In a series of CBS Evening News reports Monday night on how the top Republican presidential contenders plan to reduce the deficit, reporter Dean Reynolds pleaded to Newt Gingrich: 'Absolutely no tax increases?'
Reynolds proceeded to note 'critics are doubtful' about the impact of Gingrich's plans to reduce regulations and cut federal spending: 'They say that fewer regulations could spur some productivity, but they also say that to really reduce the deficit you would have to include some combination of spending cuts and tax increases.'
From Reynolds in Des Moines on the Monday, January 2 CBS Evening News:
DEAN REYNOLDS: Scott, Newt Gingrich would cut the deficit primarily be unleashing and modernizing the U.S. economy.
REYNOLDS TO GINGRICH: Mr. Speaker, what's your plan to reduce the federal deficit?
NEWT GINGRICH: To first create dramatic economic growth to put people back to work because that's the biggest single step toward balancing the budget.
REYNOLDS: Gingrich would also press for a balanced budget amendment, expand energy production, return some financial power to the states – giving governors more control over Medicaid, for example, modernize and shrink government, doing away with the Energy department, reforming the EPA and privatizing much of the housing department's holdings.
REYNOLDS TO GINGRICH: Absolutely no tax increases?
GINGRICH: None. The problem in the United States is not that we're over-taxed, it's that we're over-spent.
REYNOLDS: What about the theory that says austerity in a time of a sputtering economy is the wrong way to go.
GINGRICH: I agree with that. My goal is to create massive economic growth. You can't sustain austerity in a free society. People fire you. They won't take the pain. They're not going to voluntarily let elected officials cause pain.
REYNOLDS: The economic growth and prosperity he envisions would, he says, remove any pain from spending cuts. But critics are doubtful about that, Scott. They say that fewer regulations could spur some productivity, but they also say that to really reduce the deficit you would have to include some combination of spending cuts and tax increases.