Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Newt's newsletter previews his CPAC speech

In today's newsletter, Gingrich describes the setting in which the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) will take place.

Over 10,000 conservatives attended last year's CPAC, worried about the left-wing overreach of the Obama administration and determined to do what it takes to defeat the Left at the polls in November.

This historic attendance at CPAC in 2010 was followed by a historic election, in which we saw the largest one party pickup in the House of Representatives since 1948. It was an enormous victory for the power of conservative principles.

Of course, after such a historic victory, there is the question, "Now what?"

Remarkably, attendance for this year's CPAC will be even larger than last year's record attendance. Almost 12,000 people have registered. It is clear that the momentum against President Obama and the left is building as people realize the 2012 elections will be a decisive moment for the country.
The needed strategy:
Many conservatives, however, also recognize that the next two years should not only be spent preparing to win at the polls. We must also develop broad support for a governing agenda that can be implemented by a new conservative President and conservative Congress.

In other words, CPAC this year will be important not just in outlining why we must reject the left wing governance of the Obama administration and Reid Senate, but also in articulating what a center right coalition would replace it with.
He previews his speech:
With this challenge of replacement in mind, I will focus my speech tomorrow at CPAC on one such area that badly needs replacement if we are to keep America safe and create robust economic growth with millions of new jobs: American energy policy.

I will be driving four main themes during my speech:

* It is in our national security interest to produce more American energy. We must reduce the world's dependence on oil from dangerous and unstable countries, especially in the Middle East.

* In contrast to this urgent national security need, the Obama administration's policy has been almost the exact opposite of what is required. In effect, they have been waging war against the American energy industry.

* A comprehensive energy strategy that maximized all forms of American energy development would not only make the US and our allies dramatically safer, it would make us much better off economically.

* Part of this strategy would be to replace the Environmental Protection Agency with an Environmental Solutions Agency ] that achieves better environmental outcomes through an emphasis on the transformative power of new technology and a collaborative approach with industry and state and local governments (as opposed to the bureaucratic, regulatory model of the current EPA that does more to kill jobs and halt American energy development than it does to protect the environment).

You can watch my speech live at 12:30 ET tomorrow by signing up at the CPAC website.
Newt quotes from Reagan's 1978 CPAC address:
"The themes of a sound foreign policy should be no mystery, nor the result of endless agonizing reappraisals. They are rooted in our past -- in our very beginning as a nation....Our principles were revolutionary...Our example inspired others, imperfectly at times, but it inspired them nevertheless...To this day, America is still the abiding alternative to tyranny. That is our purpose in the world -- nothing more and nothing less."

"To carry out that purpose, our fundamental aim in foreign policy must be to ensure our own survival and to protect those others who share our values. Under no circumstances should we have any illusions about the intentions of those who are enemies of freedom."

"...If we are to continue to be that example -- if we are to preserve our own freedom -- we must understand those who would dominate us and deal with them with determination."
On what our foreign policy goals should be:
First, it must be the policy of the United States to defend consistently and resolutely the standards for the universal rights of man outlined in the Declaration of Independence and codified into law in the Constitution.

This principle has much deeper and more complicated ramifications than a shallow support for democratic elections. Instead, we should be on the side of genuine freedom for the people of the world.

The fact that the two U.S. backed democratic governments in Afghanistan and Iraq are refusing to protect the religious liberty of Christians and other minority religions (or worse, are complicit in their persecution) is evidence of a total lack of clarity regarding the purpose of US foreign policy. (See here and here for examples.)
Newt closes with:
This is our generation's rendezvous with destiny. And ultimately, Ronald Reagan's most instructive message for meeting our challenge would probably be, "I did my generation's job. Now it's your turn."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Newt in 2006: "Renew Milton Friedman's Conservatism"

After Milton Friedman's death in 2006, Newt, along with David Merritt, penned a piece on titled "Renew Milton Friedman's Conservatism."

In it, they called for the types of solutions Friedman always wanted -- those that powered individuals, and thus markets -- in two areas specifically: health care and education. "Friedman would agree that government can and should play a role in overcoming these challenges. But he would warn that its role must be limited, as he often said that a government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem itself."

On education:
The success of school choice, when properly administered, is indisputable -- proven by hoards of academic studies and thousands of personal experiences. School choice attracts better teachers, encourages creative curriculum, and improves student achievement. Friedman was a passionate advocate for school choice, particularly through his work at the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation. He argued -- correctly -- that by applying market principles to education, you empower students and parents at the expense of bureaucratic government control. This combination, of limited government and a vibrant market, never fails to deliver better outcomes -- even in public education.
On health care:
We need to put the consumer at the center of the health-care system, just as we do in every other market. And the surest way to do this is by creating a national market to purchase health insurance.


More competition among insurers in a national market will encourage more creative products, better services and lower prices — just as it always does wherever competition thrives — and every American will be able to find affordable coverage.


A vital part of this rational market is the availability of information. Information on performance, cost, and quality allows consumers to make informed decisions, but health care is perhaps the only market in which consumers have virtually no access to this information. When Americans shop for a new car, home, or thousands of other items, they quickly and easily gather information on cost and quality from an endless array of resources. But in health care, consumers are blind. Try finding out how a doctor stacks up against his colleagues. Try finding out how much a hospital charges for an elective surgery. Try finding out which surgical team has the lowest mortality rate.
Gingrich and Merritt wrap the article up this way:
Friedman was right: The only way to do this is to allow markets to work. A fitting tribute to him — and our country — would be a new generation of leaders who see intrusive government as part of our problems and markets as part of the solutions. By applying the conservative, market-based solutions that Milton Friedman so passionately and eloquently advocated, we will undoubtedly bring about real change and build a brighter future for America.
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