Apparently the very expensive and unpaid for Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act may not have happened without New Gingrich’s aggressive advocacy. From Politico:
Newt Gingrich played the role of political godfather in pushing the Medicare prescription drug benefit into law, returning to Capitol Hill in November 2003 to deliver a pivotal speech that turned some conservative skeptics into believers.
Three days before the clock started on what would be an excruciating and historic three-hour floor vote, Republicans huddled in a House office building committee room to hear their former speaker’s vision of a modernized Medicare plan that would offer prescription drugs for seniors while subsidizing Medicare Advantage and introducing health savings accounts aimed at giving conservatives a reason — any reason — to expand the bastion of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.
Between the extra waste created by the subsidized Medicare Advantage program and the cost of Medicare Part D, the Republican bill Gingrich helped pass has added hundreds of billions to the debt over the years.
I think it is interesting that this story in Politico came out the same day that an analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that Gingrich’s tax plan would add roughly $1 trillion to the deficit in a single year mostly because it dramatically reduces the taxes on the super rich. From the Tax Policy Center:
GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is proposing a massive tax cut aimed at the highest earning American households. Gingrich’s plan would add about $1 trillion to the federal deficit in a single year. And while most of the nation’s lowest income families would get no benefit from these tax cuts, the top 0.1 percent (who make an average of more than $8 million) would get about a quarter of the windfall, according to new estimates by my colleagues at the Tax Policy Center.
These are the massive deficit increasing policies supported by the current front runner for the Republican party’s presidential nomination. They’re the positions of the candidate who currently leads the Republican field by 10 points.
Can everyone in the media please now stop pretending the Republican party actually cares at all about deficits?