Mr. Fiscal Responsibility

Remember how Newt Gingrich so reverently and so often spoke about the need to be a good steward of the public’s money? Odd but the principle of fiscal sanity doesn’t seem to apply to Mr. Gingrich himself. Of late it’s come to the fore that Newt Gingrich is costing the American taxpayer $40 Thousand dollars a day for Secret Service protection according to Liz Marlantes of the Christian Science Monitor, who appeared on this morning’s Chris Matthews Show.
 
Gingrich, who’s campaign for the Republican nomination is effectively over, a fact that’s obvious to everyone save Newt himself, has now come under fire from tax activist groups as well who can’t help but point out the fiscal irresponsibility of Gingrich’s continued use of Secret Service protection: “For a guy who for all intents and purpose, and isn’t doing a lot of campaigning, needs to suspend his Secret Service detail,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance in Alexandria, Va. “He needs to do what’s right for the taxpayer and say, ‘I’m done with Secret Service protection…Gingrich has the “Camp David” package of Secret Service, which includes but is not limited to six cars, six federal agents, four state troopers at a campaign stop, four local agents when the candidate arrives and a press agent if there is a press bus, a person with knowledge of the Gingrich campaign said. Although the cost to keep the Secret Service detail on the Gingrich campaign couldn’t be determined, it includes agents’ meals, hotel stays, transportation and salary. The person with knowledge of the Secret Service and the campaign said Gingrich’s protection might be helping him stay in race because the cost is borne by taxpayers.” What that last sentence means is that there are numerous and sundry expenses that the Gingrich campaign need not lay out due to being protected by the Secret Service. These outlays would include costs related to: vehicular transport, drivers, gas, advance staff to prepare the next campaign stop for the candidates arrival as well as private security for the candidate which costs $50 thousand dollars a month. Thus in effect taxpayer money flowing into the Gingrich campaign via the Secret Service is in a large part keeping this moribund effort alive and sputtering forward all on your dime.
 
But its not just the American taxpayer who’s getting stiffed by Newt Gingrich, its many a small business owner as well. Now isn’t that odd, that Gingrich, who has so often extolled on the virtues and importance of small business would have no problem leaving these same people holding the bag as a result of his failure to pay bills for services rendered? Quoting Dan Eggen of the Washington Post ” Newt Gingrich, whose quixotic presidential bid has been dogged by financial problems, racked up nearly $3 million in new debt for private jet flights, security consultants and travel costs in March even as his campaign teetered on the edge of collapse, according to new disclosures. The former House speaker entered April with $4.3 million in total debt, up from $1.5 million the month before, according to reports filed late Friday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)…The disclosures outline what has become a typical scenario for Gingrich in his topsy-turvy, year-long campaign for the White House, which nearly imploded last summer amid runaway spending and staff defections. Financial problems also have swallowed the private consulting empire he built after leaving the House in the late 1990s, including a private health-care think tank that filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.” So not only has Gingrich shortchanged a number of private business, he’s also destroyed much of his own business enterprise as well. As such I think its safe to say that its a God send that this political charlatan isn’t about to secure the Republican nomination for president, least he be elected president. Based on this self inflicted personal financial debacle can you just imagine what kind of damage he might wreck on the nation as a whole? One things been proven out by Gingrich’s latest political misadventure and that is that he’s no fiscal Einstein.
 
In the final analysis this latest Gingrich denouement is but a sad commentary on the politics of ego and vanity as well as the poisonous effect of Citizens United which allowed a single contributor, Sheldon Adelson, to fuel the egotistical drive of a man who was easily the most unsavory candidate, in terms of ethical and marital trespasses, of the entire Republican field. Perhaps Newt Gingrich should take some of his speeches on fiscal responsibility, stand before a mirror, and reread his own words while periodically looking into that mirror so as to come to terms with his own hypocrisy. I think its fair to say that Mr. Gingrich’s rare second act in American Politics is at an end, save for his next cable news gig. Such is the pathos of ego, vanity and ill conceived fiscal folly.
 
Steven J. Gulitti 
 
4/22/12
 
 
Sources:
 
 
Gingrich Urged to End Secret Service Detail at Taxpayer Expense; http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/04/gingrich-urged-to-end-secret-service-detail-at-taxpayer-expense/
 
Newt Gingrich goes deeper in debt as campaign disintegrates; http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/22/politics/newt-gingrich-goes-deeper-in-debt-as-campaign-disintegrates/



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