Links to what I’ve been reading.
Rather than parse his debate sound bites, go to Newt.org and read his proposed solutions. You have to get past a certain amount of red-meat rhetoric and brush aside some half-baked notions that are typical Newt, more smart-alecky than smart. (His plan for local citizen boards to pass judgment on which immigrants get deported sounds to me like the Neighborhood Watch from hell.) But you will find that on major points Gingrich is consistent with the best proposals compiled by serious students of this subject, who aim to build a reform based not on what makes you feel good but on what’s best for the country.
For the Christmas wonk in your family:
WELCOME to our Daily chart Advent calendar, a collection of the 24 most popular maps, charts, data visualisations and interactive features published on our site this year. You’ll find one behind each door, with a new door available to open every day until Christmas, plus an entirely new chart behind door number 25—a Christmas gift from the Daily chart team. Season’s greetings from us all at The Economist online.
I have a different solution. It’s a single, simple change. It wouldn’t drastically cut domestic spending. It wouldn’t change tax rates. Instead, it would pay for a payroll tax cut, AMT patch, and unemployment extension with a slow, phased-in policy called “chained CPI.” Don’t know what that is? Let me explain.
Newt Gingrich’s economic plan is not Reaganesque. It is not, as so many of his Republican presidential rivals’ claim their plans to be, inspired by Reaganomics. It is Reaganomics, cryogenically frozen in 1981, thawed 30 years later, and pumped full of Newt-style steroids in order to save the American people from slow growth. The plan features massive tax cuts (which would largely benefit businesses and the wealthy), less government spending (through the privatization of entitlement programs), interest-rate hikes, and rampant deregulation.