Politics

Newt Gingrich: Government Should Stop Ground Zero Mosque

| by Reason Foundation

By Matt Welch

 

The loathesome ex-House Speaker, who has been singularly awful on the Ground Zero mosque issue, reaches down into the septic tank for more:

"I think the Congress has the ability to declare the area a national battlefield memorial because I think we should think of the World Trade Center as a battlefield site; this is a war," he said.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

And if that fails, he said, the state government should step in and use its considerable power to stymie the development.

"The Attorney General of New York, Andrew Cuomo, could intervene because frankly he has the ability to slow it down for decades if he wants to."

And, if the federal government doesn't intervene, and the state government declines to use its regulatory and enforcement powers to delay a private development project, Gringrich says the mayor should step in.

"There are a number of different steps that could be taken. There's no reason this has to occur and whether it's city, state, or federal there are plenty of ways for America to stop it," Gingrich said.

Well, at least Gingrich has some great, wonky ideas for cutting the size of government! Uh....

[MATT] LAUER: Let's talk about cutting, cutting the deficit here. You've said, you're thinking more seriously now than ever about running for president. Let's say I make you president right now. Congratulations. And I give you what a lot of people are predicting - a Republican-controlled House and Senate. That means you've got to make some really tough choices in terms of cutting this deficit. What are you willing to say? And name it by name, that you would be willing to cut right now to cut deficits.

GINGRICH: First of all, you just may, create a nightmare for virtually every Democrat watching the show, so I apologize to them. But to, but to work out your scenario, in the four years I was Speaker of the House, the average rate of increase was 2.9 percent a year including all the entitlements. That is the lowest rate of increase since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s. We did it by carefully setting priorities.

LAUER: But-

GINGRICH: Now, now just let me finish.

LAUER: Okay, go ahead.

GINGRICH: So, so we doubled, for example, investment in national health research at the National Institutes of Health while we were being very tough on other spending. I would start and I'd go through this budget pretty dramatically and I would eliminate a great deal of federal bureaucracy. I would reform unemployment compensation. I would reform workman's comp at the state level. I would have a very pro-jobs, very pro-savings, very pro-take-home pay policy. When we reformed welfare, 65 percent of people on welfare either went to work or went to school and we saved billions and billions of dollars. That's part of how we managed to balance the budget. Remember Matt...

LAUER: Would, would you make cuts in Social Security and Medicare?

GINGRICH: No, no.

Jacob Sullum on Gingrich's awfulness here.