"Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and nobody around them who works," Gingrich replied. "So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal."
"I believe the kids could mop the floor and clean up the bathroom and get paid for it, and it would be OK," he said to applause.
Newt is actually right about this, but here's the thing: rich kids don't have habits of working either. I never worked when I was a kid. I've never been paid for mopping a floor or cleaning a bathroom. But I turned out OK. Why? Because I was fortunate enough to grow up where there were some really good public schools where I got a really good education. And then I went to a public college on a scholarship. And then I went to grad school on a fellowship grant from the Office of Naval Research. And then I went to work for NASA. Until I went to work for Google at age 37 every dollar that paid for my education and my salary came from the government.
So Newt, how about instead of making them scrub toilets we give the inner city kids the same high-quality publicly funded educational opportunities that I had as a white middle-class child of the 'burbs? I turned out OK. Maybe they will too.