Gary Johnson Calls Obama and Romney "Dueling Phil Donahue Acts"

While Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein was busy getting arrested for protesting her exclusion from last night's presidential debate at Hofstra University, Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson responded to the debate without mentioning his own exclusion:

America’s challenges and the crises we face demand a real debate — not dueling Phil Donahue acts carping at one another over who is worse.

I defy anyone who watched the debate to identify a plan from either the Republican or Democrat that will achieve a balanced budget. Behind the fuzzy math and the quibbling, there was nothing more than a commitment to continue the status quo — with at most a few minor adjustments. We don’t need adjustments. We need a fundamental reduction in the role and cost of government, and both Romney and Obama are fundamentally big-government guys.

We watched a blame game over immigration, while the problem festers with no solution in sight. We heard quibbling over whose government plan would have saved GM better, but nothing about why the government should be bailing out any company at all. And we heard cheap shots about government-run health care from two candidates who both support it. Where is the reasonable argument that government shouldn’t be running health care in the first place?

On the attacks in Libya, the debate we must have is not over what we call it or when; we need a debate over why we were there at all.

There are clear choices in this election, but they weren’t on the stage tonight.

Johnson attempted to sue his way into the debates, but so far those efforts have been unsuccessful. According to campaign press secretary Joe Hunter, the lawsuit is “pending.”  On Tuesday Johnson will appear at the Free and Equal debate in Chicago with Stein, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode, and Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson. CNN legend Larry King will moderate.

Johnson and Stein are participating in a one-on-one live debate sponsored by IVN tomorrow. The two will participate via a Google+ Hangout while taking questions from each other and the general public. 

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  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Johnson attempted to sue his way into the debates, but so far those efforts have been unsuccessful. According to campaign press secretary Joe Hunter, the lawsuit is 'pending.'"

    Someone call Joe Hunter and let him know this ship has sailed.

  • Paul.||

    Gary Johnson Calls Obama and Romney "Dueling Phil Donahue Acts"

    That's actually pretty good.

  • triclops||

    I think that is an absolutely great line. It encompasses so much in so little space.

  • SugarFree||

    I like it to, but the 23 year-old, 22 year-old, and 21 year-old in my office all asked who Phil Donahue was when I quoted the line to them.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Come on, the guy who fucks That Girl.

  • Paul.||

    He never fucked her. He sat around and professed how much he respected her and her personal space. Then he commenced to refuse sexual contact with her, assuming she had been raped while in college and didn't really want to be touched... ever again...

  • ||

    I actually had a date like that once. ONE date.

  • Paul.||

    All of my dates end with a complete lack of sexual contact, but not because they were raped in college.

  • robc||

    You assumed he was raped in college?

  • Paul.||

    You assumed he was raped in college?

    No, they assumed I was raped in college.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, they are married. Probably with kids.

  • Spoonman.||

    I am 23 and have no idea who Phil Donahue is.

  • Paul.||

    You lucky, lucky boy, you.

  • Whahappan?||

    Check this out. As a bonus, it features Milton Friedman.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

  • ||

    Amazingly, youtube does not seem to have a clip of Joe Piscopo doing Donahue on SNL, which was actually quite funny.

  • SugarFree||

    "Why don't you look it up on a typewriter, old man?!?"

  • ||

    Wait a fucking second, you're quoting New Girl now? Just when I thought you couldn't sink lower than Downton Abbey, you wallow in the filth even further.

  • SugarFree||

  • ||

    While I completely respect your horndogginess, NutraSweet, I cringe at what you are willing to withstand for some eye candy. Thank fucking Jeebus Community is actually funny.

  • SugarFree||

    New Girl is damn funny. If everyone would stop the Zooey-hate for two minutes they could figure it out.

    “You were denied a cell phone because you have the credit score of a homeless ghost.”

  • ||

    That's not funny. It has a fucking laugh track, right? See, you're just simple minded and think it's funny because canned laughter signals this to your soft human brain. Idiot.

