By Natalie Johnson
Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that he would like to “turn the Pentagon into a triangle.”
“I always tell people I’m a hawk,” Gingrich said. “But I’m a cheap hawk.”
Gingrich honored the 20th anniversary of his “Contract with America” by pointing conservatives back to a key point in his Republican blueprint, arguing that federal bureaucracy cannot simply be “fixed” but must be overhauled and replaced.
The Pentagon, Gingrich stressed, must be included in this overhaul.
“I always tell people I’m a hawk,” Newt Gingrich said. “But I’m a cheap hawk.”
“You have 23,000 people working in a building built in the middle of World War II using paper-based bureaucratic models,” he said. “Now, if we’re going to be tough-minded about government bureaucracy, why wouldn’t we be tough-minded about the Pentagon?”
To Gingrich, this “paper-based” bureaucracy creates too many levels of hierarchy, slows the process down and increases the overall cost of running the Pentagon. His solution is to cut this bureaucracy down and appropriate the saved money to combat troops and combat equipment, thus transforming the Pentagon into a “triangle.”
Gingrich claimed bureaucratic restructure is but one measure that would reveal Republicans as the “party of the future” while exposing Democrats as a breath of the past.
“How do we rethink human activities to maximize the power of the individual and to profoundly replace the current structure?” Gingrich asked, claiming that the bureaucracies often championed by the left work against human progress.
“Modern bureaucratic structures were invented around the same time as the manual typewriter,” Gingrich said. “So when people say to you we’re going to reform [bureaucracy], what they mean is that you’re going to have a slightly better manual typewriter.”
Gingrich blames the current bureaucratic system for this, saying that is stifles progress and hinders people from thinking about the “scale of change” that would occur through modern technology.
“Historic change requires historic effort,” he said. “The only way to sustain historic effort is cheerful persistence.”