Blogging the Future Wisconsin Conference, pt 4
Newt is Nice

Congressman Tom Petri is up now. He's talking about Newt Gingrich, but I'm not quite sure why. It's awful when you know the speaker, and know he's done things, but you're not sure why precisely he's talking. "Think outside the box," he says.

Gingrich did it in proposing to use federal money to screen for diabetes.

Student loan programs could be made better if some politicians would think outside of the box. Certain student loans use a program that is a partnership with the private sector - but! He says that this program uses taxpayer money to guarantee that the banks will get their money back. So it's a corporate scam, he says, and President Bush is out to fix it. More thinking outside the box.

Now, what he's up to. He praises the federal ban on partial birth abortion. Tort reform is on the way too, he says. And bankruptcy reform! He manages to sound absolutely blase about these things that he keeps saying are important. Now something about the highway funding bill. He says the biggest failure has been the rising deficit. Applause. But it isn't due to tax cuts! The war on terror and the economic slowdown cost money, but President Bush has a plan to cut spending, and with economic growth, he says we can recover without abandoning tax cuts.