Gingrich unveils plan to change entitlement programs
November 21st, 2011
07:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich unveils plan to change entitlement programs

(CNN) - Republican presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich unveiled his plan to reform what he calls the "welfare empire" and make major overhauls to social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

"There are 185 federal programs that are income-related, that is, that are you know are supposedly helping the poor," Gingrich said St. Anselm College in Manchester. "185. Those programs collectively spend so much money that if you just gave it to the poor, there would be no poor left in America."

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.

The former House Speaker has surged to the top of the GOP race in recent months. A new CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday shows him at the top with 24% of support among likely Republican voters, with Romney following behind at 20%. The margin is within the sampling error.

In his so-called "Growth and Innovation" plan, Gingrich would give Americans the option to invest in personal savings accounts, citing similar models used in Galveston, Texas and Chile as examples.

Gingrich said the current system gives politicians too much power over people's money, arguing his idea of private accounts would take out the middleman and yield higher returns.

"Maybe it's not that Social Security is out of money, the politicians are out of ideas," he said.

Gingrich would also shift all federal-means tested welfare programs back to the states, which he said would "help millions move from dependency to prosperity while saving taxpayer[s] trillions."

As for Medicare, Gingrich wants to propose new private insurance options with a regular "premium support" payment.

"Unleashing competition will dramatically increase options for American seniors, while also lowering costs," he said.

- CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Social Security
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Good thing Newt has already received his millions of dollars for lobbying and representing the businesses that have caused the economic meltdown. 85 ethics violations was never enough for Newt.

    November 21, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Russ

    Gee his health care plan almost sounds like "Obamacare". But he says if we gave all of the welfare money to the poor we wouldn't have any poor people. Well, you idiot we do give it to the poor and we have more now that ever before. Dah!!! Of course this is easy for him and his buddies to say because they are rich. I'd be willing to bet after this release of his revelation on welfare programs, Newt start a fast a furious fall from the top. Even his own supporters don't want SS and Medicare messed with. Way to go fig newton.

    November 21, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. David

    Just another example of privatizing profit and either socilized losses or force seniors to live on the streets when the private companies make bad investments or the economy hits a bump beyond anyones control, stupid.

    November 21, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. jack

    it would seem that the newt has been under a rock since being thrown out of office. All his ideas are old news, and his conclusions are absurd. Go ask galveston how they like it recently. Unlike SS retirement payouts are not adjeusted for inflation and can in fact be cut back as is trying to be done in galveston.

    November 21, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Slightly Left of Center

    You want to overhaul the real "welfare empire"? START WITH POLITICIANS!!!
    They are the greediest recipients of our tax dollars.

    November 21, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. C.T.

    Newt's idea of private accounts would take out the middleman and yield higher returns. Yeh sure, just like Bernie Madoff did. Privatize, privatize, privatize. = Let the foxes into the hen house.

    November 21, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. JP

    Bush like talk, empty and hollow. Try something different Newt.

    November 21, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. lgny

    Personal accounts for Social Security... How is that different from IRAs and 401Ks? Both place all the risk on the individual. How many of you lost substantial retirement value when the markets collapsed in 2008?

    Give Medicaid et al. to the states... How does that save money since it's just pushing the costs to another unit of govt. It only saves when cheap states choose to cut benefits, encouraging their poor to move to other states.

    Privatize Medicare... At present, Medicare is NOT more expensive than private health insurance for comparable services - indeed, in may instances they are cheaper. How will private insurance companies cut costs enough to justify their increased operating overhead without slashing customer care?

    These are all the standard quick fixes for the political trail without any innovation.

    November 21, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. w l jones

    Some people in this country been on welfare for around two hundred fifty years if you know what I mean...before just now beginning to try dismantle it. Enough said.

    November 21, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. mk1

    I hope everyone remembers that Republicans like to talk about the Civil War as being all about states rights, not slavery. We put all these programs back into the states hands and what will we have, a country where it will be even deadlier to be poor than it is already, not more opportunity, far and away less. States can not afford programs available today let alone hand all these others back to them. I trust state governments far less than the federal as the federal has, or should have the nation as a whole at it's center, not each individual state. This idea of giving control back to the states has long been a Republican dream, just like privatization of SS. Really really bad for the country but really good for the wealthy and powerful.

    November 21, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  11. Noodle Nose Johnson

    In other words, he'll demolish the social safety net to give Wall Street more of our money to play with.

    November 21, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. FIELD1stSGT

    Ginrich is absolutely right. After you take care of the livlyhood of the Illegals and the non-working class that sponge off Human resources and have for years they are breaking America. They are the ones who keep yelling tax the rich. WHY? I don't know for in no way does the taxes affect them except to pay for their well being. There should be a flat tax across the board according to ones earnings or welfare with none being returned by the IRS. In fact do away with the IRS. There is no need except for a small crew to insure no one cheats on what their taxes are. No returns. This would wipe out our debt in ten years. Get rid of Obama first for he is a destroyer not a builder for the good of America.

    November 21, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. WesinNCA

    Sounds like socialism to me....Where is the outrage????

    November 21, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. Amunaka

    Newt...give it up you're only in it for the money....

    November 21, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. gt

    newt will never make it as president.... but he has more ideas and answer to the problems this country has bad his morale failures will doom his chances... .

    November 21, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  16. 1crusader

    Privatizing Social Security and Medicare are horrible ideas.Comparing what will work for Galveston, Texas and the country of Chile to what would for the 50 states of the U.S. is nuts.

    November 21, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. Howard

    1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    November 21, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    How many different ways can they package the same old crap?

    November 21, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |