Newt Gingrich led off an early-morning campaign stop at Rivier College by poking at the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, better known as the congressional Super Committee, calling its failure to reach some common ground "good for America," and explained why he believes Washington, D.C., gridlock is to blame.
More to the point, however, was how that historical gridlock was the thing that pushed Gingrich toward a run for the presidency, he said, including his urge to bypass political inertia with innovation.
"I got so frustrated during my 12 years as a private citizen trying to explain to people what Reagan had done, what Thatcher had done, what I had done, and just hitting a blank wall, so I decided it was worth skipping the elites in Washington who seem impervious to new ideas, and going to the American people, who seemed very open to pragmatically trying to figure out how to solve this," Gingrich said.
He described three possible futures for America, as he sees them.
"The first future is a fantasy that avoids reality until the whole system collapses – think of it as the Greek future," Gingrich said. "Essentially it's the president's strategy. Sort of the 16 year old with a first credit card theory of life; in the end it collapses, but in the short run, it feels good."
The second reality is one Gingrich said the "Washington establishment" believes in, which is pain and austerity – "for everybody, except Washington," a strategy Gingrich said he doesn't believe in, "because it doesn't work."
A third path, according to Gingrich – one which is never developed in Washington – is innovation and growth.
"It's the path America has followed for almost all of American history, it's doing new things differently, it's finding better outcomes," Gingrich said. "The answer to the stage coach turned out not to be better horses or better axle grease. It turned out to be the automobile. No government committee studying stage coach improvement could've come up with automobiles."
The topic of innovation led Gingrich to foreshadow his plan to introduce later today a proposal for a personal Social Security savings plan for young people , which he promised would have staggering positive implications for savings, not only to the federal governemnt but for private citizens.
"I'm outlining later on today a proposal for a personal Social Security savings account for young people, it would be voluntary choice. Keep the current system if you want to, or go the savings account model, and the best estimates are somewhere between 90 and 100 percent will voluntarily pick the savings account model," Gingrich said.
He pointed to a similar plan in place in Texas in which they get twice the rate of return currently gained with Social Security.
Gingrich said this approach is important to consider, given President Obama's threat over the summer to shut down the government and forego making Social Security payments.
The side effect to such savings plans would be "huge economic growth," with surplus and capital to invest, Gingrich said.
"Notice I just described a totally different world, and a world, by the way, that none of the Washington bureaucracies can score, because they're all socialists and none of them have any type of free market model."
Gingrich is currently polling in a statistical dead heat with Mitt Romney for front-runner status here in New Hampshire in the GOP race, according to one recent poll. Romney happened to be speaking about three miles away Monday morning, at BAE Systems, a major manufacturer and supplier of military systems, while Gingrich was speaking at Rivier.