  • SugarFree||

    Do you ever get tired being so wrong all the time, Epidork?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Epi's right that's lame.

  • ||

    Thank fucking Jeebus Community is actually funny.

    Disagree. Community has a few funny characters, but overall the show is not that great. Joel McHale tries to hard to pretend like he's not trying too hard.

  • Proprietist||

    Community is great and often very funny, but ruins its greatness with cheesy mush and contrived unity among the characters. I know that's how the story holds together, but honestly, all the secondary characters not in the main clique are way, way funnier than the main characters. Garrett, Leonard and the Dean are the three best characters.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I keep waiting for Community to turn into a mild version of Always Sunny -- i.e., a show where most or all of the characters are just self-involved jerks and learn no lessons by the end of an episode.

  • Proprietist||

    I think I'd really prefer that instead of the constant repetition of "dramatic tension within the study group followed by make-up and big smiley group hug and professions of how they could never live without each other" pattern every damn episode. They need to go full throttle with the rampant political incorrectness, internecine social warfare and meta level humor. The mistake may be more fundamental - they never should have made it all about this particular study group sticking together unchanged - they could have easily branched out or divided up the study group (which was already unbelievable to begin with) after the first season and made the show more about the rampant ineptitude and insanity at Greendale in general.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Same here.

  • ||

    I don't like the underwear she has on, the pattern makes it look like she has an overly long torso.

  • Killazontherun||

    El Greco hater. Love me some extended torso. Give it a vertical s-curve and snaky hips and I'll hit it so hard the entire chordata phyla will fill it deep down in their own repressed archetypes.

  • Killazontherun||

    yeah, I would screw that up with 'fill' for 'feel.'

  • SIV||

    All you need to know about fashionable lingerie

  • NoVAHockey||

    And what's wrong with Downton Abbey? Dammit why can't Edith find happiness.

  • SugarFree||

    Because Edith looks like a plucked chicken and has a voice like chainsaws on martini glasses.

  • Charlotte Sometimes||

    *giggles*

  • NoVAHockey||

    She'll find her true voice in her new weekly column.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm more interested in what fresh hell Mary has in store for her poor husband. If there ever was a time to fake your death and disappear to the Colonies, this is it.

  • John||

    I loved it when he would ask a question and then duck his head and shove the microphone into the person's face. It was totally Donahue.

  • ||

    Or when he would bodysurf across several audience members' laps to shove the microphone in the next person's face.

  • ||

    Phil Hartman was better.

  • ||

    Not at doing Donahue he wasn't.

  • Garrett Quinn||

    Phil Hartman is amazing at everything.

  • Sam Grove||

    A moment of silence for the late Phil Hartman.

  • ||

    Also, NBC is very....errr...careful with its videos. You need to go to hulu for SNL stuff.

  • sarcasmic||

    Erect Gary's Johnson!

    Rush 2112!

  • John||

    On the attacks in Libya, the debate we must have is not over what we call it or when; we need a debate over why we were there at all.

    Ah he was an ambassador. Does Johnson plan to close the State Department and recall all of the ambassadors?

  • The Hammer||

    You get really pathetic in Johnson threads, John.

  • John||

    IT is true. We are not "in Libya". We don't have any troops there to my knowledge. We had an ambassador there who was murdered. That could have happened in about a dozen countries.

    Whatever the debate about Libya is, it is not about "us being there" because we are clearly not there in the sense that Johnson implies.

  • Libertarian4life||

    Geee, he couldn't be talking about the hundred or so drone strikes we flew in Libya earlier this year killing god knows how many people... I wonder.... Do you think Libyans attacked our embassy cause we stuck our nose somewhere it shouldn't have been???? I mean who do these Libyans think they are!!! We are 'Merica and we can kill as many innocents as we want without repercussion!!! (Loads of sarcasm in the comment)

  • Cytotoxic||

    But we're not there anymore so Johnson's comment doesn't make sense.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Being deliberately obtuse is unbecoming.

