Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul Flub America's Post-WWII Economic History
January 20, 2012
There was a revealing moment in Thursday night's GOP debate in Charleston, S.C.
Rep. Ron Paul dilated on the problems of reintegrating veterans into a postwar economy:
[W]e have to think about how serious our problems are here, because we faced something much, much greater after World War II. We had 10 million came home, all at once. [W]hat did we do then? There were some of the liberals back then that said: Oh, we have to have more work programs, and do this and that. And they thought they would have to, you know, do everything conceivable for those 10 million. They never got around to it, because they came home so quickly.
But you know what the government did? They cut the budget by 60 percent. They cut taxes by 30 percent. By that time, the debt had been liquidated, and everybody went back to work again and you didn't need any special programs.
Tax cuts and budget cuts. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Gov. Mitt Romney followed Paul. Santorum took an appalling cheap shot when he claimed that President Obama wants to cut benefits for veterans. Romney offered up federalist platitudes about helping veterans more effectively at the state level.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as is his wont, piped up to correct "Congressman Paul's history":
The U.S. government did two dramatic things after World War II. They created a G.I. Bill which enabled literally millions of returning veterans to go to college for the very first time... The second thing they did is, they dramatically cut taxes, and the economy took off and grew dramatically, and it absorbed the workforce.
While he was the only candidate to recall the G.I. Bill, Gingrich was only marginally better informed than his rivals as he quickly fell back on recitations of the supply-side catechism.
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