Newt Gingrich on Technology
Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House
Get an American on the moon before the Chinese get there
Q: [to Romney]: Speaker Gingrich said that by the end of his second term, there would be a permanent base on the moon. Good idea?
ROMNEY: That's an enormous expense. And right now I want to be spending money here.
Q: [to Gingrich]:
How do you plan to create a base on the moon in eight years while keeping taxes down?
GINGRICH: You start with the question, do you really believe NASA in its current form is the most effective way of leveraging investment in space? My point is,
I believe by the use of prizes, by the use of incentives, by opening up the space port so that it's available on a ready basis for commercial fight--there are many things you can do to leverage accelerating the development of space. Lindbergh flew to
Paris for a $25,000.00 prize. If we had a handful of serious prizes, you'd see an extraordinary number of people out there trying to get to the moon first. And I'd like to have an American on the moon before the Chinese get there.
Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary
, Jan 26, 2012
6 or 7 private launches every day; permanent moon base
Q: You said that you would support a lunar colony, and that if 13,000 Americans were living there, they would be able to apply for US statehood from the moon?
GINGRICH: Look at what John F. Kennedy said in 1961: "We will go to the moon in this decade."
No American had orbited the Earth. The technology didn't exist. And a generation of young people went into science and engineering, and they were tremendously excited. And they had a future. The program I envision would probably end up being 90% private
sector, but it would be based on a desire to get NASA out of the business of trying to run rockets, and to create a system where it's easy for private sector people to be engaged. I want to see us move from one launch occasionally to 6 or 7 launches a
day because so many private enterprises walk up and say, we're prepared to go do it. I do not want to be the country that having gotten to the moon first, turned around and said, it doesn't really matter. I think that is a path of national decline.
Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary
, Jan 26, 2012
I favor Internet freedom; SOPA favors Hollywood
Q: SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, would crack down on Internet piracy. But opponents say it's censorship. Our parent company, Time Warner, says we need a law like this because movies are being ripped off online. There's two competing engines of our
economy at odds.
GINGRICH: Well, you're asking a conservative about the economic interests of Hollywood. And I'm weighing it... Virtually everybody who's technologically advanced, including Google and YouTube and Facebook, say this is going to totally
mess up the Internet, and the bill in its current form is written really badly and leads to a range of censorship that is totally unacceptable. Well, I favor freedom. We have a Patent Office, we have copyright law. If a company finds that it has genuinely
been infringed upon, it has the right to sue, but the idea that we're going to preemptively have the government start censoring the Internet on behalf of giant corporations' economic interests strikes me as exactly the wrong thing to do.
Source: South Carolina 2012 GOP debate hosted by CNN's John King
, Jan 19, 2012
We can't compete with China with an inferior infrastructure
Q: What about infrastructure & job creation?
GINGRICH: Let's stick with infrastructure, because I think it's a very big, very important topic. You cannot compete with China in the long run if you have an inferior infrastructure. You've got to move to a
21st century model. That means you've got to be technologically smart and you have to make investments. So for example here [in N.H.], the Northern Pass project ought to be buried and should be along the state's right of way.
Which means you'd need these modern techniques to bring electricity from Quebec all the way down to Boston in a way that also preserves the beauty of northern New Hampshire. [We need] the ability to have an infrastructure
investment program that would actually get us back on track. If you don't have some systematic investment program, then you are not going to be able, I think, to compete with China and India.
Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate
, Jan 7, 2012
America should be in space, aggressively & entrepreneurially
ROMNEY: Speaker Gingrich and I have a lot of places where we disagree.
Q: Why don't you name them?
ROMNEY: We can start with his idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the from the moon, I'm not in favor of spending that kind of
money to do that.
GINGRICH: I'm proud of trying to find things that give young people a reason to study science and math and technology and telling them that someday in their lifetime, they could dream of going to the moon, they could dream of going t
Mars. I grew up in a generation where the space program was real, where it was important, and where frankly it is tragic that NASA has been so bureaucratized. Iowa's doing brilliant things, attracting brilliant students. I want to give them places
to go and things to do. And I'm happy to defend the idea that America should be in space and should be there in an aggressive, entrepreneurial way.
