Gary Johnson compares Obama to Santorum on gay marriage

In his first issue release after switching to the Libertarian presidential race, Gary Johnson compared President Obama to Republican hardliner Rick Santorum on gay marriage:

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today assailed Sen. Rick Santorum for the ex-senator’s opposition to gay marriage equality and for Santorum’s past comments equating Gay marriage with polygamy, child molestation and bestiality. Johnson also offered criticism of President Barack Obama, who he said was “playing politics” with gay rights.

“Rick Santorum’s position is unconstitutional. The Constitution requires that all citizens be treated equally and makes no reference to gender in assuring those equal rights,” said Johnson. “By any fair measure, equal access to marriage for all Americans is a right — guaranteed by the Constitution. Senator Santorum’s claim that legally recognizing gay marriage would be no different than legalizing polygamy, child molestation or bestiality is repugnant and insulting to millions of gay Americans,” said the former New Mexico Governor.

Johnson had equally harsh criticism for President Barack Obama. “The New York Times reports that while President Obama gives lip service to gay equality, the President will not support gay marriage before the election because of the opposition of African Americans, as reflected in his polling, and the need to assure maximum support from African American voters in November,” said Johnson. “Instead the President sends out surrogates to imply that he will support gay marriage in a second term.

“President Obama did the same kind of dance around the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. He promised to repeal it in his campaign, then dragged his feet on repealing it as President, even sending the Justice Department’s lawyers into court to defend it. Then when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was finally repealed by Congress, he claimed victory and a promise fulfilled.

“As for Rick Santorum, at least he is consistent. He not only opposed the repeal of DADT, he has promised to return our military to the Dark Ages and reinstate it, and claims that repealing such a discriminatory policy has somehow been ‘detrimental’ to gays.

“I, for one, am tired of seeing candidates for president – including the President himself, play political games with people’s lives and happiness. Perhaps it’s time for a president who leads based upon principle instead of polls,” he said.

Johnson announced on Dec 28th that he would leave the Republican Presidential contest and seek the Libertarian Party nomination. If nominated by the Libertarians, Johnson will be on all 50 state ballots as an alternative to the Republicans and Democrats. “The two-party system is broken,” Johnson said when he announced. “I’m ready to offer the American people a Libertarian alternative.”

About Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson: Gary Johnson, two-term Governor of New Mexico from 1994-2002, has been a consistent and outspoken advocate for limited, efficient government and personal liberty.

At The Daily Caller, Steven Nelson speculates that Johnson may cut into Obama’s support among gay voters:

Lt. Dan Choi, who was discharged from the military under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, told The Daily Caller, “I am not in the habit of endorsing candidates and I no longer belong to any party, but I hold Governor Johnson in highest regards and think he would be an amazing president.”

Choi, who has declared in the past that he won’t vote for Obama again, called Johnson “a patriot, a hero, a fighter and a friend. I salute him proudly and wish him the very best in his campaign.”

GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia similarly indicated that gay voters may consider voting for Johnson.

112 thoughts on “Gary Johnson compares Obama to Santorum on gay marriage

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Good positioning by Johnson!

    One thing any LP presidential candidate should hammer home is that (as of last summer per Gallup), 53% of Americans support ending marriage apartheid, while 0% of major party presidential candidates do.

    Most of that 53% aren’t “single issue voters” who care only about that subject, but some of them are, and it’s at least a conversation opener for the rest. Much better than “states’ rights is the essence of libertarianism.”

  2. langa

    I wonder if Johnson will allow marriage ceremonies (either straight or gay) for the detainees in his Guantanamo gulag.

  3. D. Lou Shenoll

    Keep the state OUT of Marriage !

    An investigative reporter is currently working on a story of the former PA Senator Santorum ties to the multiple accused pedophile Sandusky former Penn St. football coach. The story may reveal a web of pedophile rings from PA leading to DC capitol offices using Senate and House pages and other underage victims!!

    The vile corruption stinks to the nostrils of Almighty YAHWEH !!!

  4. ralph swanson

    Love the guy but he needs to work on his approach.

    Rattling nonsense about the Constitution, attacking others and so on, he sounds like a confused conservative…None of his statements have anything to do with Libertarianism.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    Very nice! A!

    Being for gay rights is an excellent differentiator from the Rs. Young people, gays, socially tolerant suburbanites, and many constituencies recognize that this is pretty much of a no-brainer issue, yet reactionaries maintain the status quo.

    Off to a good start….

  6. AnthonyD.

    And, GJohnson has some sort of online town hall meeting tonight at 8pm EST. If it is interacvtive, I am defintely going to tell him this is a great start, and he can expect a lot of support from me (financial and otherwise) if he follows this release up with more of the same.

    He needs to be reassured that taking the fight directly to the demopublicans is the way to go.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    10 cb, yes, BB’s biggest policy weakness was DOMA, and already GJ has addressed that. As a smart pol, my guess is we’ll see him address Gitmo and the FAIR Tax in the coming weeks or months.

    I suspect it won’t be quite as easy, as GJ was already well into the LP tent on gay marriage. Evolving his Gitmo views will be somewhat difficult, FAIR Tax, more so.

    But my guess is only the most hostile Ls will be outspoken critics of GJ after he addresses these red-flagged issues.

    We shall see….

  8. AnthonyD.

    I agree on Johnson>Barr.

    I would just suggest we keep one thing in mind with regard to the Barr campaign in 2008: in my opinion, his nomination was at least partly due to the rationale that the LP needs to put forward someone who is in some way electable. Someone with a halfway decent resume.

