Newt Gingrich: 8 of the GOP idea man's more unusual ideas

Newt Gingrich is a big ideas guy. Ask anybody. Some of the ideas end up working, while others are a little out there.

By , Staff writer

7. Putting children on welfare in orphanages

This one’s a golden oldie: Back in 1994, when welfare reform was a hot topic, incoming House Speaker Gingrich raised eyebrows with a radical idea. He suggested that states cut payments to large numbers of aid recipients and put their children in orphanages or group homes funded by the savings.  

Gingrich said that welfare programs promote a "counterculture value system" and "ruin the poor," The New York Times reported.

Some Republicans called the orphanage idea “unduly harsh,” and though welfare reform eventually did become law, that aspect never came to fruition.

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