Source: Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa
, Dec 10, 2011
Prepare more for electromagnetic pulse attack
Q: What national security issue do you worry about that nobody is asking about?
CAIN: Having been a ballistics analyst and a computer scientist early in my career, cyber-attacks: that's something that we do not talk enough about, and I happen to
believe that that is a national security area that we do need to be concerned about.
GINGRICH: I helped create the Hart-Rudman Commission with President Clinton, and they came back after three years and said the greatest threat to the
United States was the weapon of mass destruction in an American city, probably from a terrorist. That was before 9/11. That's one of the three great threats. The second is an electromagnetic pulse attack which would literally destroy the
country's capacity to function. And the third, as Herman just said, is a cyber attack. All three of those are outside the current capacity of our system to deal with.
Source: 2011 CNN National Security GOP primary debate
, Nov 22, 2011
FactCheck: 1.3 million Twitter followers is exaggerated
The website Gawker reports that most of Gingrich's 1.3 million Twitter followers are fake, after Politico reported that Gingrich's Twitter following far exceeded his rivals. Gingrich bragged, "It turned out I have 6 times as many Twitter followers as all
the other candidates combined."
Gingrich embraced Twitter long before most political figures (he's sent more than 2,700 tweets). But Gawker cited an anonymous former Gingrich staffer who estimated about 80% of the followers were created by agencies wit
An analysis concluded only 8% of Gingrich's Twitter followers were confirmed as "real human beings." People can pay companies to gather Twitter followers (about $12.99 per 1,000), but the Twitter followers are often fake. The Gingrich
campaign strongly denies using such tactics.
There is strong evidence that not all 1.3 million followers are real. There are Twitter followers and there are bona fide Twitter followers. Gingrich has 1.3 million of the former, not so many of the latter.
Source: FactCheck on 2011 Presidential primary by PolitiFact.com
, Jul 31, 2011
Replace NASA with incentives to private sector
Q: What role should the government play in future space exploration?
GINGRICH: I'm a big fan of going into space and I worked to get the shuttle program to survive at one point. But NASA has become a case study in why bureaucracy can't innovate. If you
take all the money we've spent at NASA since we landed on the moon and you had applied that money for incentives to the private sector, we would today probably have a permanent station on the moon, and a new generation of lift vehicles. And instead, what
we've had is bureaucracy after bureaucracy and failure after failure. We're at the beginning of a whole new cycle of extraordinary opportunities. And, unfortunately, NASA is standing in the way of it, when NASA ought to be getting out of the way and
encouraging the private sector.
PAWLENTY: I don't think we should eliminate the space program.
GINGRICH: I didn't say end the space program. I said you could get into space faster & more effectively, if you decentralized it & got it out of Washington
Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH
, Jun 13, 2011
Treat WikiLeaks as enemy combatants engaged in terrorism
Q: If you were in charge, how would you handle Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?
A: Information warfare is warfare, and Julian Assange is engaged in warfare. Information terrorism, which leads to people getting killed is terrorism, and Julian
Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant. WikiLeaks should be closed down permanently and decisively. But even more, how can these documents have been released?
Q: Via a private in the Army.
A: How do you have a system so stupid [that an Army Private can] download a quarter million documents and the system doesn't say [anything]? I mean this is a system so stupid that it ought to be a scandal of the first order.
This administration is so shallow, and so amateurish about national security that it is painful and dangerous.