  • ||

    Ask, and ye shall receive: U.S. Drones Never Left Libya; Will Hunt Benghazi Thugs. Not to mention that we DID still have people there, right after a civil war. So yes, in both senses the comment makes sense. Why were we there in the first place (militarily), and why were our people in a place it was dangerous for them to be without much protection?

  • Cytotoxic||

    I'll concede the point on the premise that THIS is exactly what Johnson was talking about.

  • ||

    What is "this"? Even if our drones hadn't been there this whole time, the question still stands? Why were American deathbots forces there? Why were our people there in a still unsafe country, without much protection even?

  • The Hammer||

    We spent a few billion dollars intervening in Libya's civil war despite not really knowing who we were supporting, and it eventually resulted in 4 Americans being murdered. Do you think not having ambassadors there at all would have worse results than that?

  • tarran||

    You mean the NATO strike packages went in with absolutely no FAC guidance?

    Ballsy!

  • Cytotoxic||

    John's right.

  • ||

    Only from a delusional perspective.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oh good one! BURN!

  • ||

    I know, right? Admit it, you're jealous of my brilliance.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think maybe the point was that Libya isn't exactly the most stable place being that it just had like a revolution and stuff, and that maybe we should have withdrawn from the embassy temporarily until things get sorted out. You know?

    But I could be wrong.

  • John||

    I think he was making a larger point, which didn't really apply here.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think you're reading more than what is there.

  • Bedonkedonk||

    I think some forget that Gary Johnson is still a politician, and politicians specialize in vague comments allowing you to read whatever you want into it.

  • DJK||

    I think that he was questioning why the US conducted military strikes on the Gaddafi regime in the first place. Why we needed to be involved in that country whatsoever. And that instead of arguing over whether or not an ambassador got killed because of a Youtube video, we should be rethinking our involvement in the affairs of foreign nations in the first place.

    Or he could be saying that it was our prior military actions in Libya which led to these terror attacks.

  • Brandybuck||

    Benghazi is not the capital. An embassy in Tripoli is all that we need, especially considering the extremely low number of non-government US citizens in Libya.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fair point.

  • Sam Grove||

    I suspect Johnson was referring more generally to the middle east.

  • Hugh Akston||

    There is nothing boring about a World Series that doesn't involve the Yanquis.

  • ||

    Hugh, you seem to have confused the word "boring" with "interesting".

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fuck, everyone hates the Yankees. The Yankees hate the Yankees. Yankee fans hate the Yankees. Steinbrenner hated the Yankees.

  • ||

    Isn't that what makes it interesting, ProL? And can't you save a little hate for the Mets? Why do you have to ignore them like everyone else?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Boring.

  • ||

    See, this is like passive hate against the Mets. Which I totally understand.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I could learn to hate the Mets, I guess. Can you teach me?

  • ||

    Just watch them. Preferably in Queens.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Actively hating the Mets is like actively hating the disabled kid whose electric wheelchair just tipped over.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Come on, be reasonable. That's the Cubs.

  • ||

    That's the Cubs.

    My wheelchair...

  • Killazontherun||

    I just hate A-Rod. The rest of their talent pool are basically human.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Also, you're just upset because there's no baseball team in Seattle.

  • ||

    Just because the Mariners never win anything doesn't make them not exist, Hugh. It just makes them suck.

  • ||

    Oh, and let's not forget that Ichiro is going to...the Yankees.

  • Pro Libertate||

    What's a Mariner, anyway?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Someone who stoppeth one of three?

  • DJK||

    Isn't a Mariner one who finds Dry Land?

  • Trespassers W||

    What's a Met, for that matter?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    An opera building?

  • Hugh Akston||

    They're like homos that guys won't have sex with.

  • Killazontherun||

    One obese gay coworker told me he couldn't get laid at a rest stop if he held out a pair of hundreds. I told him, 'don't look at me. I don't even swing that way. You know, fatties.'