    If one approves of the necessity of a rough “sliding scale” with practical experience on one side and philosphical purity on the other, and then argues that Barr was a bad candidate, I can accept that position. If one suggests that the sliding scale itself is the problem, then I cannot agree.

  9. paulie Post author

    If one approves of the necessity of a rough “sliding scale” with practical experience on one side and philosphical purity on the other, and then argues that Barr was a bad candidate, I can accept that position. If one suggests that the sliding scale itself is the problem, then I cannot agree.

    My thoughts as well.

  10. paulie Post author

    I suspect it won’t be quite as easy, as GJ was already well into the LP tent on gay marriage. Evolving his Gitmo views will be somewhat difficult, FAIR Tax, more so.

    I see it possibly happening on Gitmo, but he seems strongly committed to the fraudulent tax.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp

    @12,

    If he does it early and on the right terms, I don’t see why walking back on the “Fair” Tax should be very difficult for him.

    Awhile back, Gingrich asserted that he supported “individual mandates” early on because that was in fact the conservative alternative (proposed by the Heritage Foundation, no less) to “HillaryCare,” but that the situation has evolved since then.

    Johnson can put the same gloss on his own argument. “I bought into the ‘Fair’ Tax because it was a long-standing conservative proposal for tax reform that seemed to fit into the budget priorities I’ve suggested. Moving my fight for fiscal sanity outside the Republican Party allowed me to look at it with new eyes. And that second look tells me that the ‘Fair’ Tax doesn’t solve the problems which need solving, and that it comes with significant down sides.”

    After which he can roll out his new tax proposal. What that might be, I don’t know.

    On the radical end, he could propose just eliminating the income tax and replacing it with nothing, noting that doing so would leave the US in roughly the budget position of the US circa 1995 — not exactly a leap to Libertopia.

    If he wants to take the radical edge off that, he could propose implementing the phaseout over the course of 10 years with across-the-board rate cuts each year, and note that as the income tax goes out, revenues from other existing taxes will likely increase due to the new economic activity leaving all that money in the market economy will engender.

    If he wants to be downright moderate and populist, he could go with the Kubby 2008 “if Congress won’t repeal the income tax” plan — regular, annual increases in the personal exemption so that everyone gets tax cuts with the biggest impact at the lower end of the income scale.

    It shouldn’t be that hard. And his incentive to do it is that every month he continues to cling to the “Fair” Tax may well put another round of balloting between him and the nomination. It may not be a deal-breaker, but it makes for a hard close.

  12. Michael Cavlan RN

    Well this is right on. Comparing the Dems and Repubs on this is a very good move.

    Good job Mr Johnson.

  13. AnthonyD.

    Mr. Knapp @ 16,

    I’d agree with you. Seems to me, he has plenty space to moderate his own Fair Tax position enough to satisfy the purists and lock up the nomination.

  14. Robert Capozzi

    16 tk, yes, it can be done, in the ways you suggest or other ways. I would support GJ even if he didn’t, esp. in light of his budget proposal, which viewed in tandem, sends a positive message in the L direction. I think we agree that hitching his star to the FAIR Tax was a mistake, but I don’t think it’s a fatal one, since there are ASPECTS of the FAIR Tax that are preferable to the current configuration.

    Of course, I keep in mind that a candidate’s “plans” almost never get enacted. If somehow RP gets elected, there will not be a $1T cut. If somehow GJ – even more unlikely – got elected, the budget won’t be cut 47%. I view plans like these as signals — thought experiments, only.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@19,

    It’s all a matter of gradations — mostly unpolled, so we just have to guess at how many people fit into them — and how GJ interacts with those gradations affects how his LP-internal nomination campaign goes.

    Here are some of those gradations:

    – LP delegates who support the “Fair” Tax, and would consider it a positive thing for GJ as a candidate to support. I think this is a fairly small group, and that the portion of it who would say “no ‘Fair’ Tax, no GJ” is even smaller.

    – LP delegates who don’t support the ‘Fair’ Tax but don’t consider it a dealbreaker. That’s probably a fairly large group.

    – LP delegates who don’t support the ‘Fair’ Tax and DO consider it a dealbreaker. IMO that’s a fairly large group too. Maybe not as large as the previous group. Hard to tell.

    – LP delegates who not only oppose the ‘Fair’ Tax and consider it a dealbreaker, but who won’t trust any GJ retrenchment on it as honest and permanent. I suspect that’s a small group as well, but larger and even less trusting than it should be due to Barr’s about-faces last time around.

    That first group is likely to support GJ.

    The second group is likely to be generally supportive of GJ for other reasons than the “Fair” Tax — but more so as he backs away from it.

    The third group is likely to be generally opposed to GJ — but less so if he abandons it the ‘Fair’ Tax.

    The fourth group probably wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire. That’s probably a small group too.

    The first two groups might or might not constitute a majority of delegates, but the more of them he has, the closer he is to a majority, and backing off the ‘Fair’ Tax is probably a bigger gain for him with the second group than it is a loss with the first.

    A big piece of the third group is at least theoretically available to him, if he drops the “Fair” Tax.

    If he can get the firm support of the first two groups and pick up a big chunk of the third group, he’s pretty much set for first ballot nomination.

    If not, then he has to hope that third group goes his way as succeeding ballots eliminate his opponents, instead of coalescing around other opponents.

