Election 2016

That Time NPR Said Gary Johnson's Economic Plan Was Best of the Bunch

In 2012, "Planet Money" put forward a six-plank "no-brainer economic platform" for growth and fairness. Johnson scored best on it - then and now.


Johnson campaign

During the 2012 election, the folks at NPR's Planet Money show created what they called a "no-brainer economic platform" built of six planks that had been vetted by economists across the ideological spectrum. From a Reddit summary of that plan:

1) Remove tax loopholes, specifically tax breaks for employer funded healthcare and mortgage interest for creating market distortions and acting as a de-facto regressive tax 2) Completely legalize marijuana 3) Eliminate corporate tax 4) Implement consumer tax 5) Eliminate income and payroll tax and replace it with a consumption-based tax. 6) All economists except the libertarian (citing the same reasons as Gary, complexity) agreed that carbon should be taxed (anything with empirically proven negative externalities).

They said that none of the candidates were supporting any of them, except Gary Johnson, who supported 5/6 (all but 6). They also noted his low support and credited it to the fact that these policies just sounded bad and hard to fit on a bumper sticker.

Planet Money just re-released the original broadcast, which you can access here or by clicking below.

It's right around the 30-minute mark that the hosts point out that Gary Johnson scored better that either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney did. Fast-forward four years and Johnson still scores better than his new set of rivals (and is still totally against a carbon tax despite what you may have heard). And still has lower support than either the Dem or the Rep.

Hat Tip: The commenter known as "Pay Up, Palin's Buttplug!" in this thread.

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  1. Oh yeah, 2012, the good old days.

    And then welcome to 2016, Gary’s ‘libertarian’ running mate starts shilling for Hillary.

    1. I know, a 70-something former establishment republican governor of a deeply blue state. Who could have seen that coming?

    2. Although Bill Weld is still Gary Johnson’s running mate on the ballot, their electoral interests no longer actually coincide. Why?

      Gary’s only hope at this point (and it’s a really, really long shot) is that

      1) He can win at least one state (like his home state of New Mexico)

      2) The votes for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are so evenly divided that neither one then gets a majority of electoral votes

      3) The House of Representatives, voting by states, is so loathe to pick either Trump or Clinton that they turn to him instead, since they are allowed to pick from (and only from) the top three candidates in the electoral vote count.

      But Bill Weld cannot benefit from this scenario, since the Vice President would be selected by the Senate, who must choose one of the top two candidates in the electoral vote count. So even if Johnson miraculously achieved the Presidency by this route, his Vice President would be either Pence or Kaine, not Weld.

      Anyway, it seems more likely at this point that, if someone other that Trump or Clinton wins a state, it will be Evan McMullin in Utah, rather than Gary Johnson in New Mexico. And if they both win their respective states, Utah’s six electoral votes would beat New Mexico’s five, Making McMullin and not Johnson the only third choice available to the House. He too, of course, would have to deal with having either Pence or Kaine as his Vice President.

  2. Oh mah gawds, it’s the Trumputin, he’s loose! He’s gonna gitcha!

    Another Democrat melts down

    1. Here’s a comment from that article. I have no idea if this is real, but if it is, it’s derpfuckingtastic:

      Dadyourweird, Uranus, United States, 3 minutes ago

      One of the Wikileak emails from Pickles campaign manager John Podestra “She smells like boiled cabbage, urine, and farts.” Look it up.

      For the record, I have yet to figure out who pickles is.

      1. Holy shit, this appears to be real. Apparently there is a Wikileak email from Podesta saying that Hillary smells like boiled cabbage, urine, and farts. LMAO! That is fucking gold!

        1. I didn’t think that anything stunk as bad as her economic policies. I guess I was wrong.

      2. And her hooha smells like kimchee.

  3. The commenter known as “Pay Up, Palin’s Buttplug!” in this thread.

    Worth it, just for the HT to mention their username.

    1. Came here just to post the same sentiment.

    2. I hope Palin’s Buttplug sees it.

      1. And settles his debt. Once I see some sort of evidence he’s paid up, I’m changing my nick.

  4. still has lower support than either the Dem or the Rep

    Come November 8, GayJay will have lower support than the Green and the Neocon-Mormon plant.

  5. Wow, HTs are back?

    1. I’m A: surprised they gave one

      B: surprised it was for a comment instead of through their archaic tip system

      and C: surprised they printed his actual handle.

  6. Economics, shmeconomics.

    The only relevant question is whether an ignorant, boorish lout who talks about pussy-grabbing is worse than than his opponent who has lifetime career of scandal and corruption combined with a spectacularly bad track record as Secretary of State.

    OT: Obama hasn’t been getting Hillary’s talking points: “The president thinks very highly of Director Comey,” Earnest said. “And yes, you can assert that he still has confidence in his ability to do his job.” Earnest called the FBI director a man of “integrity and good character.”

    Compare with: Clinton spokesman asserts FBI, GOP, and KGB are in cahoots

    1. Funny, James Carville seems to be spouting that same exact line.

  7. I like how the squirrels got Nick when he tried to post in the other thread.

  8. Hat Tip: The commenter known as “Pay Up, Palin’s Buttplug!”

    You have gotten Nick Gillespie to write the words ‘Palin’s Buttplug’ with no context whatsoever. Excellent work, Pay Up.

    1. I bet he was giggling like a 12 year-old when he wrote that.

  9. I quit listening to Planet Money after their four-part series investigating the causes of rising healthcare expenditures in which they concluded, essentially, “They just are!” Not one word about Medicaid/care, which I suspect they believed help reduce costs.

  10. What media org was the one that said, “But all the economists disagree with you” to Gay Jay the other day?

  11. Weld was quoted in an article about FBI Comey’s letter yesterday on boston.com”: After some media outlets construed his statements as implicit support for Clinton, Weld put out a follow-up statement reiterating his commitment to Johnson’s campaign.

    “The sensationalists and wishful thinkers are re-writing Gov. Weld’s forceful condemnation of Donald Trump into a suggestion that voters should support Hillary Clinton,” he said. “That is absurd. ? the Johnson-Weld ticket is not giving an inch to Donald Trump OR Hillary Clinton.”

    You can vote for either Hillary or for Donald but understand what you’re getting. Hillary = manipulative lies, crony capitalism, and increased military operations to further destabilize our world and threaten our security. Donald = liar, con, bigot, fascist, chauvinist pig, and a whiner who’s platform is based on building walls!

    Johnson and Weld have the guts to talk about the hard choices and overdue reforms to lead us out of the dark ages and into the 21st century. Our government is crippled by partisanship and they’re the only candidates with experience to work across party lines as re-elected Republican governors in Democratic majority states. I won’t waste my vote on either of the major party crooks or clowns and I’ll sleep well knowing that I hadn’t contributed to perpetuate crony capitalism and corruption!

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