Gary Johnson on Budget & Economy

Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor

Lay out a process for state bankruptcies

Here's what the National Review had to say, in a January 2011 interview:

"If Gary Johnson were president, he would immediately cut all federal spending--entitlements, defense, education, everything--by 43% to rectify our fiscal blunders. And he'd just be getting started. What is [Johnson's] philosophy? In 2 words: limited government.

"He suggests that to encourage fiscal discipline, the federal government should pass a law that lays out a process for state bankruptcies--which are impossible under current law and would be hard to square with sovereign immunity--and makes it clear that federal bailouts are off the table. 'Everybody would scream' if a state went into bankruptcy, Johnson admits, but a federal bailout would only encourage profligacy."

Source: Seven Principles, by Gary Johnson, p.140-141 , Aug 1, 2012

No bank bailout; no farm subsidies; no stimulus

Q: Do you agree with President Obama's 2009 Stimulus Plan?

A: No, I'm against any type of federal stimulus.

Q: Should the U.S. have bailed out the major banks during the financial crisis of 2008?

A: No.

Q: Should the federal government subsidize U.S. farmers?

A: No.

Source: Presidential comparison website www.iSideWith.com , May 16, 2012

Cut federal budget by 43% to bring it into balance

I have proposed cutting the federal budget by 43 percent to bring it into balance. It can be done. It requires the will and ability to ignore and even fight the special interests that have a vested interest in more and more government spending. Our system is corrupted by special-interest campaign contributions. Crony capitalism permeates our government. The result is that, as the Congressional Budget Office reported this week, the deficit for 2012 will once again exceed $1 trillion.
Source: Gary Johnson, "America moving again" in The Washington Times , Feb 2, 2012

Trillion-dollar stimulus failed; so will another $450B?

I suspect I am not the only American asking, if a trillion dollars' worth of stimulus didn't work, why will another $450 billion do the trick? Whether it be jobs created with borrowed and newly-printed dollars, temporary extensions of tax cuts, or sending money to the states to postpone layoffs, none of the President's proposals will remove the real obstacles to job creation. Government cannot create jobs. Businesses, entrepreneurs and investors can create jobs, and right now, they are simply afraid to do so. And they should be. They are looking at a national debt that is consuming the private economy, more deficit spending with no end in sight, and a regulatory environment that promises only new and costly surprises every day.

Government is absolutely a big part of the jobs problem, but it is not the solution--other than by getting out of the way. Congress and the Administration have almost helped us to death.

Source: Response to 2011 Jobs Speech, on www.garyjohnson2012.com , Sep 8, 2011

We could have avoided default without raising debt ceiling

Q: You've said that you would not have raised the debt ceiling and that it would have still been possible to avoid default. How?

A: We would have still brought in $200 billion a month. How we make payments [determines] whether we default on any bills. But obviously going forward, we have to put the brakes on spending. I just argue that it will never be easier than now. In the bond market, if no one was buying our debt, that would mean the Federal Reserve printing money as opposed to individuals or countries loaning us money; that's the bond market collapsing--so when that happens, that is a whole lot of money and it has to result in inflation. Russia is the most recent example. As frightening as that scenario is, that's what going to happen. But we can fix this--there's going to be a lot of hardship and pain, but that's better than killing the patient and, the way we're going, we're going to kill the patient in a monetary collapse. But I am an optimist because I think it can be fixed.

Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on scottholleran.com blog , Aug 21, 2011

Ending the fed OK, but that's only part of the solution

Q: Is it your position that we should audit, not end, the Federal Reserve--that ending the Fed may be desirable but not immediately realistic?

A: I think ending the Federal Reserve would be positive but if we end the Fed it's important to point out that that's not the end of the solution. A lot of the central banking function would have to be taken up by regional banks.

Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on scottholleran.com blog , Aug 21, 2011

Stop incurring more debt; balanced budget by 2013

Q: As president, how will you avoid continually raising the debt ceiling?

Gingrich: We don't need Obama's "balanced approach" (code for raise taxes). We need a balanced budget.

Santorum: Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment and work for its ratification across the country!

Gingrich: When you balance the budget there is no need to raise the debt ceiling. I am the only candidate who has balanced the budget.

Johnson: I'd avoid continually raising the debt ceiling by not incurring more debt! I'd submit to Congress a balanced budget in 2013, & veto any appropriation that exceeds that budget.

Santorum: DC doesn't work; we need to impose discipline on politicians who want to buy their reelection with your money. BBA is the only way.

Gingrich: We can balance the budget again by growing the economy, cutting spending and reforming government. That's how we did it before. We CAN do it again.

Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

Our debt is greatest threat to our national security

Q: How do you weigh the cost of fighting the war on terror against the exploding debt crisis?

Gingrich: The exploding debt crisis is because of exploding politician spending in Washington, not because of national security.

Santorum: The first priority of the federal government is to keep America safe. I would not cut defense--freeze it; cut waste; and then plow savings back into Defense.

Johnson: The debt is the greatest threat to national security we face today. Besides, we do not need 60,000 to 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to protect ourselves. Nor do we need nation-building.

Gingrich: We spend less on defense today as percentage of GDP than at any time since Pearl Harbor.

Santorum: The first priority of the federal government is to keep America safe. I would not cut defense--freeze it; cut waste; and then plow savings back into Defense.

Gingrich: Controlling the border and defending America are job #1 under the Constitution.

Source: 2011 Republican primary debate on Twitter.com , Jul 21, 2011

Opposed TARP, stimulus & Fannie Mae bailout

On federal issues, Governor Johnson says he would have opposed TARP. "Government should not have been involved in this. Why should Goldman and AIG be saved but not Lehman?" He also wants to eliminate government subsidies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He says he would have voted against the stimulus.

He has said that he would cut the federal budget by 43%, "Start out with the big four - Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and defense," Johnson said in New Hampshire in early 2011.

Source: Club for Growth 2012 Presidential White Paper #9: Johnson , Jul 21, 2011

End the Fed; they've devalued the dollar by printing money

Q: If any corporation misappropriated like the federal government, they would all be in jail.

A: And then talking about monetary policy in the country. The fact that the dollars that we have in our bank accounts today, are worth less than they were yesterday or worth less than they were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. That's the fact we are printing money to cover all these obligations. The Federal Reserve has devalued the dollar significantly from a monetary policy standpoint, abolishing the Federal Reserve would bring about this discipline of spending within our means. We can balance the federal budget, but we need to do that tomorrow. I don't have a plan for getting a quarter of a way there in eight years. I have a plan here or a desire that we do this in 2013.

Source: Sean Hannity 2012 presidential interviews "Hannity Primary" , May 27, 2011

On verge of financial collapse unless we balance budget

I believe that we're on the verge of a financial collapse unless we balance the Federal budget and I don't see that happening with Obama. Now I do see that happening with the Republican party -- [but] a few short years ago Republicans ran up record deficits, I'm not so sure, but I'm under the belief that only Republicans are capable of solving the problem that exists right now which is the collapse of our economy.

I'm an entrepreneur that ran for governor of New Mexico promising to bring a common sense business approach to state government that everything was going to be a cost benefit analysis. I got reelected in a state that was 2:1 Democrat. I think we're on the verge of a financial collapse unless we balance the budget and that means some really tough choices that all doable and they're all doable under the context of a commonsense business approach to the way government does business and a cost benefit analysis that goes along with everything that government is doing.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

Balance budget by cutting entitlements AND Defense

Gary Johnson said on ABC's "Top Line" that Republicans should be more aggressive than they've been in cutting federal spending. They should take on entitlement programs, too; Medicare and Medicaid could be slashed by 43% and turned into grant programs for the states to distribute.

"I think we should balance the federal budget tomorrow," Johnson said. "I'm optimistic. I think Americans are optimistic. We went to the moon, we can balance the federal budget. We can fix this. We're not addressing the problems that we face, and that starts with Medicaid, Medicare, reforming Social Security and Defense. And I mean cutting those areas

Source: Rick Klein, ABC News, "Obscurity to Prominence" , Apr 22, 2011

Uphold commitments to states before other spending.

Johnson adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The major budget issue will be over the surplus and how big of a surplus there will be. How much will be dedicated to paying down the national debt, how much to tax cuts, how much to increase defense spending, what to do about key discretionary spending programs, and whether and how to change key entitlement programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security? How these decisions are made could have significant impacts on the federal-state partnership, especially as they affect vital health and human services programs. What will happen to funding for priority state domestic discretionary programs for the federal fiscal year? When will Congress act?

NGA’s Position

Before considering new spending initiatives or tax cuts, the federal government must first uphold its current commitments to the states.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA8 on Sep 14, 2001

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Gary Johnson on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
GOP Candidates:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Rocky Anderson(J)
Roseanne Barr(PF)
Rep.Virgil Goode(C)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L)
Jill Stein(G)

GOP Withdrawals:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(MN)
Herman Cain(GA)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(GA)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(TX)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
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Page last updated: Oct 17, 2012