Newt’s very real conservative record

How easily his great and solid conservative achievements are forgotten.

That’s the subheadline to this great piece at the American Spectator. Here’s some choice quotes:

The strategy and content of his 1994 Contract with America propelled the Republicans to a 54-seat gain in 1994 to win control of the House of Representatives, which had been held by the Republicans for only two out of the previous 62 years. Even the Reagan Revolution in the 1980s failed to achieve that…

Moreover, once in power, Gingrich delivered on his promises, and maintained a solid conservative record. He carried out the Contract with America in full, holding a vote on every item as promised, most of which did pass (which was not promised). His record was unswervingly pro-life, pro-gun and Second Amendment, and anti-tax. Indeed, he worked closely with the conservative activist groups on every one of these issues…

In the government shutdown budget battles with Clinton, Gingrich won the substance, as Gingrich demonstrated the only way to balance the budget, with Reagan’s supply-side economics. That involved both cutting taxes, to get the economy booming, and cutting spending, resulting in the longest period of federal surpluses since the 1920s…

Total federal spending relative to GDP declined from 1995 to 2000 by an astounding 12.5 percent, a reduction in the federal government relative to the economy of about one-eighth in just five short years. This was accomplished not just by reducing discretionary spending, but through fundamental structural reforms of some programs, such as the old AFDC entitlement program. The Gingrich Congress succeeded in block granting that program back to the states, after two vetoes from Clinton. After 10 years, the taxpayers saved 50 percent on the costs of that program, while the poor formerly on the program gained by going to work, with poverty among them plummeting. That is a model for future entitlement reform….

These spending cuts were accomplished not with a deal with the Democrats to raise taxes, but with pro-growth cuts in tax rates. Gingrich led enactment of a capital gains tax rate cut of nearly 30 percent in 1997, from 28 percent down to 20 percent, which was the largest capital gains cut in American history. Despite that cut, actual capital gains revenues soared $84 billion higher for 1997 to 2000 than projected before the rate cut. The Republican Congress also expanded IRAs, and adopted other tax cuts on capital…

If conservatives and supply-siders do not rally around Gingrich now, and allow the Bush crowd to win with Romney, Reaganism will have been routed out of the Republican Party.

Much, much more here.