By Newt Gingrich
Last week, I invited you to a briefing on returning government from the world that fails to the world that works.
Just hours ago, we finished that briefing at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. More than 100 people interested in solutions joined me in person, and thousands more participated online over the course of the six hours.
The success of today's briefing on how to bring our government from the "world that fails" to the "world that works" demonstrated that people are rejecting the politic of Red vs. Blue and expressing interest in Red, White and Blue solutions.
We Can Have Government that Works -- We've Had It Before
One of the topics we discussed at the briefing was the fact that we've had government that works before -- America has had government that reflects the American people's values of innovation, hard work and achievement.
Compare and contrast:
Today, it has been almost six years since the attacks of 9/11, and we still haven't realistically confronted the threat posed by the irreconcilable wing of Islam. In comparison, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it took us less then four years to defeat Italy, Germany and Japan. In less than four years, we built a two-ocean navy, put 15,500,000 men and women in uniform, produced more than 50,000 aircraft a year (and more than 100,000 armored vehicles in 1944 alone) and built the most expensive project, the B-29, and the second most expensive project, the atomic bomb.
Today, NASA has a plan to take 30 years to get to Mars while spending hundreds of billions of dollars. In comparison, it took precisely 6 years, 10 months and 8 days from President John F. Kennedy's first commitment to go to the Moon to the first landing
Today, building a fifth runway at the Atlanta Airport took 23 years. In comparison, in 1931, the Empire State Building took 1 year, 3 months and 9 days from groundbreaking to completion
Ten Steps to Restoring Innovation, Accountability and Effectiveness to Our Government
So how do we get from here to there? From the world that fails to the world that works? At yesterday's briefing, we discussed 10 steps. Here is just a sampling of the 10. For the complete list, visit Americansolutions.com.
* Step No. 1 -- Invest in Technology: A huge majority -- 89% -- of the American people agree that there will be four to seven times more scientific discovery over the next 100 years than in the past 100 years. This explosion in scientific and technical knowledge will open up incredible possibilities to meet our country's challenges. To move to the world that works, our government needs to invest in information technology and reshape its systems to meet modern opportunities.
* Step No. 2 -- Right to Know Price and Quality: Think about all the information you have when you buy a car or an airplane ticket. Shouldn't you have at least as much knowledge of price and quality before you decide where to buy a prescription drug, where to have heart surgery or where to send your kids to school? Returning to the world that works means developing a market-oriented system that gives the customer the right to know price and quality before making a decision.
* Step No. 3 -- Incentives and Consequences: In the Detroit public school system, only 21% of the entering freshman graduate on time -- four out of five students are being cheated by one of the most expensive public school bureaucracies. But from the standpoint of the bureaucracy, the system works just fine, because their most important metric is whether they get paid on time. Changing this requires that we create real incentives and real rewards and consequences so people know what to focus on achieving.
* Step No. 4 -- Freedom to Create: Forty years ago, Ireland was much poorer than Germany. But after a generation of cutting taxes, reforming education, investing in infrastructure and reshaping its government to be friendly to foreign investment, Ireland is wealthier per capita than Germany. Creating the same dynamic growth for the American economy means creating the freedom for entrepreneurs to experiment and work (and at times fail) in order to create new solutions, new products and new services.
Stay Tuned For More at the Ames, Iowa, Republican Gathering August 11
The next step for the American Solutions movement is to bring the same spirit of collaborative solutions for our most pressing national challenges to the Iowa Star Poll in Ames on August 11.
At Ames, American Solutions will host a series of workshops led by experienced leaders in various fields. The following is the list of workshops as of today. But don't forget to check in to Americansolutions.com to find out what out topics will be covered:
* Green Conservatism & Biodiversity, led by Dr. Terry Maple: How incentives in science, entrepreneurship and markets can provide a greener and more bio-diverse future than regulation, litigation, big government and high taxes.
* A 21st Century Social Security System for Young Americans, led by Students for Saving Social Security: How the power of compound interest and rising prosperity can be harnessed to give younger Americans a better deal in Social Security by creating an option to have a personal Social Security savings account and realize three or four times as much in savings than is possible from the current system.
* Finding a Cure for Alzheimer's, led by Robert Egge: How the coming explosion in new scientific knowledge can be harnessed to solve one of America's most painful health challenges.
* Fair Tax, led by Neal Boortz: A dynamic proposal to boldly simplify the tax system and increase economic growth.
* Enforce the Law Now, led by [TBD]: A positive solution to controlling the border and controlling illegal immigration.
* America's Energy Future, led by Curt Stamp: Steps toward a new energy strategy that will improve the economy, the environment and national security.
'We have two choices: We can find a way to be reasonable and surrender, or we can defeat them'
In other news this week, I spoke to the Christians United for Israel's second annual Night to Honor Israel. The topic was Israel and America's national security. My message was strong, but it's one that our elites, in particular, need to hear.
I will conclude today with a portion of my remarks.
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We are in a global conflict with a force which wants to destroy us. I'll just give you one example, because our enemies and many of our would-be friends who just don't understand, always somehow bring it back to Israel...
If there is a civil war in Algeria and 100,000 Muslims are killed, it must be because of Israel.
If there are young girls walking to school killed by the Taliban for the purpose of terrorizing them from going, it must be because of Israel.
If there are six medical doctors living in Great Britain working for the National Health Service plotting terrorist attacks, they must be deranged because of Israel.
If there are six terrorists in New Jersey, it's probably because they once saw a map of Israel. Whatever happens on the planet, it can't be for the real reason because the real reason is too terrifying.
The fact is, the irreconcilable wing of Islam is quite clear: They want to kill Salmon Rushdie because he expressed free speech. They killed a television producer in Holland because he expressed free speech. They drove a Somali Dutch parliamentarian out of Holland because she expressed free speech.
If they were in charge tonight, not a single woman would be in this room. So let's be clear:
We have two choices: We can find a way to be reasonable and surrender, or we can defeat them.
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