  16. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “A big piece of the third group is at least theoretically available to him, if he drops the ‘Fair’ Tax.”

    I think that if Gary Johnson abandons the Fair Tax now that it will be fake, and I consider the Fair Tax to be such a toxic and deceptive issue that it is a deal breaker for me.

  17. Andy

    And Gary Johnson has some other problems in addition to the Fair Tax.

    Also, those who think that he’s some kind of big celebrity are grossly overestimating his celebrity status. The reality is that he was Governor of a low population state who has been out of office – and largely out of whatever spotlight he had – for 9 years. His campaign for the Republican nomination was barely a blip on the radar screen. I’d be willing to bet that most Republicans don’t even know who he is.

  18. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp // Jan 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    @12,

    If he does it early and on the right terms, I don’t see why walking back on the “Fair” Tax should be very difficult for him.”

    If Gary Johnson “finds Jesus” (so to speak) on the Fair Tax and flip flops on the issue, it will obviously be fake and just a ploy to get the LP Presidential nomination.

    It is not as though Gary Johnson supported the Fair Tax years ago and had a change of heart on the issue, Gary Johnson has promoted the Fair Tax recently, and he in fact has promoted SINCE he has re-joined the Libertarian Party (he was a dues paying member for one year back in the early ’90s before he ran for Governor of New Mexico).

    If Gary Johnson says that he no longer supports the Fair Tax everyone’s “bullshit detector” should go off.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    23 a, right, you seem firmly in group 4.

    Who thinks that GJ is “some kind of big celebrity”? I can’t think of a soul who thinks that.

    In politics, Obama and now Romney, Palin and probably Gingrich are celebs. Even RP is not, although he IS a B lister.

    Ventura and Rand Paul might be C listers. GJ is a D lister at this point.

    IMO…

  20. Robert Capozzi

    25 a, as for finding Jesus, I don’t see any evidence that GJ is SO immersed in the FAIR Tax that he can’t walk it back.

    But, I can imagine some might have your BS detector reaction, which is why I suggest he add the flat tax or TK’s income tax sunset plan to his FAIR Tax view. There’s no reason why he must have one plan. Ls should recognize that SPENDING is the far more significant issue, and on that score, GJ is edgy bold, which is great positioning for the LP….

  21. Andy

    “Who thinks that GJ is ‘some kind of big celebrity’? I can’t think of a soul who thinks that.”

    A lot of Libertarian Party members are acting like Gary Johnson is a big celebrity who will bring the Libertarian Party to a higher level.

    Ron Paul and Jesse Ventura are much bigger celebrities than Gary Johnson.

    Gary Johnson’s “celebrity” status is so minor that I don’t think that it will be much of a factor in the general election should he become the Presidential nominee for the LP (and given the number of middle aged political jock sniffing groupies – who view anyone who has been elected to anything as some kind of star – that make up the LP, I wouldn’t be suprised if Johnon gets the nomination, especially given who weak the other candidates are).

    We all heard the same nonsense about Bob Barr 4 years ago, and the Barr campaign turned out to be a disappointment, just like I predicted.

  22. Andy

    “Robert Capozzi // Jan 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    25 a, as for finding Jesus, I don’t see any evidence that GJ is SO immersed in the FAIR Tax that he can’t walk it back.”

    Gary Johnson has made promoting the Fair Tax one of the biggest issues in his campaign since he started running for President. If he drops the issue now it will OBVIOUSLY be a bullshit ploy just to get the LP Presidential nomination.

  23. NewFederalist

    Andy… if it is Obama, Romney, Johnson, Goode and Bloomberg (not to slight the Greens); who would you support?

  24. Robert Capozzi

    28 a: A lot of Libertarian Party members are acting like Gary Johnson is a big celebrity …

    me: Without any evidence, I have to assume that you have simply talked yourself into this narrative.

    There IS lots of evidence that Ls believe GJ has credibility. RP probably has a lot more credibility, but he continues to pursue the GOP nomination.

    JV might have more credibility than GJ EXCEPT he’s now highly associated with numerous conspiracy theories, including 9/11 Truth, which is toxic to large numbers of voters at this point. And he has repeatedly talked about his in effect emigrating to Mexico. This is a weak position to run for prez for, IMO. You personally might admire this, but I would think you’d recognize how polarizing and alienating JV is as a prospective candidate.

    And he’s expressed non-interest in running, so it’s not real obvious why you keep bringing him up. Tom Cruise and George Clooney are bigger celebs than GJ, too! ;-)

    If you are such a good predictor, what’s your prediction?

  25. Andy

    “JV might have more credibility than GJ EXCEPT he’s now highly associated with numerous conspiracy theories, including 9/11 Truth, which is toxic to large numbers of voters at this point”

    9/11 Truth is only “toxic” with people who are already attached to the establishment candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties. These are people who are not likely to vote “third party” or independent anyway.

    Remember, mainstream voters are NOT our target audience. Mainstream voters will already have Obama or whoever the Republicans come up with as their candidate, probably Mitt Romney, but maybe Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum.

    Most of the independents and usual non-voters who will come off the couch to vote for Jesse Ventura will either agree with him on the issue, or they won’t care that much about his stance on what happened on 9/11 (as in it won’t be a deal breaker issue for them even if they don’t agree with his opinions on it).

    Jesse Ventura is a much bigger start than Gary Johnson and I’d be willing to bet money that he get more votes than Gary Johnson.

