Welcome to the Hale Report! My guest for our 48th podcast is Newt Gingrich. Former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate in 2012, he is a frequent Fox News contributor and chairman of Gingrich 360. A prolific author who began his career as a history professor, he is now without doubt a historical figure himself.
My name is Lyric Hughes Hale, and I’m Editor-in-Chief of EconVue. EconVue, based in Chicago, is a home for independent voices and expert analysis of critical global economic issues. You’ll find our newsletters and podcasts here on Substack.
Last week, the US economic outlook was downgraded from stable to negative. As another debt ceiling debacle looms, one of the reasons cited for the downgrade by Moody’s:
Continued political polarization with the US Congress raises the risk that successive governments will not be able to reach consensus on a final plan to slow the decline in debt affordability.
To discuss this and many other issues, we had a wide-ranging conversation that spanned economics and politics. We discussed Gingrich’s new book March to the Majority, The Real Story of the Republican Revolution. During his tenure as speaker, he presided over two government shutdowns in late 1995 and early 1996. The first Republican majority in forty years was able to work with Democratic President Bill Clinton to achieve a budget surplus.
That is unlikely to occur again, and now that the US is even more firmly entrenched in the global financial system, a drag on the American economy will inevitably affect growth worldwide. The US government is now paying one trillion dollars per year in interest alone- this amounts to 5% of total GDP. Last week, a US Treasury offering failed to find enough buyers.
More concerning is the polarized political environment, which will doubtless fracture even further in the run up to the US elections. We spoke about his prediction for who will be running in 2024, and the historic disunity the US is experiencing:
America is now in the deepest, most dangerous constitutional crisis since the hostility in the 1850s that led to secession and civil war.
Some highlights of our discussion:
We can expect at least one additional government shutdown
New Speaker of the House Mike Johnson will not visit Taiwan, in the midst of intense budget negotiations in the US
Biden will be the Democratic nominee
RFK Jr does not have the organization necessary to win the election
The No Labels organization however, has focused on getting on ballots in all fifty states and has a successful strategy to do so. Possible ticket: Romney and Manchin.
Key election issues will be the economy, crime and immigration
Gingrich’s latest book gives outsiders insight into the House leadership position that has become front and center in American political life. It is both a cautionary tale and a roadmap for 2024. As he says in his conclusion, “Writing this book was not simply an exercise in history. History is important, but its real importance is for the future.”
One thing I really enjoyed about the book, in addition to a peek into Washington inside baseball, is that Gingrich gives equal time to analyzing his failures and successes. And he tells the story of how a history professor, at the age of 36, decided to go into politics. I think you will enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed our discussion.
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