I just got back from a Newt Gingrich press conference where I had a nice back-and-forth dialogue with the former Speaker of the House about the Paulson Plan, which he totally hates. A few quotes and Gingrichian observations:
1) He called it a "stupid plan" that looks like it had been designed by autocrat Vladimir Putin. He also said it will be a "nightmare" to implement and full of corruption.
2) He said the Paulson Plan would be a "dead loser" on Election Day that will "break against anyone who votes for it." It will hurt even worse with the 2010 election once Americans see what a drag it is on the economy when implemented.
3) He recently chatted with economic historian Alan Meltzer who advocated doing nothing rather than implanting the Paulson Plan. Meltzer apparently joked to Gingrich that this was about the third time he had seen Wall Street scream "the apocalypse was nigh" only to have the economy keep right on chugging along.
4) Gingrich thinks that if the Paulson Plan isn't passed by this weekend, it is dead and the White House better have a Plan B, economic-growth package ready. Right now, he still thinks it has an 80 percent chance of passage, partly because of Paulson's apocalyptic tone that if a bill isn't passed, "the whole world will end on Tuesday."