Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson: I'll Cut Your Taxes and Save Social Security

LP candidate defends safety net spending but calls for smaller government.


screencap, Examiner Facebook video

Gabby Morrongiello and Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner have conducted a wide-ranging and interesting interview with Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson. He promises to cut taxes and limit the size and scope of spending. He also shows incredible reality testing when it comes to politics.

Among his answers:

Examiner: Can entitlements be reformed in any meaningful way? I mean is it politically feasible?

Johnson: I believe so, in my heart of hearts. Medicaid and Medicare both need to be devolved to the states. As governor of New Mexico, if the federal government would have given me a fixed amount of money, say based on the prior year and that I needed to draw new lines of eligibility to make that money work.

In my heart of hearts, those that do need a safety net would have received it, and we'd have done it for a lot less money. I say 50 laboratories of innovation and best practice, the states, there will be some fabulous success if we'll do that, there will also be horrible failure, but we'll all emulate the success.

And Social Security, I mean raising the retirement age for starters. Look, it's insolvent in the future. It's going to be insolvent. It has to be addressed.

And if we're going to put our heads in the sand, electing a president that's not going to acknowledge that and take part in the debate and the discussion over how do we reform Social Security so it is viable in the future … Look, I think we all understand that. But Trump and Clinton don't, or this is somehow the ticket to getting elected and then re-elected.

Read the full thing and watch video (20 minutes) here.

NEXT: Did the Libertarian Radicals Lose Their Inter-Party Fight? Not So Fast, Says One

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    1. Thanks, Hillary.

  1. GayJay still wants a VAT, promises to sign the TPP,…

    On the plus sign he’s against government guaranteed student loans, any federal minimum wage and McDonald’s hamburgers selling for $6 but he says the latter is inevitable in his lifetime. Probably from the FEDERAL HAMBURGER TAX that comes with his proposed 30%+ consumption tax.

    1. I would prefer VAT to the income tax.

      1. I’ve always favored a flat tax,with the first 20- 25,000 exempt with a low rate,10-12%..A VAT makes businesses the tax collectors for the whole country.That will make them a prime target for the IRS,who will have nothing else to do.

        1. You people think the VAT would be instead of the income tax? Oh my, no. In addition to.

          1. That’s a given,just like Bailey’s carbon tax.Another reason I’m against both.

          2. That I would be against.

        2. Most states have a sales tax so they already are tax collectors. It’s a whole lot simpler than an income tax. Plus it’s in your face daily and everyone pays. That makes raising taxes harder and lowering them politically popular.

          1. I doubt that.Most states have both income and sales taxes.That will happen with a vat and carbon tax..I’m still against business taking the burden of sending in every one’s taxes.Eliminate withholding and go with a flat tax.Let everyone write their own checks.It won’t be as easy to raise rates then.

          2. I doubt that.Most states have both income and sales taxes.That will happen with a vat and carbon tax..I’m still against business taking the burden of sending in every one’s taxes.Eliminate withholding and go with a flat tax.Let everyone write their own checks.It won’t be as easy to raise rates then.

            1. I would totally support taking the federal budget and dividing it by the number of people and sending everyone a bill. I honestly don’t see that happening though

              1. How about, people voluntarily send whatever they feel is necessary and government has to make due?

            2. There are only 5 states with no sales tax and 9 with no income tax.


            3. Eliminate withholding and some sort of privately run escrow like service will crop up, either independent or employer sponsored, and we’ll be right back to the current situation.

          3. Relatively easy for the accounting dept. to account for VAT and – assuming no income tax – the burden of withholding and reporting employee income taxes would go away.

          4. Sales taxes are regressive and much easier to evade than income tax.

            1. Sales taxes are regressive and much easier to evade than income tax.

              You say that like it’s a bad thing.

            2. Sure, if you never buy a new thing; in which case you’re making a trade.

              1. Never heard of a cash business?

                That’s why they want to do away with cash.

  2. He had to destroy the pillage in order to save it.

    1. Well played

      Do you know the general who said the original?

      1. Correction: it was attributed to a major… and was apocryphal I think

        1. Pretty sure it was a Major Asshole.

          (Actually Unknown, right?)