  • The Hammer||

    Watching baseball is boring as fuck. Period. Playing it is fun, but watching it is less exciting than watching poker.

  • The Craig||

    Yeah, I had gotten used to not caring with the Orioles. This year was fun, but once they lost last week and I tried watching the Tigers/Yanks, I realized I don't really give a fuck anymore.

  • The Craig||

    And of course, nothing is more boring than watching golf.

  • ||

    Unless it's frisbee golf.

  • ||

    I like watching golf, baseball, AND poker on TV.

  • robc||

    I cant watch poker anymore unless its the really boring version in which they show all the non-exciting hands. Perversely, I find that interesting.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Tend to agree. I was channel surfing the other night. Giants coming to bat.
    Clicked away. Came back 5 minutes later and the count was only 1-2 on the first batter. Baseball could use a 20 second clock or something and a limit to non-injury timeouts.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To be sure, I'd like football to be played in real time, without all of the stoppages. We clearly need cyborg players.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Watching sports is boring as fuck.

    FTFY

  • Garrett Quinn||

    Yes, but my dream of a Baltimore-Washington World Series is dead

  • Anomalous||

    Yeah, we could have called it the Parkway Series.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Johnson and Stein are participating in a one-on-one live debate sponsored by IVN tomorrow. The two will participate via a Google+ Hangout while taking questions from each other and the general public."

    How are they going to walk around each other like morons and approach the questioners to ask them to repeat their names like they give a shit with such a format?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "We heard quibbling over whose government plan would have saved GM better"

    I guess Gary didn't get the "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" memo.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He should say, "statist quo."

  • Proprietist||

    I like that. Good pun.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Orally, it sounds enough like the correct phrase that you can always deny saying it. Then keep on saying it.

  • The Hammer||

    Good stuff. Of course, the people blindly supporting Romney or Obama have no shame or desire for a real debate, so it will mostly fall on deaf ears, unfortunately.

  • John||

    The remark about "being in Libya" aside, it was good stuff. Why was Johnson such a dead fish in the primaries? He never sounded that good. He should have taken all of Paul's support and a good chunk of other people looking for anyone but Romney.

    It is almost like he wanted to lose and run as a Libertarian.

  • Cytotoxic||

    He didn't get the Paul support because the Ronulans are at least as much a personality as the Obamatrons. Which pisses me off more and more because Johnson is superior to Paul in principles and electability.

  • sarcasmic||

    Johnson is superior to Paul

    Heresy! Heresy! Burn him! Burn him alive!

  • Calidissident||

    "Johnson is superior to Paul in principles and electability."

    I'm voting for Johnson, but how is he more principled than Paul? Johnson seems to approach libertarianism from a more pragmatic, rather than philosophical (like Paul does), perspective. Argue over which is better, but I think the latter is clearly "more principled." As for electability, Johnson didn't have the name recognition Paul did, and in the primaries, his views on abortion alone made him less electable than Paul

  • Brandybuck||

    Ron Paul is very ideological when it comes to libertarianism... EXCEPT for immigration and trade. Too much pandering to the nativists at LRC for my liking.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Not so much 'more principled' but better principles. Immigration, abortion, and trade agreements. Not equating NAFTA with North American Union, which is absolute nuttiness. Not sure but probably doesn't have a fetish for putting state's rights above individual rights (Lawrence vs Texas). And not dogmatically blaming America for anti-Americanism.

  • Proprietist||

    Absolutely - Johnson is more consistently libertarian even if he is more incrementalist/pragmatic about it.

