union power, In fact, it spreads the opposite ethic: game the system to get as many benefits as you can while working as little as possible.

    Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 8 , May 17, 2010

    Unions want to take away right to secret-ballot elections

    As unions cannot win many secret-ballot elections to organize workers, they have come up with a new solution. It's not to make the union more desirable. It's simply to take away the American worker's right to have a secret-ballot election. This would repeal reforms to protect workers from intimidation and extortion that go back to 1935. It's not an idle left-wing fantasy: it actually passed the House of Representatives in early 2007 with almost no public notice. Under the Orwellian name of the "Freedom of Choice Act," this legislation is backed by President Obama, who has vowed to sign the measure if passed by Congress, where it enjoys wide Democratic support. This the Democratic Congress and president are fighting to eliminate a fundamental American right just to make it easier for their union allies to acquire more members, more dues, and more power. And yet 89 percent of the American people don't want workers to lose their secret-ballot rights.
    Source: Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p. 35 , Dec 18, 2007

    Union leaders prefer protection over competition

    In the United States, there exists a coalition of union leaders who prefer protection over competition; environmental extremists who value nature over the well-being and prosperity of their fellow citizens; and liberal intellectuals who distrust the fluidity and uncertainty of the market and prefer the orderliness of command bureaucracies. This liberal coalition complains about companies’ outsourcing jobs while insisting on corporate taxes that encourage companies to go overseas. They prefer that government impose on business obsolete, absurd work rules, even though these raise costs, lower productivity, and make America less competitive in the world market. These liberals believe in expanding regulation even when it fails to meet any cost-benefit test and clearly drives jobs out of the US. The Left refuses to reform litigation or create a better system of civil justice even though it knows the explosion of lawsuits makes it less desirable to create jobs and invest in the US.
    Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org, “Issues” , Sep 1, 2007

    Unions focus on politics; corporations on doing business

    The media have in recent years become fixated on the questions of corporate contributions and what they call “soft” money for financing campaigns, but the truth is, nothing on the right is at all comparable to what the unions do. First of all, corporations are much less capable of being organized--each of them operates politically on its own--and they are, as profit-seeking institutions, much more inclined to seek accommodation with whoever is in power. Labor bosses, on the other hand, have a strategic view of politics and spend a great deal of time and effort developing long-term political muscle. By contrast corporate leaders focus mainly on their respective businesses and spend very little time of effort on politics. When major business leaders do for one reason or another concern themselves with Washington, they usually set up Washington offices or lobbyists and leave matters to them.
    Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p. 71-72 , Jul 2, 1998

    Incentives to businesses create jobs & raise wages.

    Gingrich wrote the Contract with America:

    [As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:

    The Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act:
    Small business incentives, capital gains cut and indexation, neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis, strengthening the Regulatory Flexibility Act and unfunded mandate reform to create jobs and raise worker wages.
    Source: Contract with America 93-CWA10 on Sep 27, 1994

    Other candidates on Jobs: Newt Gingrich on other issues:
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    Page last updated: May 31, 2012