- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hippocrates said, “Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.” If America is indeed approaching bankruptcy due to impossible promises by politicians, extreme remedies are indeed necessary.

Today, a deep depression would provoke great civil unrest because America as a nation is no longer stoic, as it was in the 1930s. President Obama would surely drive us over the precipice, but a timid Republican painting in pale pastels also would do this, albeit more slowly.

It will be a herculean task to cut federal spending by $1 trillion and slash $1.7 trillion from regulatory costs while simultaneously increasing economic growth. Who can do this while America works its way through painful deleveraging? It is not GOP contender Mitt Romney, who said he was a “moderate, progressive Republican.” Far worse, Mr. Romney created the prototype for Obamacare while he was Massachusetts governor.

Andrew Carnegie once said, “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” Following this maxim, I favor Newt Gingrich for president because his Contract With America ended 40 years of Democratic control of the House, leading to welfare reform and a balanced budget for four years. What a revolutionary accomplishment.

To do all that, he had to end the committee seniority system and compromise with the Democrats. He knew that would antagonize all establishment Republicans and some conservatives, but he did not “go along to get along.”

Mr. Gingrich is a bona-fide change agent who said he wants to slenderize government “fundamentally,” “historically” and “categorically.” He knows where all the levers are in Washington, he can negotiate and he can communicate. He is the necessary remedy for a disease that threatens the survival of this republic.

CARL H. MIDDLETON

Arlington