        2. I thought it was Tina Fey, but no:

          “Attributed to many different people, including war correspondent Peter Arnett who supposedly attributed the quote to an unidentified Army officer. Used circa 1968, perhaps during the bloody Tet offensive. Some people believe the phrase applies to the massacre at My Lai , where approximately 500 unarmed villagers were murdered by rampaging US troops. Army Lt. William Calley was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment but served only three years before being pardoned by President Richard Nixon.”

  3. OT: Seems a lot more productive than just protesting. Interesting I didn’t notice any cops there.…..-columbus/

  4. We should just raise the retirement age to 95. That should save it.

    1. If you saw the latest jobs numbers, that’s happening on its own.

    2. When it started the average life span was somewhere around 64. They never planned on so many living so long.

      1. He probably needs to specify because people who have already carefully planned their retirement aren’t going to vote for him if he is saying these things in the abstract and they have no idea what his plans are. Not that he’s getting the 50+ demographic anyways.

        1. Not that it matters

      2. Yep, it was not intended to be a pension plan.

      3. Maybe we should index retirement age to life expectancy plus one year.

        1. Life expectancy based on demographics? That might hurt SS’s intended role as a transfer payment from working class Black men to retirement-secure old White and Asian ladies.

  5. GayJay opposes the Fed’s “dual mandate” which is a good solid moderate Republican proposal that is better than nothing. I’m more “End the Fed” preferably with one of those hemp products, the cordage anyways.

    He opposes Voter ID and wants to make it easier to vote. I strongly disagree but can understand why GayJay wants to make it easier for dope-addled morons to throw their vote away on him.

    He sounds good on immigration. Work visas YES. Path-to-citizenship and Green Cards NO.

    1. So you support voter suppression?

      1. All sane people support suppression of illegal voters.

        1. Are “dope-addled morons” illegal? Please try to avoid changing the subject.

    2. Why not a path to citizenship? It’s not the same as instant-citizenship.

  6. “” . He also shows incredible reality testing when it comes to politics.””


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    1. I reported this shit but I think we should all refrain from reporting our beloved cop-hating longtime VPN/proxy spammer.

      1. I’m reporting you as a snitch.

  8. Black men. With guns. Legally.

    Often in police shootings, the carrying of a gun by the victim has become shorthand for whether it was justified. But experts and activists said that ignores an important point: whether someone was doing something threatening with the weapon.

    While there is no data on whether legally armed white or black people are shot at higher rates in the United States, experts on implicit bias said that negative stereotypes of black people would suggest that they are at a greater risk of having their actions or intentions misinterpreted when they carry guns.

    It is an issue with long historical roots. As far back as the 17th century, the British colonies expressly prohibited gun ownership among black people and Indians. Through Reconstruction, local judges and sheriffs administered gun permits in a racially discriminatory way. And when California’s Legislature banned open carry in the 1960s, it was in response to the Black Panthers’ openly wielding guns at the State Capitol.

    “Now, we all know black people are allowed to legally wear dresses like that, but come on. Put something respectable on, and you’ll be better off. You’re just begging for trouble.”

    1. A young black man reaching into his pocket is going to look more threat hoeing than an old lady because people aren’t fucking retarded and they know the violent crime rated for young black men are extremely high. Perhaps a lobotomy can fix that perception.

      1. threat hoeing


      2. Something|7.10.16 @ 9:35PM|#
        “…Perhaps a lobotomy can fix that perception.”

        Are you suggesting that cops get lobotomized to avoid profiling? Interesting!

  9. 50 laboratories of innovation and best practice,

    What’s the point of that, if you can’t force those other 49 labs to adopt the “best” methods? Why bother experimenting, when federal bureaucrats can just impose their vision from the top?

    1. Why bother? If GJ won and implemented something like this, the LP would be in a damn good position to get states to adopt the best methods. We keep forgetting that if the LP ever achieved national victories it could only come about if a large plurality of voters wanted to go in that direction. Which I doubt can be achieved in our lifetimes.

    1. {Reads fortune cookie} ‘That wasn’t chicken’.

    2. Demonizing China just like TRUMP.

    3. Tough reading, HM, and I sure didn’t get through all of it. It didn’t take long before it was obvious that they’d proved their point and the rest was commentary.
      But a couple of notes on the proposed solutions:

      1) “…have decided that original publications dealing with clinical liver transplantation outcomes
      submitted to this journal should explicitly exclude the use of executed prisoners or paid organs
      as a source of organs.”
      The presumption is that perverse incentives will cause harm to the donor(s). But for some reason, the MD making a ton of money on his work is not subject to the same incentives. Bullshit.
      Further, the demand for Chinese organs is driven by the shortages in part cause by the lack of a market for them elsewhere.