Source: 2010 Fox News interview on Business Insider
, Dec 5, 2010
NASA bureaucrats hijacked the great space adventure
One of the great disappointments of my life has been the hijacking of the great space adventure by the NASA bureaucracy. Space should be an area in which American innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship are producing constant breakthroughs that
increase our economic capability, improve our quality of life, and raise our prestige around the world. Instead, space has been hijacked by dull, inefficient, and unimaginative bureaucracies and transformed into an expensive, risk-adverse, and sad
I propose a dramatically bolder approach. NASA currently has plans to spend twenty years getting to Mars at a cost estimated of up to $450 billion. A very significant amount of that time and money will be spent studying, planning, and
thinking. We would get much further much faster if we simply established two prizes: a tax-free $5 billion prize for the first permanent lunar base and a tax-free $20 billion prize for the first team to get to Mars and back.
Source: Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p.187-191
, Dec 18, 2007
Establish three high-speed rail corridors; NY-MA; FL; & CA
The French & Japanese have made substantial investments in creating high-speed rail corridors. The Chinese are now following their lead. The US has 3 corridors that are very conducive to this kind of high-speed train investment. We could build a system
between Boston and Washington; from Miami to Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville; and from San Diego to San Francisco.
There are three problems with trying to build high-speed systems in the US and, not surprisingly, all three relate to government.
I support a 21st century rail system that is privately built, run efficiently, and capable of earning its own way. The US should have a railroad system that works for us, and not for the Amtrak bureaucracy and their unions.
Source: Real Change, by Newt Gingrich, p.211-212
, Dec 18, 2007
Union work rules make it impossible, at least if Amtrak has anything to do with it.
- Pork barrel politicians waste money subsidizing absurdly uneconomic routes
- Regulations and litigation involved in large-scale construction have become time-
consuming and expensive.
Invest in scientific revolutions: energy, space, environment
[We can meet] the triple economic challenges of an explosion in technological knowledge, an increasingly competitive world market, and the rise of China & India by implementing:
Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org, “Issues”
, Sep 1, 2007
- A new system of civil justice to reduce the burden of lawsuits and to
incentivize young people to go into professions other than the law.
- A dramatically simplified tax code that favors savings, entrepreneurship, investment, & constant modernization of equipment & technology.
- Math & science education [that encourages]
young Americans to both discover the science of the future and to compete successfully with other well-educated societies.
- Investing in the scientific revolutions that are going to transform our world--particularly in energy, space, & environment.
Transforming health care into a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that improves our health while lowering costs dramatically. In the process, American health care will become our highest value export and foreign exchange earning sector.
NASA focuses too much on safety and elite standards
The shuttle and the space station absorb the largest part of the NASA budget; they represent obsolete technologies and limited opportunities for progress. NASA has an additional burden that would have destroyed aviation in its infancy because it requires
a safety standard that makes space flight stunningly expensive. People who climb mountains can't meet the NASA standard for safety.
Space is now caught in a destructive circle in which Congress refuses to vote the money needed for big missions because it does not trust the NASA bureaucracy and NASA can't do the jobs it is assigned because Congress refuses to fund it. NASA is also
elitist. The standard for an astronaut has been set so high that most people know it is not a program for them.
Ironically the Russians, in desperate search of hard currency, have become the 1st country to open up their programs to a paying customer.
Source: Winning the Future, by Newt Gingrich, p.165
, Oct 1, 2005
21st century reform: Being online better than being in line
Where our current government is bureaucrat-centered and lawyer-centered, 21st Century, Intelligent, Effective, Limited Government is citizen-centered. It respects and supports an informed citizenry capable of responsible action and active control over
their own lives.
Building a citizen-centered model of government starts with the general rule that being online is better than being in line.
There is no reason why government cannot deliver services and information the way that Google or the Weather Channel can. Technology should make government more responsive to the citizens it serves, and more creative in meeting their needs.
The potential to use the computer, the Internet, and communications has only begun to be tapped. The more rapidly government leaders study and learn their potential, the more rapidly we will invent a 21st century information age governing system.
