Newt Gingrich On the Issues

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Newt Gingrich is projected on an outdoor screen while addressing the Republican National Convention in 2008. Ed Kashi / Corbis

What Would Newt Do?

CHINA

Gingrich is less hawkish on China than many of his saber-rattling rivals. He proposes two responses to its growing power: education and military preparedness. He says America must invest in math and science curricula to keep pace, but also believes the U.S. needs to beef up its defenses to guarantee that the American military remains preeminent.

HEALTH CARE

Gingrich would transform Medicaid funding into block grants for states and offer private accounts for Medicare. He would also expand credits or deductions for insurance. Though he has backed an individual-insurance mandate in the past, Gingrich says he now opposes the Obamacare mandate.

THE ECONOMY

Gingrich wants to eliminate the capital-gains and estate taxes and slash the corporate income-tax rate from 35 percent to 12.5 percent. Like Rick Perry, he wants to let taxpayers choose between traditional brackets and a flat tax payable on a postcard. But Gingrich is more aggressive: he’d peg the flat rate at 15 percent, even lower than Perry’s 20 percent. Conservatives and liberals alike have said that would spark a sharp drop in revenues. To spur job growth, he’d roll back regulations—and loosen child-labor laws to encourage teen-agers to work.

ISRAEL

Gingrich joins his GOP colleagues in ripping the Obama administration for failing to show sufficient support for Israel. He believes in a Jewish state, and referred to the Palestinians as an “invented” people. Seeing Iran as a threat to Israel’s survival, he regards a nuclear Tehran as unacceptable and believes aggressive sanctions could topple the regime in a year.

IMMIGRATION

Taking a softer line than his rivals, Gingrich says he does not back citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the U.S., but he has proposed allowing those who have been in the country for 25 years to earn permanent residency. Gingrich proposes that local citizen boards review applications and decide who could stay. Critics say his ideas are unwieldy and unrealistic.

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