Speaking before a group of grey-uniformed make-believe Confederate soldiers at a Civil War battle reenactment, Newt Gingrich called today for the reinstatement of slavery.
"Really poor people in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and nobody around who works," said Gingrich. Tying a few of them to a post and giving them 20 lashes with a cat-of-nine-tails would surely cure them and their neighbors of such laziness, suggested Gingrich.
According to Gingrich, not only could the new slaves clean toilets at public facilities like schools, prisons, and the Senate Office Building, saving money by eliminating union janitors, as well as old-fashioned "job-killing" regulations like minimum wage and maximum hours laws. They could also pick crops, taking jobs from illegal immigrants who, without work, would have no choice but to return to Mexico.
And in a tip to his 21st century thinking, Gingrich also suggested a string of high-tech call centers manned by slaves working from modern igloos on the Alaskan tundra, bringing jobs back to America from India and Pakistan. "This is not about North vs. South," said Gingrich. "There's plenty of work for slaves in every state of the union."
The slaves would be fed a balanced diet of two meals a day from all the major food groups including chicken fat for protein, high fructose corn syrup for fruit, and ketchup for vegetables, said Gingrich.
Gingrich's program would also set up private retirement accounts for the slaves, funded by mandatory payments of $.25 an hour and invested by Wall Street managers in a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds. When a slave built up an account of at least $100,000, the slave could buy his or her freedom.
Asked by one reporter whether his plan represented a "dog whistle" to racists, Gingrich responded that his slavery program would be mandatory for all Americans who had exhausted their unemployment benefits, regardless of race, color or creed. "Black, white, yellow, or brown, all Americans would have an equal opportunity to become slaves," declared Gingrich.