Newt Gingrich gives U.S. debt advice despite owing $4.6 million: 'I know what it takes'
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaking at CPAC FL in Orlando, Florida. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) penned an editorial for the Daily Mail on Friday advising the federal government how to get the national debt under control and balance the budget — despite still owing $4.6 million from his own 2012 presidential campaign.

"The nation is currently $31.4 trillion in the red," wrote Gingrich. "Astonishingly, by 2025, interest on the debt may be a larger budget item than the entire U.S. Department of Defense. In the 2022 fiscal year, $475 billion was consumed by interest payments. That's nearly as much as the $677 billion spent on education and more than is spent on veterans' benefits and transportation — combined. A balanced budget — the novel concept of not spending more than is collected in revenue – can save the nation from this fiscal insanity."

"But it won't be easy to get there," he added. "I know what it takes."

Gingrich was Speaker during the only period of the last 40 years when the U.S. government balanced the budget. However, strong economic growth and tax increases on the wealthy that Republicans had opposed were integral to those budget surpluses, not simply the spending cuts that Gingrich and his associates demanded.

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The former Speaker also boasted about how he shut down the government twice to get his desired cuts passed. "We had to convince [Then President Bill] Clinton that we were serious in our insistence on a real balanced budget. So, we closed the government – twice," wrote Gingrich. In fact, Gingrich shut down the government partly to punish Clinton for seating him in the back of Air Force One — and the two combined shutdowns actually cost the government $1.4 billion.

Gingrich has not succeeded in managing his own campaign debt.

According to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, his old campaign committee still owes $4.63 million from his failed presidential campaign in 2012, with more than 50 creditors listed, including Gingrich himself.

Among the others: Twitter, Comcast, FedEx and and a consulting company run by another former Republican presidential candidate — Herman Cain, who died in 2020 of COVID-19.