    I will say that Jesse Ventura had some libertarian purity issue problems in the past (like Gary Johnson), but I think that he is definitely moved in a more libertarian direction.

    This is why I would prefer for Ron Paul to be at the top of the ticket with Jesse Ventura as the VP.

    When it comes to celebrity status, Ventura blows Johnson away. I also think that he’s got more “balls” than Johnson, and probably is more libertarian than Gary Johnson is at this point as well.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    32 a: Most of the independents and usual non-voters who will come off the couch to vote for Jesse Ventura…

    me: Sorry, in your fantasies, perhaps. JV has said he’s not going to run, so there’re abundant reasons to believe that no one’ll be getting off any couches to vote for him. He HAS said he’d consider running with RP as VP after he checked with his wife, as I recall.

    Should RP bolt, that’ll be something to look at. In my fantasies, GJ is the #2. They can trot JV out as a surrogate. On the ticket, it RP/JV might work, or it might be just a bit too kooky. In my mind, I like the ticket’s chances of doing a half-Perot and maybe getting in the debates with GJ over JV, as JV is just too “hot” for primetime. With NewsletterGate still hanging over RP, I would not want JV’s baggage added to the load if it could be avoided.

    This assumes GJ would stand aside. I think he’d be foolish not to against RP, should it come to that.

    But this all is still wild speculation. At the moment, GJ is in the race. He’s not perfect, no one is. My guess is he’s the frontrunner by a mile. His first missive as a L prospect was well done. Hopefully, he’ll continue cleaning up his R baggage.

    Would you be satisfied, Andy, if GJ announced that he too is a Troofer? ;-) Or are you doing all you can to torpedo GJ?

  27. paulie Post author

    In politics, Obama and now Romney, Palin and probably Gingrich are celebs. Even RP is not, although he IS a B lister.

    I’d say Ron Paul is an A lister at this point. That’s a recent development, though. He’s gotten to the point where major media and debate questioners can’t ignore him.

  28. paulie Post author

    JV might have more credibility than GJ EXCEPT he’s now highly associated with numerous conspiracy theories, including 9/11 Truth, which is toxic to large numbers of voters at this point.

    They’re also a positive to a large niche which tends to be anti-government. It will lose some votes and win others. I think it would win more than it would lose.

    And he has repeatedly talked about his in effect emigrating to Mexico.

    He snowbirds there every winter. He lives in Minnesota. So what?

    And he’s expressed non-interest in running, so it’s not real obvious why you keep bringing him up.

    He’s expressed interest in running recently.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    35 p, I see yer point, P, but they still ignore him relative to how well he’s done in IA and NH. They almost always discount him as un-nominatable and un-electable. Low ceiling and all that.

    But he’s certainly come far fast.

    Interestingly, I’d say he could still be an A lister this year, if he bolts and plays 2012’s Perot, who was an A lister in 92…

    Being a B lister is an accomplishment. I’d say Boehner, Reid, and Pelosi are B listers. That a person who believes what he believes has ascended this high is pretty freakin’ amazing, actually.

    Being an A lister is not necessarily a blessing. Cain was there for maybe a month or two, and then it blew up in his face….

  30. Robert Capozzi

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Former Minn. Gov. Jesse Ventura is so upset by a judge’s ruling on his airport security lawsuit that he says he’ll apply for dual citizenship so he can spend more time in his beloved Mexico.
    —-

    Sorry, US presidents don’t have dual citizenships, IMO.

    ____

    Where has JV said he wants to run for prez now. I’m not finding it….

  31. paulie Post author

    He was discussing the possibility with Hinkle and mentioned it on the Alex Jones show.

    Pretty sure we discussed it here.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    39 p, oh, missed that conversation. Thanks. I saw him tell Jones he is interested in VP with Paul, not the #1 slot. Maybe he’s changed his sentiment….

  33. George Whitfield

    I am also glad Gary Johnson is participating in debates with the other LP candidates for the Presidential nomination.

  34. Mickey Finn

    I hope buyers remorse over Barr does not cause people to overreact in the opposite direction.

  35. AnthonyD

    Andy @ 32,

    The 9/11 Truth movement is toxic because its sheer lunacy. You don’t propound a lie (or a delusion), simply because a lot of people have some sympathy for it. Furthermore, anyone who believes in the Truther story is automatically disqualified from the nomination of my party, the Libertarian Party, because they are a friggin’ idiot and a moron. They probably have no solid fundamental belief in liberty, they just have an incessant need to self-aggrandize, so you couldn’t trust their libertarian bona fides anyway.

    9/11 Troofer nonsense is the least of his conspiracy theories. He’s also expressed belief in the idea that the JFK assassination was an inside job. This makes him a dumb fuck. He’s actually an ex-steroid using dumb fuck who’s taken too many blows to the head.

    These are not just idle slams at “The Body.” Let me give you further elaboration. Here is an interesting story about this moron Ventura getting punched and knocked down because he was at a Navy bar where some SEALs were after a wake mourning a soldier’s death and the idiot Ventura said that “we deserved to lose a few guys over there.” This is why you don’t support 9/11 Truther lunatics like this:

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/10/navy-seal-who-punched-jesse-ventura-witnesses-are-coming/

    I could give a crap that he is some sort of semi-celebrity who appears on the Howard Stern show to pimp his lunatic conspiracy theory t.v. show. Gary Johnson has an excellent resume as a businessman and an excellent resume as a governor. Ventura is probably mostly interested in his own celebrity status.

