Welcome to Part 3 of the series, folks! Today’s hot seat is being filled by former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.
Introduction to Gary Johnson
“Johnson is best known for his veto record, which includes over 750 vetoes during his time in office, more than all other governors combined. He cut taxes 14 times while never raising them and when he left office, New Mexico was one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget.”
How in the world do you balance a budget when you keep cutting taxes? We shall see.
A Short Biography of Gary Johnson.
Johnson has been called “the most fiscally conservative governor in the country.” He started a handyman business to help pay for college and in 20 years it had grown into a construction company with over 1,000 employees. His decisions are based on a cost-benefit analysis rather than on ideology alone. He formed OUR America Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “fiscal responsibility, civil liberties and rational public policy.” He has also climbed several mountains, including Mount Everest.
Gary Johnson’s Stances on the Issues
First off, it should be noted that Johnson created 200,000 jobs and managed to cut 1,200 government jobs without firing anyone. He also used the LINE ITEM VETO to trim the state budget.
He lists seven principles of good government. They are as follows:
- Become reality driven.
- Always be honest and tell the truth.
- Always do what is right and fair.
- Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that goal, and then act.
- Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news.
- Be willing to do whatever it takes to get your job done.
Wouldn’t it be nice of all of our elected officials followed some of these?
“Maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the federal government’s responsibilities. However, building schools, roads, and hospitals in other countries are not among those basic obligations. Yet that is exactly what we have been doing for much of the past 10 years.
Given trillion-dollar deficits, America simply cannot afford to be engaged in foreign policy programs that are not clearly protecting U.S. interests. There is nation-building and rebuilding to be done right here at home.
Our military should remain the most potent force for good on Earth. To do this, we should resort to military action as the last option and only as provided in the Constitution.”
Johnson’s foreign policy platform is simple, though it may not be as realistic as he thinks it is. Bring our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya home and reevaluate deployments in former Soviet states, he says. Lead by example, stop using torture and give detainees due process, he says. Let’s do it!
In technology, Johnson wants to keep the Internet unregulated, untaxed and uncensored but treat crimes committed online, such as child pornography, the same as crimes committed offline. However, is he including in the lack of taxation and regulation online purchases? We could potentially generate much needed revenue by developing a system to tax online purchases.
The big surprise, coming from a Republican, is in Johnson’s views on civil liberties. He wants to let the Patriot Act expire and to be a lot more stringent on who we’re patting down and x-raying. He is also a rarity in that while he believes life must be protected, he is also pro-choice and believes government should stay out of marriage, allowing couples to engage in civil unions. Essentially, government needs to be neutral concerning personal beliefs.
On spending, he, like just about every other Republican politician, wants to cut government spending, though he wants to reassess the role of federal government entirely. He suggests reforming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security through cost-saving plans including block grants to states and using inflation as the scale for Social Security. He also wants to repeal “Obamacare.” He also proposes auditing and reforming the Federal Reserve.
Other proposals on the economy include simplifying the tax code, reducing government involvement in education and legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana. He would also make it easier for immigrants to apply for work visas.
On education, he would end the Department of Education, as without federal regulations and strings attached to federal money, schools would be able to find funding for extracurricular activities and music programs, as well as purchase better equipment. However, the same end could be reached by reforming the Department and educational standards, instead of removing the department entirely.
Johnson gives many reasons why marijuana should be legalized, including the fact that Prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s and marijuana being illegal doesn’t prevent its sale and usage today. Legalization will also increase border security as it will decrease border violence and illegal immigration.
Speaking of immigration, according to Johnson, we can reduce illegal immigration by streamlining the process and making it easier to obtain work visas. He would give illegals a two year period to get a visa, kick out immigrants who try to get around the system and force employers to comply with immigration laws.
Overall, Gary Johnson might not be such a bad candidate for president!
Next time: Fred Karger!
If you’d like more to read, check out Miss Diamond’s thoughts on the death of Osama Bin Laden. If that’s not your groove, why not check out some ideas on the debate over the legalization of Marijuana?