John Ransom

One of the most disappointing things about the last three decades of American government are the opportunities that politicians have missed to set the country back on the path of prosperity and fiscal sanity.

We’ve had a lot of opportunities, but fumbled the chance in the same type of skirmishing that went on in the Super Committee, which is the same type of skirmishing we got with the debt ceiling, which is the same type…you get the idea.   

Now, in a form of poetic justice that shows that God has a sense of humor and a long memory, the GOP just may be given back that moment of opportunity in 1994 when the Contract with America propelled the House to a Republican majority for the first time in 40 years; back to a time when freshman congressmen pledged self-imposed term-limits; before a time when many of those same congressmen took back that pledge- and many other pledges.

And while the Contract was a collaborative effort, no name was more strongly attached to it than current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s.

The Contract was a document that captured the imagination of the believers in limited government and self-reliance and capital markets. It told us the American people had an advocate who took small government seriously. The Contract still is a powerful image in the minds of small government, free market conservatives.    

And that is why I would relish a Newt Gingrich presidency as a chance at redeeming that lost opportunity.

The Contract contained provisions that would have included a balanced budget amendment, term limits for Congress, tort reform, the elimination of legislation by regulation- made practically an art form by our current administration.

In fact, I think it’s safe to say that had the Contract with America been fully implemented we would have not faced decades of boom and bust policies emanating from the federal government. At the very least, we certainly would not be facing the super deficits, the spiraling economic crisis, out-of-control federal spending and un-helpful entanglements with the UN had we heeded the advice of then House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Like Winston Churchill, who spent much of two decades in the political wilderness because he wanted to be right rather than powerful, Gingrich has proven to be prescient when it comes to what kills our economy.

This week Gingrich released major details of his new contract called a 21st Century Contract with America.

John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance, host of Ransom Notes Radio and you can catch more of the best money advice and monetary commentary by him daily 10am PT, 1pm ET at or on Comcast Cable