  36. Michael Cavlan RN

    @#45

    Jesse Ventura was my Governor. He is a hero of the third party movement. He is also a hero, full stop. So I could give one rat’s ass about your pip squeak opinion.

    In Minnesota we had a popular bumpersticker that said

    MY GOVERNOR CAN KICK YOUR GOVERNORS ASS

    He could probably do the same to your pip squeak ass.

  37. Jill Pyeatt

    Anthony D @ 45: You’re awfully sure of yourself for being so wrong–but, oh well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I do think, though, that Mr. Ventura has a niche, and he’s filling it well at this time. I’d prefer to see Steve Kubby as the VP candidate.

  38. AnthonyD

    Michael @45,

    He’s a self-aggrandizing 9/11 Troofer. Your dumb bumpersticker is the very reason I want no part of the idiot. Did you read the link I provided? What do you think of your Governor now?

  39. AnthonyD

    Jill @47,

    Jill, read this very carefully: he thinks our government perpetrated 9/11. There is no evidence for this pathetically silly proposition. You have to question the sanity of someone who believes that. Anyone who believes that has no qualification to be the leader of the Libertarian Party. I wouldn’t trust him to run for Chief Dog Catcher, because I have no idea what cockamamey conspiracy theory he might believe in next. We didn’t land on the moon? December 2012 is the end of the world? Who knows? He got bashed over the head too many times as a (fake) professional wrestler running around a ring in tights.

    But I’ll agree with you on one thing: he has a niche. So does Alex Jones. So does child porn. I want no part of any of them.

  40. AnthonyD

    Jill @ 47,

    And I’ll tell you something else: I loved him as a wrestler. I think he is a great guest when he appears on the Howard Stern show.

    But you just have to listen to 5 minutes of his ranting about WTC 7 being “pulled,” and 5 minutes of Governor Johnson explaining what he would do to shrink the size of government, and you would know who is qualified and who is not.

  41. Andy

    “AnthonyD // Jan 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Jill @47,

    Jill, read this very carefully: he thinks our government perpetrated 9/11. There is no evidence for this pathetically silly proposition.”

    There is a mountain of evidence that factions within the government carried out the 9/11 attack. Anyone who denies this is either a liar, an ignoramus, or a naive fool.

    Anyone who is intellectually honest and does some homework on the issue knows that the official government story about 9/11 is a lie.

  42. Andy

    “Would you be satisfied, Andy, if GJ announced that he too is a Troofer? ;-) Or are you doing all you can to torpedo GJ?”

    If Gary Johnson had the balls and the intellectual honesty to look into the 9/11 attack (which I doubt that he does), and if he came out and said that he did not believe the official government story and that he supported reopening the 9/11 investigation, my opinion of him would go up.

    Would it go up to the point where I’d support him for the nomination? Probably not, due to the fact that he advocates the Fair Tax.

    The Fair Tax is a particularly toxic plan, and the marketing of it has been very deceptive. The Fair Tax is really the worst tax plan that I’ve ever heard any Libertarian Party candidates advocate. It’s not just that it is a tax. It’s not just that it’s a national sales tax. It’s not just that it’s 30%. It’s also all of the other garbage that goes with it as well as the the fact that it is being marketed in such a deceptive manner.

    Johnson has a few other problems, such as his position on Guantanamo Bay, his support of at least some military interventions, and his refusal to grant pardons to people who’ve been convicted of victimless “crimes” (his position is that it is not proper for the Executive branch to pardon people, but rather to work within the system to get laws changed).

    The Fair Tax plan is so toxic and so deceptive that for this reason alone I don’t think that anyone should support Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination.

  43. Andy

    “AnthonyD // Jan 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Andy @ 32,

    The 9/11 Truth movement is toxic because its sheer lunacy. ”

    There are people out there who say the same thing about the entire Liberty Movement. So go vote for Barrack Obama or Mitt Romney if you don’t like it.

  44. Andy

    “These are not just idle slams at ‘The Body.’ Let me give you further elaboration. Here is an interesting story about this moron Ventura getting punched and knocked down because he was at a Navy bar where some SEALs were after a wake mourning a soldier’s death and the idiot Ventura said that ‘we deserved to lose a few guys over there.’?”

    I’ve heard that this story is a lie, but even if it was true, so what? The only thing that it proves is that the SEAL that supposedly punched Jesse Ventura is a statist thug and an asshole. The story is most likely bullshit.

  45. langa

    The idiot at #45 doesn’t sound like much of a libertarian to me. Rather, he sounds like the kind of fool who worships the military and believes that violent actions are justified just because someone makes a comment that rubs you the wrong way.

    I’m not a big Ventura fan, but I’ll take him over that kind of knee-jerk idiot any day of the week.

  46. Andy

    “Should RP bolt, that’ll be something to look at. In my fantasies, GJ is the #2. They can trot JV out as a surrogate. On the ticket, it RP/JV might work, or it might be just a bit too kooky. In my mind, I like the ticket’s chances of doing a half-Perot and maybe getting in the debates with GJ over JV, as JV is just too “hot” for primetime.”

    Jesse Ventura would bring in a lot more votes than Gary Johnson.

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    Dropped in on Johnson’s Internet “Town Hall” tonight.

    The good news: He looks and sounds about 100 times as genuine articulate as he did the last time I actually noticed him on the GOP campaign trail.

    The bad news: He’s still promoting the “Fair” Tax and doesn’t seem much interested in engaging the issue beyond promoting it.

