The American people are, once again, ahead of the politicians and news media. Americans instinctively know that we are in financial trouble and only economic growth will get us out of it.
When President Jimmy Carter’s bad policies crippled the American economy, affording everyday life was painful. Economic growth became one of the three major issues which defined candidate Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign (along with defeating the Soviet Union and rebuilding civic pride).
For almost a decade before Reagan’s victory, a small group of us who supported supply-side economics (“supply-siders”) had built a case for economic growth being the key to a healthy country. Rep. Jack Kemp, Jude Wanniski, Art Laffer, Larry Kudlow, and others developed a profound argument that cutting taxes and regulations would liberate entrepreneurs to create a more prosperous, technologically advanced, and happier future.
Mr. Carter’s economy was driven by demand-side economics (the same philosophy that has the current Federal Reserve forcing unemployment and pain on Americans by raising interest rates to cut demand). In Mr. Carter’s time, the demand-siders had hurt the American people with inflation and recession (they are doing it again now). The supply-siders wanted to maximize economic growth to mop up the inflation with more goods and services (we want to do that again now, too).
Reagan, a former Democrat who had campaigned for Harry Truman in 1948, appreciated the power of happiness in a way that many Republicans just did not understand. He rejected the policies of pain, which attracted much of the Republican orthodoxy. As Sen. Howard Baker said, the Reagan tax cuts were a riverboat gamble. History shows us the gamble worked.
At America’s New Majority Project, we have just finished a poll that shows that the American people are ready for a supply-side solution — even if the politicians and the news media still can’t get their heads around the idea that more growth is the key to a better future.
The American people’s support for economic growth is so strong that it is clearly going to be a major theme for the House Republican majority and the entire Republican effort in 2024.
Economic growth is the answer to President Biden’s effort to attack Republicans over Medicare and Social Security. If Republicans focus on solving Mr. Biden’s policies against growth, energy and take-home pay, they will win the Social Security and Medicare debate hands down.
A solid 70% of Americans believe a strong and growing economy is the best strategy for protecting Social Security and Medicare. This includes 81% of Republicans, 69% of independents and 59% of Democrats.
By contrast, Mr. Biden’s position of raising taxes to save Social Security and Medicare is supported by only 19% of the country. Even in his own party, Mr. Biden’s tax increase policies lose to economic growth by 30% to 11%.
By 60% to 25%, Americans believe that tax increases and burdensome regulations hurt economic growth — and that weakens Social Security and Medicare. Even among Democrats, opposition to tax increases and regulations beats the Biden program by 45% to 40%.
Sixty-three percent of Americans agree that the best way to ensure Social Security and Medicare remain solvent is to promote economic growth by lowering taxes and regulations. Only 25% disagree. Again, even among Democrats, 49% agree with promoting economic growth by lowering taxes and regulations, compared with 39% who favor the Biden approach.
The American people are ready for a bold campaign to save Medicare and Social Security through economic growth. The question now is whether Republicans can build the unity and the message discipline to clearly point out that Mr. Biden’s Big Government strategy is the real threat to Social Security and Medicare.
The road to strengthening Social Security and Medicare starts with cutting taxes and regulations. It was true in 1980. It is true now.
• For more commentary from Newt Gingrich, visit Gingrich360.com.
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Click to Read More and View Comments
Click to Hide
Please read our comment policy before commenting.