Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Strong economic growth is good, it makes people better off both today and tomorrow. An increase in prosperity today boosts optimism about future prospects. The current administration’s prescription for economic growth is putting more government money into the economy, and reaching into industry (insurance, banking, car manufacturers, credit card companies, and healthcare), in an attempt to boost economic activity and control the economy.

The overarching message is this: that average, everyday people are not able to make wise decisions about what is best for them, so let’s create more government structure and regulations and make decisions for them. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said in an interview with Charlie Gibson regarding the budget that in the first 100 days the administration "began to put the foundation down to altering it fundamentally.” The new foundation is broad intervention.

How does the administration propose to pay for such broad intervention? By taking. Taking through increased taxes (one of the proposed funding strategies for Obama’s healthcare plan would be to tax people who currently have health benefits to pay for benefits for those people who do not), and taking from the future by increasing publicly held debt. Obama’s budget more than doubles the debt, from $10 trillion (in 2008 dollars) to $23 trillion in 2019.

But he’s wrong. Instead of figuring out how to take from others through taxes and debt, we should be figuring out how to make. We should encourage people to figure out how to start new businesses, create new products and provide services to others. People-driven advances, not government-driven.

What’s going to happen if our country moves down this path of taking - not making? People who were formerly hardworking and self-reliant will become soft, complaining, indolent. The economy will suffer, as will our people. Just look at Britain in the 1970’s.

It’s not just about economic growth – it’s about how it is achieved. Do we want our children to dream of working hard and being successful – or of finding the right way to tax, take or borrow from others? In my new book, “5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours,” written with my father Newt Gingrich, Principle 2 is “Work Hard.” My life has created an appreciation of the value of hard work.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.