  • Calidissident||

    I'll agree about immigration, although Paul philosophically supports free immigration, though he does support border security (which I don't think is inherently problematic from a libertarian POV. If the immigration process consisted of just criminal background checks of immigrants, I don't think that would be very burdensome or objectionable) and has some hesitations over the welfare state. I won't get into abortion, as there are libertarians on both sides making good faith arguments. As for trade agreements, I think his objections are about the special exemptions and cronyism involved in crafting the agreements. I agree that they are improvements on the status quo, but that stuff does happen. I'm pretty sure Paul's view on trade is to just unilaterally lower tariffs, which is more purely libertarian. I disagree with Paul on Lawrence v. Texas, but I don't think the fact that he emphasizes states rights makes him a bad libertarian or anything. If you're going to be a federalist, you have to take the good with the bad. And I don't recall Ron Paul ever blaming America for anything. The US government is not the same thing as America. I find it odd that you're unable to make that distinction on foreign policy, as you never do it on domestic policy

  • Cytotoxic||

    Trade agreements are how America is going to achieve free trade. They have warts but those are nothing in the long run; they will be lost to the ether. In Canada, we're getting closer to free trade Nirvana using just this route. FTA's to break the big barriers down, unilateral action to clean up.

    Federalism, as far as I am concerned, does not mean letting the states do what they want.

    And I don't recall Ron Paul ever blaming America for anything.

    Okay he blames USG for everything. He actually thinks they hate us because 'we're over there', which at this point is as credible as stating that the Benghazi attacks were a spontaneous mob inflamed by a YouTube video.

  • Proprietist||

    But that's the problem - federalism isn't necessarily libertarian. A libertarian consistently supports reducing government intrusion into our lives. A federalist says whether the government intrudes or not should be under the discretion of the states.

    That's why Johnson's gay marriage stance is more libertarian than Paul's, even if it is less federalist. If there are federal exemptions and privileges for married couples, no state should have the ability to block any consenting adults from access to the marriage license qualifying for these benefits. While we can still agree that ideally there wouldn't be any government marriage licenses, until all federal marriage-related legislation is off the books, this position is untenable and Paul's support for the federal DOMA and Marriage Protection Act is certainly not libertarian.

  • Proprietist||

    If Paul's vision of the constitutional construct of government is correct, his view of individual liberties protected by the Constitution is far, far too limited for me.

    The Ninth Amendment, Tenth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment are all very broad and far reaching in their view of individual liberties, covering things like "privacy" which is not explicitly stated anywhere in the Bill of Rights. If the Ninth Amendment is applied to states via the 14th Amendment, and the 10th Amendment interpretation leans more towards "the People" vs. "the States", there is a vast framework for extremely libertarian limits on government intrusion in all levels of government, and plenty of room for courts to find negative liberties not enumerated explicitly that must be defended and upheld by law everywhere.

  • Calidissident||

    Proprietist

    As I said, I agree that Paul's views on the 9th and 14th amendment are narrower than mine, but in general, I think federalist systems are more conducive to liberty, and if you start making too many exemptions, than you don't have a federalist system any more, and instead you have a centralized state that can take away rights everywhere on a whim. I think the parts of DOMA that ensure that states get to decide are ok from a Constitutionalist perspective, though I would agree that the parts regarding federal policy are unjust and don't agree with Paul on it, although Paul's desire is for the government to get out all together.

    Cyto

    Paul doesn't blame the USG for "everything." He does acknowledge that it's naive and idiotic to think the USG's actions abroad have no consequences and don't affect how we're perceived around the world. It depends who you mean by "they." I have no doubts that there are people over there that would hate us regardless of what we do. I (and Paul) am also not naive enough to think that there also aren't people who dislike us because of the wars, drone strikes, sanctions, support of dictators, etc that the USG has done over the years.

  • Cytotoxic||

    RP's noninterventionism is dogma pure and simple. You have described his beliefs in a way that is either misleading or simply how you envision his beliefs. Like I said, he thinks they hate us because 'we're over there' and that's absurd.

  • Whahappan?||

    What's absurd about it?