    That’s not quite as politically stupid as e.g. wearing a pink triangle t-shirt to a NOM conference, but close. If he sticks to it, or waits until the last minute to dump it, it will make his path to the nomination a lot harder than that path has to be.

  48. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m very pleased to have Gary Johnson in the Presidential race, mainly because it will undoubtedly keep Root from running. I think some of what GJ says is very good–but I’m not convinced yet. I certainly hope he talks to all kinds of Libertarians–some who lean left, and some who lean right. He just might genuinely change his mind on a few things in the next few months.

  49. Don Grundmann

    ” The 9/11 Truth movement is toxic because its sheer lunacy.”

    Response – There are many defenders of the ” party line ” regarding 9-11 who simply ignore many open facts; such as the question of how Building #7 ( the THIRD building ) imploded when it was not hit by a plane; by ad-hominously attacking those who question such obvious holes in the story. That is part of the, if not the main, reason for the success of the attack.

    Architects for 9-11 Truth provide a facts based analysis of the collapse of all 3 towers. Unfortunately lovers of the ” party-line ” are as allergic to facts as vampires are to crosses.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. Chairman American Independent and Constitution Parties of California

  50. Don Grundmann

    The true intention of, and results of, the legalization of homosexual marriage can be found at CandleCrusade.org.

    Additionally there is no such thing as ” gay.” The word is simply a marketing/public relations, Social Engineering term for warping the masses to accept the emotional pathology of homosexuality.

    The term ” gay ” actually was coined regarding, and stands for, ” G”oing ” A”fter ” Y”outh.”

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. Chairman American Independent and Constitution Parties of California

  51. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “The bad news: He’s still promoting the ‘Fair” Tax’ and doesn’t seem much interested in engaging the issue beyond promoting it.”

    And for this reason alone I strongly urge all Libertarian Party members to REJECT Gary Johnson as a candidate for President. If you support Johnson then you are supporting the Fair Tax, whether this is your intention or not. This isn’t just a “side issue” for Johnson, it is a major part of his campaign. The issue is HIGHLY TOXIC and the Libertarian Party should avoid it like the plague.

    I will be absolutely disgusted if the Libertarian Party gets branded as the Fair Tax Party.

    End the income tax and replace it with nothing! The hell with the Fair Tax fraud!

  52. Andy

    “He just might genuinely change his mind on a few things in the next few months.”

    I don’t trust anyone who joins the party and immediately (or almost immediately) runs for President and then says that they’ve suddenly “changed their minds” on some issues.

    Did people not learn anything from the Bob Barr fiasco? –

    If Gary Johnson “changes his mind” on the Fair Tax or anything else at this late stage in the game you can take it to the bank that it’s a lie.

  53. Jill Pyeatt

    Andy @ 63: I do remember the nightmare that was Bob Barr, and I did say that I’m not convinced about Gary Johnson being right for the candidacy yet. I’m most concerned about his lack of promising to close Guantanamo, but the Fair Tax issue is a problem for me, as well. I hope he’ll debate with the other candidates, write more articles, and let us get to really know him. I will say, though, that his history is far more Libertarian than Barr’s was. I really don’t think they both got on at the same train station, so to speak.

  54. Robert Capozzi

    62 a: I will be absolutely disgusted if the Libertarian Party gets branded as the Fair Tax Party.

    me: Oh, now I think I’m getting a sense of your real fears about GJ. If he gets the nomination, for decades the LP will be tinged with the FAIR Tax.

    I’d suggest your fears are overblown. Say GJ gets the nomination, and say the FAIR Tax remains a key component of his campaign. Most onlookers don’t know about the critiques of the FAIR Tax. They won’t know about the 30%/23% stuff. Mostly, many will conclude, Hey, that kinda sounds OK. I like the idea of simpler taxes. I like GJ’s ideas about balancing budgets fast. I like that he’s not like the Rs…he’s for gay marriage, he’s for legalizing pot, he’s pro-choice…he’s not a Bible-thumping hater. He’s for bringing the troops home. He seems kinda hip, like a regular dude. Damn, dude started a handyman business and built it into a construction company…cool. Now he rides his bike and friggin’ climbed Mt. Everest.

    The contrast with silver-spoon Romney and serial-hypocrite Obama will be stark. If GJ campaign can produce some impactful viral videos, do some decent interviews, make a reasonably convincing case that a vote for Romney or Obama is the REAL wasted voted, GJ might do OK…maybe double Clark. And that might represent a lot of people who don’t vote for him and the LP but who wanted to.

    Come December 2012, very few will have a top-of-mind association with the FAIR Tax and the LP. Instead, there will be millions more who will be thinking that the Ls and the LP more closely represent what they believe in politically. Assuming that the damage done to the LM by NewsletterGate has peaked, some of those Paul supporters will give the LP a look. Even if it hasn’t, they still might, feeling uncomfortable in the GOP.

    Changing minds is generally a gradual, non-linear process. Politics is not physics.

  55. paulie Post author

    The Fair Tax sucks, but if I had to take a leak and Johnson happened to be on fire, I would piss on him.

    What if he wasn’t on fire?

  56. paulie Post author

    Oh, now I think I’m getting a sense of your real fears about GJ. If he gets the nomination, for decades the LP will be tinged with the FAIR Tax.

    I’d suggest your fears are overblown.

    Maybe, maybe not.

    I can see your scenario as somewhat plausible (though I’m very skeptical of double Clark, especially in the year of AE).

    But I can also see the Republicans making moves to head Johnson off at the pass.