      2) “…a commitment to bring to justice all perpetrators of past organ transplant abuse and commencement of
      This means a LOT of ChiCom gov’t officials are going to have to be hung out to dry. I understand the desire for revenge, but not if it gets in the way of the goal.
      Nose, face and all that.

      1. As for 1…well, the authors are very Canadian. That’s all that’s needed to be said.

        2. Interestingly, the whole campaign to persecute the Falun Gong and harvest their organs was supposedly Jiang Zemin’s baby. Xi Jinping does not like Jiang as the military still is loyal to Jiang over Xi. Xi is currently spearheading an “anti-corruption” campaign which is really just a cover for his attempt to remove Jiang’s influence. There have been reports that Jiang was taken into custody by the police. If so, Xi might expose all this as justification for this power play against Jiang.

        Interesting times.

        1. That will still leave a ton of former Jiang partisans who suddenly can’t remember the characters which read “Jiang”…
          Just suggesting that trying for *all* ‘perpetrators’ may well be counter-productive.

  10. How would devolving Medicare to the states work? No one is allowed to leave the state they’re in midnight on their 65th birthday?

    1. So you support Trump or Clinton?


  11. Gary Johnson’s going to save Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and lower taxes all at once, because he’s awesome and it will be great. Details are for pussies.

    1. The fact he keeps seeing “in his heart of hearts” seems to suggest he thinks budgeting is primarily a matter of willpower. The only reason we haven’t been able to save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security while also balancing the budget and cutting taxes is that no one has wanted it hard enough before now.

      1. I think that’s right, because it takes a lot of will to cut benefits.

        1. I meant “willpower” in the “you have to believe or Tinkerbell will die!” sense.

  12. A very illuminating interview in which Gary Johnson says that he’d sign off on any legislation to abolish any federal agency except for Planned Parenthood. Sure, Planned Parenthood isn’t a federal agency, but that’s what he said.

    Fact is that is that Johnson and Weld are Republicans who just want to tweak the socon wing of the GOP. Well, they’re tweaking genuine libertarians as well. They’ve punked the LP.

    1. #NeverJohnson


      1. I’m betting that isn’t sarc.

  13. OK, so GJ isn’t willing to even address basic finance. Disappointed.

    Let’s talk finance. The national debt has doubled in the last ten years, but our interest payments on it are about the same as they were when the debt was half what it is now. How is that possible? You certainly couldn’t do that- if you decided to double your debt but declared that you would only pay the amount of interest you were paying before you doubled that debt- well, you know how that would go.

    Well- you don’t control the supply of the world’s reserve currency. The US does, and it can use that power in many ways. One way it can use it is to mask the amount of debt it is taking on, especially by keeping interest rates low. That hurts a lot of people- especially people on fixed incomes who expected a reasonable return, but it’s all for the greater good, and they should have saved more.

    But here’s my question- can we keep rates that low forever? What do you think would happen if rates returned to even the bottom end of historic norms? I’ll tell you, because I’ve done the math. The US would have to start spending more than half its annual budget just servicing its debt, and if interest rates returned to historical norms the US would have to stop almost all federal spending in order to service the debt, or take on even more debt (and more interest, and the math on that is pretty bad.) Or find enough in extra revenue to offset it, and that’s a lot of extra revenue.

    1. I know I sound like a crank when I point this out, but… I’m not talking about some theory, like gold standards vs a federal reserve bank. I’m talking about math that you can do yourself. I don’t so much care about Libertarian issues, right now, as I care about the US economy not folding like a house of cards.

      1. Peter Schiff and others have been sounding this warning for a long time. The Krugs of the world call them cranks. Wait til the shit hits the fan: depression.

        1. No kidding. And you think these recent BLM interstate parties are cute? Just wait.

    2. You certainly couldn’t do that- if you decided to double your debt but declared that you would only pay the amount of interest you were paying before you doubled that debt- well, you know how that would go.

      Obviously you haven’t refinanced a mortgage recently.

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