  • Calidissident||

    Just because you wish it to be absurd doesn't make it so. Is it the only factor? No. And I would like a citation where Ron Paul has said that it is the ONLY factor. Noninterventionism is the logical foreign policy of a libertarian states. Rights don't disappear just because borders and foreigners are involved (keep in mind that these rights are not just of the foreigners themselves, but the people here who are forced to pay for military adventurism)

  • Calidissident||

    *state

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Which principles?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It is a personality cult, but, to be fair, many of the cultists are in because of the substance of their candidate. Anyone who says that in the Obamania camp is full of shit.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fair enough. Ron Paul is The Good Politician whereas Obama only looks like The Good Politician to the absolutely insane and deluded.

  • ||

    I wouldn't call that a personality cult though. When the supporters' fervor for the man's principles lasts beyond the man's political viability, you know they're in it because they believe in what was said, and not just who said it.

  • The Hammer||

    Really, Cyto? You think the Paul people would keep supporting him if he got elected and immediately started escalating the war on drugs, launching drone strikes, trying to gut the FOIA and create new powers for himself out of whole cloth? This whole supporting Romney thing seems to cause brain damage.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I do. I think a lot of Paul supporters would excuse it just as a lot of Obamatrons would.

  • ||

    I don't think so. They don't like Paul just because he's Paul, but because of what he says. I'm sure SOME people would stick by him, but the vast majority would desert.

  • Whahappan?||

    You're delusional.

  • Libertarian4life||

    Johnson is getting plenty of support from RP people.. You didn't notice the jump in his popularity after the republican convention? There are some very hard core RP people who refuse to support anyone but RP. But most have seen sense in supporting Gary Johnson. I think this would easily be reflected if the polls actually included his name on a consistent basis... Just my $.02

  • Cytotoxic||

    I think you're right but my point is that they should have supported him OVER Paul. Right from the get go.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    "He never sounded that good"

    I heard him in Vegas and then recently - he has improved immeasurably.

    Ron Paul should have gotten behind him in 2011 and not run himself. But then
    he'd lose the opportunity to pad his e-mail list and raise more $$ for his on-going enterprises.

  • John||

    I have always said that Ron Paul should have gotten behind Johnson. There was room for one Libertarian in the Republican field. And it should have been Johnson.

  • ||

    I'm not sure it would have made much of a difference. While Paul was excluded from some polls and somewhat ignored, Johnson was almost COMPLETELY ignored. The man was polling above Cain and Bachmann, but not even a mention. He was even excluded from some debates when Paul wasn't.

    Perhaps Paul's support would have brought the media spotlight on him, since it would be unexpected, but I'm not sure Paul had enough attention at the time to push Johnson into the limelight. Hell, at the time I couldn't even remember the difference between Johnson and Huntsman.

    When I first mentioned Johnson to my mom just a few months ago, she had no idea who he was, even though she's been libertarian for decades and has known about Ron Paul for about as long. Now she's pimping Johnson out on Facebook practically every day or so.

  • tarran||

    If I were in Ron Paul's shoes, the Fair Tax would be a deal breaker.

    If the Fair Tax were ever to be implemented, the politicians would implement it as both a National Sales Tax and and income tax.

    The whole constitutional amendment to abolish the income tax would be dead in the water. Just as the tariffs the income tax was supposed to lessen never went away. In fact, the arguments of the proponents of the income tax were making 110 years ago are hysterically funny as they predicted a lower tax burden on all but the richest of the rich.

  • Proprietist||

    Then they aren't implementing the FairTax. It isn't the FairTax without the 16th Amendment repeal, it is simply a national sales tax with a rebate. Johnson supports the whole package.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not the biggest fan of any form of consumption tax (prefer land value taxation), but replacing the entire tax code with one tax would be far superior to keeping the current system and the class warfare involved with any attempts at altering it.

  • tarran||

    There is zero chance that the Fair Tax would be implemented as envisaged.

    There is also zero chance that the entire tax code or even a substantial portion would be replaced.