    What can they do to keep the LP brushfire from growing out of control?

    I know! Pass the fraudulent tax, which serves to plug the budget hole. Forget to sunset the income tax – those sunset clauses get extended all the time, you know. Maybe phase out paper money so all purchases can be tracked to ensure tax compliance.

    Unfortunately, in real world government, when you propose to get rid of several taxes, programs and regulations, and add just one tax, that is the only part of your agenda that is most likely to actually get implemented. Government “likes” to grow, and the only way to have any chance of cutting it must mean that you are not pushing to grow any part of it – no new or expanded taxes, no new or expanded government programs, no new or expanded regulations.

    I see both the upside you see and the downside Andy sees with Johnson.

  57. paulie Post author

    The idiot at #45 doesn’t sound like much of a libertarian to me. Rather, he sounds like the kind of fool who worships the military and believes that violent actions are justified just because someone makes a comment that rubs you the wrong way.

    To be fair, he was responding to “my governor can kick your governor’s ass,” which is the same sort of idea.

    Of course, the bumper sticker is more of a joke, and did not involve actual violence, whereas the SEAL story if actually true did.

  58. paulie Post author

    Jill, read this very carefully: he thinks our government perpetrated 9/11.

    So do a lot of people. And since they are already questioning government, they may be more likely to step outside the two party lockstep than those who don’t.

  59. paulie Post author

    They probably have no solid fundamental belief in liberty, they just have an incessant need to self-aggrandize, so you couldn’t trust their libertarian bona fides anyway.

    Hmmm, seems to me that many of the most active libertarians I know, in the LP and out of it, are 9/11 truthers, including a big chunk of the most active Ron Paul supporters. Sure would hate to have such active, hard working folks in the LP.

    9/11 Troofer nonsense is the least of his conspiracy theories. He’s also expressed belief in the idea that the JFK assassination was an inside job.

    Ah. Because only the 15% of Americans who still believe the official story of the JFK murder are qualified for the LP nomination?

  60. Robert Capozzi

    67 p: What can they do to keep the LP brushfire from growing out of control? I know! Pass the fraudulent tax, which serves to plug the budget hole.

    me: Unlikely to happen, and CERTAINLY unlikely to put out an LP brushfire, esp since the brushfire is way out in the middle of the Mojave. Anyway, a lot of Rs are already on board with the FAIR Tax, so I’d not see any passage as being an attempt to stop GJ. It’s really, really unlikely to happen in 2012, which will be a year of legislative inaction, as are most prez-election years.

    So, let’s say GJ gets the nod, and ONE of his top 5 points is the FAIR Tax. Let’s say he gets 1mm votes. Let’s say Romney wins, or maybe the Rs keep the House and pickup the Senate, with BHO getting a 2nd term. Let’s say they pass the FAIR Tax in 2013.

    Do you mean to tell me that GJ as the candidate was the reason for the FAIR Tax passing? Really?

  61. Robert Capozzi

    72 P, I’d say the FAIR Tax has just as many obstacles as GJ’s other big issues: 47% spending cut, bring the troops home, legalize weed.

    Again, I’d like to see him back off the FAIR Tax, too!

    I’d also like to see RP bolt, despite the fact he’s pro-life and has some dysfunctional ideas about the Constitution.

    What I’m virtually certain of is that if the LP nominates a no-namer, there will be no coopting going in the near future. And, of course, we can make book on the notion that some Ls will not agree with some position the no-namer takes.

  62. paulie Post author

    I’d say the FAIR Tax has just as many obstacles as GJ’s other big issues: 47% spending cut, bring the troops home, legalize weed.

    I’d say it doesn’t, because it serves a purpose that other people than its proponents have.

    The proponents want a simpler, fairer tax that is not regressive, a worthwhile goal though this is by far the wrong way to get there.

    Meanwhile, other people are looking at a massive hole of rising debt service payments, bailouts, entitlements, war debt, and “homeland security” that is spiraling beyond the ability of existing taxes to pay.

    How to pass a new national sales tax on top of income, payroll and other taxes without making the froggy jump?

    Sell it as a way to “replace” them and to simplify the tax code nightmare. But then “forget” to sunset the income tax. We just need it for a few more years, you know, just a few more.

    Meanwhile, get (almost) everyone used to the “prebate” and the froggy gets less jumpy.

    And, getting rid of paper money and replacing it with a card or chip that allows all purchases to be tracked — so as to avoid tax evasion — serves other goals: war on drugs, war on terror, and so forth.

    Those other issues you mention don’t serve that agenda, they go against it.

    Circle back to my previous comment.

  63. Robert Capozzi

    74 p, yes, but then it’s not the “FAIR Tax.” Consumption taxes, VAT taxes, etc., have been out there for decades.

    Statists redirect and flim flam. That’s what they do, probably largely unconsciously. They re-assemble certain energies from an array of sources and twist them. A good ex was how the individual mandate played out…not well. However, if peace triumphs, the Supremes will counteract the statists overplaying their hand on that score.

    Rivers ultimately flow to the sea. Sometimes they backtrack.

    We shall overcome, some day….

  64. paulie Post author

    yes, but then it’s not the “FAIR Tax.” Consumption taxes, VAT taxes, etc., have been out there for decades.

    Yes, but they have not been politically sellable. The extra sugar coating of the “fair” tax fraud may just make them go down. And heading any growing LP insurgency off at the pass, even while it is still small, may be one whip used to bring Republican politicians on board.

