Here’s the call I got this morning, loosely paraphrased, initially from a live person and then with a recording from Newt.

Newt (paraphrased): “I’m calling business leaders like yourself who understand the way that taxes cripple our economy, to ask for your support in the development a flat tax structure to lower the cost on businesses, create jobs and grow the economy.”

Live person: “So can I count on your support?”

Me: “That strikes me as a very simplistic proposal to address a complicated economic problem.”

Live person: “So do you prefer the current tax model?”

Me: “I don’t see that as a bimodal choice.”

Live person: “You know that Newt Gingrich has led a bipartisan movement to get things changed in Washington. In fact, his drill here, drill now campaign focused on getting energy costs down and reached across party lines.”

Me: “I’m in the energy industry, and that campaign was written to appeal to people who don’t understand our energy system. I fail to see how that would have had any positive impact on our energy system, although I do see how it could gain the votes of the uninformed. The flat tax proposal smells similar.”

Live person: “I understand. Would you like to receive an autographed copy of Newt’s book?”

Me: “No.”

The Republican party’s got a long way to go, eh?