Source: Winning the Future, by Newt Gingrich, p.183-184
, Oct 1, 2005
Focus on investing in science and discovery
To meet the challenge of investing in science & discovery, I believe we should focus on the following areas:
climatology data.Reserve room in science budgets for non-traditional research because peer review is ultimately a culturally conservative and risk-adverse model.Prizes to advance science like the $25,000 prize Charles Lindbergh
Source: Saving Lives and Saving Money, by Newt Gingrich, p.180-189
, Sep 22, 2003
- Math & science education: We must fundamentally change the way we educate our children about science & discovery, to produce more
math & science students.
- Increased funding for the NSF (National Science Foundation): Increase annual funding from $4.7 billion to $15 billion
- We must fund large-scale marquee projects like Internet-based astronomical data and
- High priority for CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Mobilize a movement in favor of scientific research
- Space: space exploration has a proven record of achieving major scientific breakthroughs.
Nanotechnology combined with biotech will transform society
We are living through two patterns of change. The first is the enormous computer and communications revolution. We are at most only 1/5 of the way through it. The second, only now beginning to rise, is the combination of nanotechnology, biology, and
Nanotechnology allows us to “grow” materials by literally adding the right atoms and molecules to one another--a material technology breakthrough that changes the way we build things and how much they weigh.
One example is that nanotechnology makes possible molecular “helpers” which could hunt cancer cells or clean clogged arteries.
The information revolution (computers and communications) impacts this technology in exponential ways, giving us better
capabilities to deal with the nanoworld and with biology. It is the synergistic effect of these three systems together--nanotechnology multiplied by biology multiplied by information--that will lead to an explosion of new knowledge and new capabilities.
Source: Savings Lives and Saving Money, by Newt Gingrich, p.173-177
, Sep 22, 2003
Supports federal investment in space for science & discovery
Space exploration has a proven record of achieving major scientific breakthroughs that directly affect our lives both from the research that takes place in space and the process itself.
Some of the most important research being done anywhere on nanotechnology is carried out by NASA.
Space exploration has also been the most successful vehicle for translating the need to invest in science and discovery to the American people.
It is a visible, tangible, results-oriented program that instills national pride and helps us quickly understand why research is important. There is something magical about space exploration that microscopes and lab coats cannot convey.
The NASA community is aware of how incredibly important it is to continue to push the boundaries of our knowledge and its benefits to our society, starting of course with the astronauts themselves.
Source: Saving Lives and Saving Money, by Newt Gingrich, p.189
, Sep 22, 2003
Statistical adjustment of census begets political adjustment
The Constitution requires the census for apportioning House seats and other offices. And population patterns figure in the formulas for distributing federal money. The Founding Fathers intended that the census should be an actual count of people.
The expression in the Constitution is “actual enumeration.”
It is almost certainly those in poor neighborhoods who get undercounted. The liberal Democrats have been proposing that we eliminate the present system altogether and substitute for it
something they call “statistical adjustment.” Under this system, the census would count only 90% of the people. Then a statistical adjustment would be made to get to 100%. Republicans are committed to what the Constitution says.
A statistical adjustment would be unconstitutional. In addition, we are convinced that “statistical” adjustment will inevitably lead to “political” adjustment. The incentive to corrupt the census adjustment process would be virtually beyond limit.
Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p.136-38
, Jul 2, 1998
Develop US lead in all information-age industries
We must aggressively explore the potential for massive job creation through Third Wave Information Age technologies.
The American motion picture industry, with its use of new technologies and entrepreneurial creativity, is unsurpassed as a world competitor. In some countries 80% of all motion picture dollars go to
American products. In computer software we have a similarly huge lead over our competitors. In computer chips we have regained the lead from Japan and seem to be pulling ahead.
If we develop the same relative lead in biotechnology and health care we will see a massive influx of foreign exchange earnings.
Source: Renew America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 66
, Jul 2, 1996
Television is the wasteland of cynicism
Gingrich is fond of putting himself in the place of the inner-city seven-year-old, a child used to violence, in a home without books, and, in too many cases, an unhappy young mother. The child watches television programs that portray businessmen as evil,
politicians on the take, and policemen taking bribes. (He calls television "the wasteland of cynicism.") "If you're a little kid today who reads too much or speaks English that's too good, you get beaten up."
Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 53
, Jun 1, 1995
Televise Congress: "C-Span is more real than being there"
C-Span, the cable industry's cooperative network, had been televising Congress since the year Gingrich arrived in Washington. Gingrich understood that an overwhelming number of
C-Span viewers were voters. In a memorable line to Atlanta reporters, Gingrich said, "C-Span is more real than being there."
Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p.103
, Jun 1, 1995
Tax credit for inner-city computers: "Let them eat laptops"
Gingrich's appetite for wide-ranging ideas--a sort of political version of "grazing" restaurants that specialize in light plates over sumptuous main courses--has led the intellectual class to dismiss him, despite his doctorate on
European history from Tulane University. One Atlanta columnist was fond of using "loopy" to describe Gingrich's menu of interests and solutions. Even the
Speaker himself is capable of recognizing his scattergun approach. "Maybe it's a nutty idea," he told the House Ways and Means Committee in January
1995, after mentioning that all policy options needed to be up for discussion, including a tax credit for laptop computers for very inner-city child. "Let them eat laptops," replied the opinion writers.
Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 12
, Jun 1, 1995
Co-founded Congressional Space Caucus
When Gingrich went to Congress in 1979, he focused on national defense, foreign policy, and the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars"). Ever the futurist, Gingrich co-founded the Congressional Space Caucus, leading critics to dub him "the congressman
from outer space."
In "Window of Opportunity," Gingrich wrote: "Imagine that the National Security Council had understood that an America which aggressively moved ahead in space would overawe the Russians. Imagine that business and individual leaders
had been far-sighted enough to understand that a space industry would spin off earth-based jobs, using satellite antennas, new medicines, large surfaces and zero-gravity alloys. Finally, imagine a generation of educators who understood that young people
need inspiration to motivate them to learn math and science, and that space was the adventure most likely to produce young Americans anxious to master these technical fields so essential to our survival."
Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 40-41
, Jun 1, 1995
Abolish tax deferral for media sales to minorities
In January, 1995, Republicans in the House moved to strike a 17-year-old preference in broadcast law that allowed station and cable system owners to defer capital gains from the sale of a property if it were sold to minorities. Murdoch's Fox Television
Stations division was trying to sell its WATL-TV in Atlanta to a minority group financed by the Chicago Tribune Company. He stood to defer some $30 million in taxes through the sale. After the House killed the program, an exemption for Murdoch and the
Tribune Company, was inserted in the Senate bill by Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois. Her amendment was approved in a House-Senate conference committee. Gingrich said he was opposed to the amendment and wanted the program abolished altogether, but th
House was powerless to negotiate the one exemption away. President Clinton said he would refuse to veto the bill for much the same reason--it was a sound measure overall.
Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p.200
, Jun 1, 1995
Space exploration solves the world's most pressing problems
1984- Gingrich publishes "Window of Opportunity: A Blueprint for the Future," written with Marianne Gingrich and science fiction writer David Drake.
The book, which lays out Gingrich's philosophy, argues, among other things, that space exploration can solve the world's most pressing problems. At the time of publication, Gingrich is chairman of the Congressional Space Caucus.
1989- Gingrich is the subject of a House Ethics Committee probe. The 10- count complaint charged that
Gingrich violated House rules on outside gifts and income by benefiting from two partnerships that helped finance two books--an unfinished novel and "Window of Opportunity."
Source: Quotations from Speaker Newt, by A&P Bernstein, p.xviii-xx
, Jan 1, 1995
Space mirrors could uncover criminals lurking in darkness
A mirror system in space could provide the light equivalent of many full moons so that there would be no need for nighttime lighting of the highways. Ambient light covering entire areas could reduce the current danger of criminals lurking in darkness.
--Newt's book "Window of Opportunity"
Source: Quotations from Speaker Newt, by A.&P. Bernstein, p.100
, Jan 1, 1995
Other candidates on Technology:
Newt Gingrich on other issues:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)
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