    Any politician who is fighting to get the fair Tax on the radar of the media is playing with the fire of burdening us with yet another system of taxation.

  • Proprietist||

    You're not making an argument against the FairTax itself, you're making an argument that the political makeup of Congress would lack the willpower or desire to pass the entire package.

    But that's kind of like arguing against a comprehensive entitlement reform that would make the budget solvent because it might be politically unpopular. Has nothing to do with the proposal itself.

  • tarran||

    Oh, I think the Fairtax is completely flawed on pretty much every level.

    Back during my active blogging days, I laid out my case against it.

    More on the Fair Tax

    More on the Fair Tax II

  • Proprietist||

    The commenters on your posts pretty much destroyed your arguments. I can understand if you are proposing a better system that corrects the flaws in the FairTax.

    But it seems your argument is that the current status quo is better than the FairTax only because, in political reality, the FairTax could mean no change to the status quo plus the FairTax on top of it. That's not fair to those who are arguing for the FairTax because removing the current tax code is integral to the entire FairTax concept, and everyone who supports FairTax would reject it if up for a vote and the 16th Amendment hadn't been repealed in conjunction.

    Again, you are arguing not against the policy as a whole, but against the political status quo. That's like arguing against any possible comprehensive reform package because imcomplete implementation might have bad consequences. You may have to change who's in power to get the best policy passed - that doesn't mean it isn't the best (or a far superior) policy.

  • tarran||

    The commenters on your posts pretty much destroyed your arguments. I can understand if you are proposing a better system that corrects the flaws in the FairTax.

    You must have read a different set of posts than the one I linked to, because the Fair Tax proponents for the most part slinked away. OF course, perhaps others will disagree after reading them.

    Moreover, I am arguing that even based on the criteria laid out by its designers, and if implemented ideally, the Fair Tax will fail to improve things. In fact, my argument is that it would be, at best, a distraction from reforms that actually would improve the economy.

    As I said, it's playing with fire where the risks significantly outweigh the paltry rewards.

  • Proprietist||

    Went back again to make sure my eyes didn't deceive me. Only 2 out of the dozen commenters opposed the FairTax and the rest supported it and pointed out the flaws in your arguments.

    FairTax would improve plenty of things although it isn't a panacea and definitely has its flaws. However, getting rid of the tax code is a good in and of itself. Revenue neutrality would be required to pass any such plan - in fact, the tax system should probably collect MORE revenue until we can pay off the existing debt, even assuming government spending can and should be cut severely.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I agree.

    I don't actually mind the idea of the Fair Tax as long it is completely and 100% unambiguously understood that it has to be done in one constitutional amendment that also repeals the 16th amendment as it grants new taxing power.

    But that pretty much makes it pointless to talk about. We can't even get rid of the designated hitter. The 16th amendment ain't goin nowhere.

  • Cytotoxic||

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH A SALES TAX even if alongside income tax. It was a great idea here in Canada. Thank God for the GST.

  • Proprietist||

    There's plenty wrong with a sales tax. It's a market distortion, it's inherently regressive, there's deadweight loss caused, etc.

    Land rents are the only taxes that don't have much wrong about them, since they are pretty much the only taxes with no deadweight loss and don't disproportionately burden the poor.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I consider not being able to live on my own land like a hermit and be left the fuck alone a pretty serious flaw. Worse than having to give a cut to Uncle Sam if I choose to leave my property and buy something.

  • Proprietist||

    Well, to clarify, for starters, I support voluntary land value taxes. You don't pay your land value taxes, that's fine, but you can't use the roads, aren't given police and fire protection, can get rejected from any local hospitals, can't file torts in state court systems, etc. You won't go to jail for not paying, but government will also do nothing to stop anyone from coming and destroying or stealing your property that you did not pay to have someone else protect.

    In essence, everything is "privatized" since government is now a pure service-providing organization to those who pay for the services.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Bleh. Consumption taxes are the least harmful tax and least distortionary. They make sure everyone pays for Santa Government. That's a paradigm shift.

