Newt Gingrich, Former House Speaker

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, April 29, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: He won the war over there. Is he about to lose the tax war over here? For a president whose party controls both the House and the Senate, it is an unusual predicament. But how unusual and how worrisome? Let’s ask a guy who knows. He used to run one of those bodies, the house speaker and now Fox News contributor, Newt Gingrich.

Newt, good to have you.

NEWT GINGRICH, FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER: It’s good to be with you.

CAVUTO: You know, Newt, I always get back to this issue. The president controls both houses of Congress, why are were we fighting so hard for this?

GINGRICH: Well, the president doesn’t control both houses. They are independently elected by the people of their states and their districts. The Congress is a very proud co-equal branch that actually comes first in the Constitution, not the presidency. And members of the House and Senate take very seriously their responsibilities and are willing to exercise independent judgment, even if they’re trying to be...

CAVUTO: Well, they are already taking that judgment, Newt. And they are ratcheting down this tax cut. Are you worried that they are going to ratchet it away?

GINGRICH: No, look, the first thing to remember is that politics is a stunningly dynamic game. It’s not a Polaroid picture. So the president paid a lot of attention for several months to foreign policy. He made sure that we won a war decisively, historically fast, with minimum American casualties. He created the environment, as you were talking about a minute ago, for oil to come out of Iraq to drive down oil prices. The war uncertainty is over, and now the president has begun this last week to turn his attention to domestic policy and to argue his case. And think of the case he is going to make: President George W. Bush is for creating more jobs. He went to Ohio to say that it will be good for more people in Ohio to be at work. Now, the other side doesn’t actually have an answer. Some of the very liberal Democrats would say, well, let’s spend the money on something else. But they don’t have an answer for economic growth unless you believe the old-time bureaucratic pump-priming. And that is a pretty small numbers of Americans who view that.

CAVUTO: But let me ask you then about that, Newt. We just had some Wall Street pros here who were saying, we need a little bit more than what the president is talking about as far as a tax cut. We need an omnibus type of a package that calls for rectifying some of the ills of the Wall Street abuse, something really omnibus, much bigger, I would imagine, than the 550 billion the president wants or the 350 billion that the Republican Congress wants, or for a that matter maybe even the 700 billion-plus that the president originally wanted. What do you say?

GINGRICH: Well, I think it depends on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist. The OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation, came out I think with a new report, they project 4 percent real growth in the U.S. next year. That is a significant shift towards being bullish. If you believe that, then frankly any package would be helpful, but no package is decisive. On the other hand, if you want, and I would say Republicans ought to want an insurance policy against a downside, then you ought to be for a fairly big, fairly robust tax package. I like the $700 billion version. I would like to see us permanently abolish the capital gains tax and permanently abolish the double taxation of dividends. That would really make capital America a lot more rational, and would, I think - remember that over 50 percent of the country now own stock - that the overwhelming number of senior citizens who own stock would be helped. I think that would be better for America.

CAVUTO: All right. Newt Gingrich, thank you very much, appreciate it.

GINGRICH: Thank you.

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