In praise of Gingrich

By Tom Quiner

Presidents get too much blame for a bad economy. They get too much credit when things go well.

Bill Clinton loves to make the good economy of the 90s seem like his doing. I’m willing to give him some credit. He deserves some. I like to give a chunk of praise to then-Speaker, Newt Gingrich as well. Clinton and Gingrich made a great team. They kept each side of the aisle honest, which led to a more responsible approach to government spending.

All revenue bills begin in the House. Guess who controlled the House’s agenda back then? Newt Gingrich. So I praise  him for the balanced budgets of the late 90s. Mssrs. Clinton and Gingrich were the beneficiary of a reduced defense budget thanks to the end of the Cold War (for which Ronald Reagan surely deserves some credit).

They were also the beneficiary of the the bubble that artificially drove the economy as feverish investors threw money into  emerging internet technology.

By the same token, Barack Obama is probably getting more blame than he deserves for this lousy jobs market. Yes, he deserves quite a bit of blame. But the economy is complex, and many factors affect it. Obama’s irresponsible government spending has the private sector scared.

That’s a strike against him.

His increase in entitlement spending thanks to Obamacare increases the cost of hiring new employees.

Another strike against him.

The uncertainty regarding the application of new, but yet unwritten regulations initiated by Obamacare, discourages employers with cash reserves from investing in expansion until they know how much more Obamacare is going to cost them.

Another strike against him.

I tend to blame Obama more than the typical president when it comes to a bad economy. But in fairness, it is not all his fault.

If Mitt Romney is elected and the “fiscal cliff” is avoided, I predict a sudden rebound in GDP and hiring. Romney has experience in turning around failing organizations and creating prosperity. Mr. Obama had no such experience and was clearly in over his head.


  1. illero on September 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I’m curious. What is your response to the charge that presidents don’t run up deficits – Congresses do; because the House has to appropriate money for all expenditures.

    • quinersdiner on September 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      The president has to sign the bills, so he is certainly culpable. But I remember the tactic used by Speaker Tip O’Neill in the Reagan years. They’d pass an Omnibus Budget Bill. Since the president didn’t have a line-item veto, he’d have to veto the whole bill if he didn’t like it, effectively shutting down the government, which would be disastrous politically. I put more blame on the House and Senate.

  2. Shawn Pavlik on September 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Electing Romney will go a long way, as he has promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. A large number of doctors are considering retirement and/or changing profession if that law should take effect in 2014. We’re already seeing a lot of doctors stop taking Medicare patients because of the lower reimbursements. As I said before 2008, regarding health care, “Don’t mess with a good thing.”