By Hiram Reisner
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday the short-term answer to America's economic woes is to immediately pass an energy bill to reduce dependence on foreign oil and repeal regulatory legislation that has a stranglehold on the nation's banks and housing market.
"The fastest way would be to have the Congress come back in, immediately pass an American energy bill liberating the oil, gas, natural gas and [allow] others to go out and find energy overnight," Gingrich told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. "In western Pennsylvania, where they're doing that, they've created thousands and thousands of new jobs in the last two years.
"Second, repeal the Dodd-Frank bill -- you could do it in one day in the House and two or three days in the Senate -- you would liberate every small bank in America," he said. "You'd raise the price of housing overnight. You would give every small business a sense of hope. It's a 2,300-page monstrosity that does to financial services what Obamacare does to healthcare.
"Third, I think you have to look at a serious tax program fundamentally different than Washington thinks about. We ought to go to zero capital gains, which would attract hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in the U.S.," Gingrich continued. "We ought to go to a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate, which ironically, would get General Electric to pay more taxes than they pay at the higher 35 percent."
The presidential candidate also said the tax code should allow for 100 percent expensing, so that companies could write off all new equipment, including farmers who could write off all new equipment in one year.
Van Susteren asked whether the nation's economic quagmire is a result of President Barack Obama's policies or "Democratic ideology."
"Well, I think it's partly both," Gingrich said. "If you go back to when I was speaker, it's fair to say that Bill Clinton was dramatically more realistic and substantially more moderate than President Obama is. Clinton had, after all, governed in Arkansas. He spent 12 years as a governor working with a conservative state legislature. He had campaigned, founding the Democratic Leadership Council, to move the party to the center.
"So, I do think a lot of this is Obama -- but also the people around him -- almost all of his appointees are very radical, anti-business, believers in bureaucratic socialism," he continued. "Whether it is the National Labor Relations Board attacking Boeing in South Carolina, or it is the Environmental Protection Agency trying to control the whole economy, or it is the Food and Drug Administration crippling the development of new medicines and new solutions."