Gary Johnson on Government Reform
Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor
Clinton: No. Proposes Constitutional amendment to overturn.
Trump: Ambiguous. Condemns money in politics. Praises Justice Scalia who voted in favor of decision.
Johnson: Yes. Considers it a First Amendment issue.
Johnson: I heard Hillary Clinton writing checks we can't possibly cash. Americans don't want their children and grandchildren to inherit a $20 trillion debt, and they didn't hear anything tonight that will keep that from happening. Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump are afraid to tell the truth about spending. It's easier to just promise more of it and send the next generation the tab.
However, it's clear that if Johnson hopes to offer himself as a serious alternative to the Democratic and Republican nominees, he'll have to polish his presentation a bit. During a discussion about the late Antonin Scalia's Supreme Court seat, Johnson-- who believes the Senate should consider President Barack Obama's nominee--conceded he couldn't name the remaining eight sitting Supreme Court justices.
Johnson said, "More Americans than ever are ready to take a serious look at candidates who offer real alternatives to business-as-usual. However, the reality of our political system is that voters must first have the opportunity to learn about those candidates and their plans for smaller government and greater freedom. That is the purpose of the Our America PAC. Voters deserve real choices beyond varying shades of big government, and helping provide those choices is our goal. We intend to make a real difference in the upcoming 2014 elections."
"Someone has to stand up and call this what it is--a rigged system designed entirely to protect and perpetuate the two-party duopoly," says Johnson's spokesman. "That someone will be the Johnson campaign."
The commission has declared that the debates are limited to candidates who are constitutionally eligible to hold the presidency; have achieved ballot access in enough states to win a theoretical Electoral College majority in the general election, and have the support of at least 15% of the national electorate. Johnson falls short in the polling category.
Johnson says this amounts to a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act because the collusion limits competition.
As simple as it sounds, Democrats and Republicans alike long ago stopped asking that question. We hear much about cutting government spending and balancing the budget. But, if you listen closely, these promises are almost never made in the context of making government actually DO LESS. Instead, when you wade through the rhetoric, the politicians promise to keep government doing the same things--just cheaper. That approach, as we have seen via decades of Administrations and Congresses, doesn't work.
Source: Seven Principles, by Gary Johnson, p. 7-8 , Aug 1, 2012
Of the $540,000 I spent in the primary, $510,000 of it was mine. I did not solicit donations because I did not want to be beholden to anyone or any group. It was easier to focus on my message instead of having to be worried about fundraising.
I said this many times, and I still believe that people who would have given me money would have expected certain things from me. They would have wanted, or even demanded, my signature on legislation that I ultimately vetoed.
Those 750 vetoes didn't include line-item vetoes in state budgets, which I raised to an art form. It was safe to say that I had the most contentious relationship with my legislature of any governor in the country.
I didn't mind for a moment saying "No" so often. I believe that every time you pass a law you take a little bite out of freedom. Although I do not believe that government is ill-intentioned, I strongly believe in less government. I vetoed 750 bills as governor because I abhor the government spending money on programs that show no improvement in our lives and criminalize actions that do not warrant criminalization.
PAUL: The responsibility of the president would be to veto every single bill that violates the 10th amendment.
JOHNSON: If anybody doubts my willingness to veto bills, I think I vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the United States. I think I vetoed more bills than all the other governors in the country combined.
A: As I proved in NM, government creates jobs by reducing its role, not expanding it. Get government out of the way. Government can create certainty. Something that is completely lacking at the moment. Eliminate the cooperate income tax completely and adopt what is being called the Fair Tax: a one-time federal consumption tax.
Governor Johnson formed a task force aimed at limiting punitive damage awards in 1996. He also supported the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act that toughened liability standards for securities litigation.
A: Not one single opinion any of tax went up in an eight year period. We reformed Medicaid in New Mexico to save 25% over what we were spending; built 500 miles of a four lane highway without raising taxes. [We had] 1,200 fewer state employees over an eight year period by managing attrition.
Q: You are on the more the libertarian side of the Republican Party?
A: I would argue that perhaps some of these issues are really conservative. And for me, as governor of New Mexico, everything was a cost benefit analysis, everything. What are we spending our money on and what are we getting for the money we are spending? I think the fact that I get reelected really speaks volumes to the fact that people appreciate good stewardship of tax dollars.
A: If you're talking about reform where you want to do away with soft money, yeah, I think that's good. If RJR wants to give me $100,000 for my campaign, it can't. But it can give it to the Republican Party and then the Republican Party will write a check to me. It's not directly from the cigarette manufacturer and all I have to say is that I got it from the party. So I think that should be reformed. The public should know exactly where every penny comes from. But I don't think there should be limits on contributions.
Q: But big contributions mean the wealthy have much more political influence.
A: My biggest contributor during the last two campaigns gave me over $150,000. Not once since I've been elected has he been on the phone to tell me anything about what I should do. Is that not better than 150 people giving me a limit of $1000? Of those 150, there's a good chance that 50 are going to be on the phone trying to tell me what to do.
A: I don't plan to run again for office.
Q: Does your experience influence your opinion of term limits? In other words, do term limits allow politicians to push for issues they care about rather than worrying about the implications for reelection?
A: That's absolutely a case for term limits. Politicians shouldn't spend most of their time in office trying to get reelected.
Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Q: Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
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