Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced a "21st Century Contract With America" Thursday in Iowa, as his campaign runs low on cash, is struggling to get air time and traction in the polls. The plan is a play on his 1994 "Contract With America" that he and House Republicans introduced during their ultimately successful campaign to retake the lower chamber after forty years of Democratic control. He told the Des Moines Register last week that the plan would "fundamentally change the trajectory of America," and would take eight years in office to accomplish.
The plan would partially privatize Social Security and Medicare. It would repeal President Obama's health care law and offer seniors the option of selecting private health insurance with premium support for Medicare. When Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) proposed the same voucher plan for all seniors, Gingrich called it "social engineering." He later apologized to Ryan after strong pushback from Republicans, including one Iowa voter who took him aside in a hall in front of television cameras.
Younger workers would have the option of putting part of their earnings into "personal savings accounts."
He would also, "if necessary," move half of the "bureaucrats," or up to 11,500 people, at the Department of Homeland Security to border states.
Number eight in his ten-point plan is titled "Diseases of the Brain," in which Gingrich pledges to "[i]nvest in brain science to help people who struggle with Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s and mental health trouble."
The contract comes at a time when the Gingrich campaign is struggling. The campaign is said to be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. His political operation, American Solutions, has gone under. He travels coach. A mid-September USA Today/Gallup poll showed him tied with Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann, with five percent of the Republican primary vote nationally.
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