- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2011

The former speaker of the House wants to recreate the mid-90s success of the “Contract with America.” Last week, Newt Gingrich unveiled a “21st Century Contract with America” that he believes sets his bid for the GOP presidential nod apart from the rest of the crowded field. “I don’t think slightly more conservative, normal politics is going to solve our problems,” Mr. Gingrich said in an interview with The Washington Times.

His new contract is meant to be bold, with a call to cut the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent, eliminate the capital-gains tax and give Americans the option to pay a simple flat tax instead of the complicated current income tax rates.

He also would let young people choose whether they want to put their savings into private retirement accounts instead of the failing Social Security system. He would give the option of a premium supported health care option for Medicare recipients.

Politicians, on the other hand, should have fewer choices. “Obama is the best living case that you need the Balanced Budget Amendment because politicians can’t say ‘no’ without it,” he said. The House and Senate have votes on the amendment scheduled in the fall, but Mr. Gingrich doubts the House Republican leadership is doing what it takes for passage. His advice is that they should “make it a major national issue and target every Democrat who votes ‘no’ and beat them.”

Current GOP presidential candidates agree on core issues like repealing Obamacare and increasing energy production, but Mr. Gingrich wants to introduce new ideas into the political discourse. In his unique style, he called for a focus on “brain science” and government through “Lean Six Sigma” to slash wasteful spending.

He also points to his record. “The number one difference between me and the other candidates is the level of substance and the level of actual achievement in Washington,” the former college professor said.

Rep. Jack Kingston echoed the sentiment. “Once again Newt has shown he grasps the issues better than anyone else in the field,” the Georgia Republican told The Washington Times. “In one comprehensive and easy-to-understand document he’s outlined something we can all get behind.”

Such thorough and thoughtful proposals elevate the level of discussion in the presidential race. The candidates are even more effective when they are focused on the policies that Republicans offer the American people as an alternative to the Obama administration. Mr. Gingrich is right that drastic changes are needed to put this nation back on the right track.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.