Newt Gingrich’s 2010 income tax return inspired a quick response from U.S. congressman Pete Stark.

Twelve days after Gingrich, a Republican presidential hopeful, made his return public, Stark proposed the Narrowing Exceptions for Withholding Taxes (NEWT) Act.

This proposal has an uncertain future in Congress, but it would be a good addition to our tax laws, closing a significant loophole that Gingrich took advantage of.

In their 2010 return, Newt and Callista Gingrich declared that most of the money they earned from their multimedia company, Gingrich Productions, was dividends, rather than compensation for their services.

Because the Medicare tax applies only to labor income, this move allowed them to avoid paying $71,152 in Medicare tax — the amount of the dividend times the 2.9 percent tax rate.