  • Brandybuck||

    Why is there room for only one libertarian? I would have loved it if there were seven libertarians and only one neocon!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Agreed. You can sideline one not both.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't see how Johnson, in a Republican primary, would have been more electable than Paul. He had way less name recognition, and his views on abortion are a deal-breaker for most Republicans

  • Proprietist||

    This is true. I kinda wish Johnson had run as a primary challenger to Obama in the Democratic Party, for the lulz.

  • ||

    A fiscal conservative would do worse with the Dems than a social liberal would with the Reps.

  • Paul.||

    And we heard cheap shots about government-run health care from two candidates who both support it. Where is the reasonable argument that government shouldn’t be running health care in the first place?

    On the attacks in Libya, the debate we must have is not over what we call it or when; we need a debate over why we were there at all.

    As pointed out in a previous thread, the debates aren't formatted this way and the moderaters aren't creating a question lineup which reflects this as a possibility.

    Moderator (sitting in office the week before debate, creating questions):

    1. How would you use the government to reduce healthcare costs and make sure everyone was fully covered?

    2. How will America's nation-building exercises around the world affectuate their goals without alienating the world's populations?

    3. How quickly should the American government respond to citizens which create inflammatory content and post it on the internet?

    4. What's your plan to reduce student loan debt?

    5. Many Americans struggle with mortgages they can't afford. Detail your bailout plan, you have three minutes to respond.

    6. On a scale of 7-10, how correct is Paul Krugman about how the next administration should go forward on fixing the economy?

    7. What will your administration do to reduce Tea Party extremism in the country, and steer the national debate back to a more reasonable view of the role of government in society. You have five minutes to respond.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You forgot the predetermined narrative: Dem has big heart but doesn't want to be mean to his Repub opponent, who is a hack-and-slash crazy actual platform/past bearing not relevant, and who is so different from those other GOP moderate statesmen who were good honourable statist adversaries.

  • Paul.||

    *modorators*

    Fuck.

  • Paul.||

    Fuckity fuck. Moderators... jeebus my fingers are hitting every key but the one I'm aiming for.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I thought you were going for "Mordorators" - which worked for me.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I prefer Morboraters myself.

  • ||

    No, Paul, I think you're on to something. You just put the other "o" in the wrong place. Mooderators. There. It's not their job to referee the debate, it's their job to keep the debate on it's track:

    "Big Brother is there for you. The only REAL question is how."

  • Killazontherun||

    6.a On the scale between the two 40 yard lines between David Brooks and Paul Krugman where would you place your down marker?

  • Ice Nine||

    Gary Johnson responded to the debate without mentioning his own exclusion

    Which statement is succinctly emblematic of Gary Johnson's inept campaign.

  • Paul.||

    I'm not sure how his campaign is inept, beyond the fact that he hasn't done anything like "get arrested" to protest his exclusion from debates.

  • Ice Nine||

    Been discussed repeatedly here. In essence, phlegmatic and passive.

  • Paul.||

    Look, when you're running for national office on a platform which demands less power from the office you're running for, the inherent contradictions in that make it tough to craft a sabre-rattling campaign.

  • Ice Nine||

    Easy, big fella. No one's talking about sabre-rattling. Ignore the point if you wish. Hey, I voted for the guy. Doesn't change the fact that his campaign has been inept all along. Hardly just my idea here.

  • Paul.||

    I'm not ignoring the point. I really have little knowledge of the nuts and bolts of his campaign, so I'll defer to those who say his campaign has been inept.

    But speaking of nuts and bolts, if his campaign had been 'ept', then what, he gets 3.2% instead of 2.9%?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Cue huffing and bitching from Tulpa.

  • ||

    Yes. They're hilarious. And I'm convinced they help keep the Reason staff semi-sane.

  • Lyle||

    Live Free? Not Live Free or Die?

    Must be post-modern or new age libertarianism or something.

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