    Keep in mind, I do also see all the upsides to Johnson that you do, but this tax thing is still a stumbling block.

    I see Johnson getting the nomination despite it, unless Paul or perhaps Ventura step in, so it doesn’t matter that much what I think. I’m not very optimistic that Johnson will change his mind on this.

  65. Robert Capozzi

    76 p, as for changing GJ’s mind, we’ll see. Here’s a way to look at it: Boortz would be a 10 for the FAIR Tax (salvation!), Andy would be a 0 (apocalypse now!) My guess is GJ’s a 7 to 8. (I’d be a 2 or 3).

    When RP ran for prez in 88, the deal was, downplay the pro-life stance. That was fairly easy for him, since it was never a signature issue for him.

    There’s no neat and tidy solution here, but I think this can be massaged. Andy will likely never be satisfied on this…heck, he wouldn’t support GJ even if he became a Troofer. But Andy’s an outlier, near as I can tell.

  66. paulie Post author

    as for changing GJ’s mind, we’ll see

    I suspect he’ll be a bit busy to talk to me much, as he should be, but I’ll try to reason with him if I get a chance.

    When RP ran for prez in 88, the deal was, downplay the pro-life stance. That was fairly easy for him, since it was never a signature issue for him.

    I think the party was much more ideologically moored to radicalism at that time. If Paul were to jump to the LP now no such demand would be made on him, at least not with any juice behind it. Likewise, I don’t see any of Johnson’s deviations from radical libertarianism costing him the nomination; the only thing that is likely to stop him is a bigger name jumping in.

    There’s no neat and tidy solution here, but I think this can be massaged.

    If we can get him to walk it back to Barr’s position – we need some type of fairer, simpler and tax and there are a number of plans on the table worth considering – I’d consider that a win of sorts. It lets him safe face and somewhat placates critics like me. Trouble is, I don’t think there is much incentive for him to walk it back even that much.

    But Andy’s an outlier, near as I can tell.

    He’s looking at one side of it, and I think it’s a real side, but only one side.

    I’m seeing both the good and bad.

  67. Thomas L. Knapp

    In the general election, I don’t see the “Fair” Tax being much of a factor for or against Johnson. At least not unless he polls high enough to merit attack from his “major party” opponents, which is unlikely.

    It’s in the LP nomination process that it’s a problem for him.

    It might not stop him from getting the nomination (although that’s possible), but it probably puts him into multiple ballots to get it, leaves his “base” less enthused about him, leading to weaker fundraising, etc.

    One attendee at the “town hall” last night was a state LP chair, a very credible and “mainstream” LPer, exactly the type I’d expect to hop on Johnson’s bandwagon without a second thought.

    In Denver in 2008, she was clear that she thought Barr was the obvious choice because of his name recognition, former officeholding, etc. That kind of thinking is a primary “base” for Johnson within the LP. Without it, he’s just another guy in a suit like the rest of the contenders.

    But she wanted answers on the “Fair” Tax from Johnson, and wasn’t very happy with what she heard, and especially with the fact that he seemed to want to avoid really engaging the issue.

    If I had to bet, I’d bet that she ends up supporting Johnson. But maybe not on the first ballot. And maybe not having sent him a maximum contribution before even getting to the convention.

  68. Robert Capozzi

    79 tk: …especially with the fact that he seemed to want to avoid really engaging the issue.

    me: Understandable. He’s not worked out a good way to handle this as yet. Balls to the wall on the FAIR Tax seems unwise and unlikely.

    Walking something back is like Rome: Not built in a day.

  69. Pingback: Gary Johnson compares Obama to Santorum on gay marriage | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  70. Andy

    “Anyway, a lot of Rs are already on board with the FAIR Tax,”

    The fact that a lot of Republicans are already on board with the Fair Tax is a good sign that Libertarians should avoid it like the plague.

  71. Andy

    “me: Oh, now I think I’m getting a sense of your real fears about GJ. If he gets the nomination, for decades the LP will be tinged with the FAIR Tax.

    I’d suggest your fears are overblown.”

    Thanks to phony “Libertarians” like Neal Boortz, there are already too many people out there who think that the Fair Tax is a libertarian proposal. I’ve had people make comments to me like, “Libertarians, oh, I heard that you all want to pass the Fair Tax.” or, “Your a Libertarian. So what do you think of the Fair Tax.”

    This is a DISTURBING trend, and nominating a Fair Tax promoter like Gary Johnson will only make this trend grow, and this is a very bad thing.

    Do Libertarian Party members really want the Libertarian Party to be known as the party that supports the Fair Tax?

    This is a toxic plan for liberty, as I’ve already mentioned above. Why in the hell would any Libertarian Party member want the Libertarian Party label to be attached to the Fair Tax? Remember, this is a 30% tax which does nothing to reduce the size of government, and which has a bunch of other crap attached to it like the prebate check (putting just about everyone on the dole).

    Is the Libertarian Party going to be so cowardly and lack such principle that a majority of delegates at the National Convention in Las Vegas later this year are going to be so enamored with the fact that Gary Johnson was Governor of a low population state over 8 years ago that they are going to throw away a major party principle by nominating a candidate that promotes the toxic Fair Tax fraud?

    Given what happened in 2008 with Bob Barr, and given that it doesn’t look like a lot of people in the party learned anything from that fiasco, I’m afraid that there will be enough people to hand the nomination over to Gary Johnson.

    If this happens I will consider it to be a pathetic sell out just like when Barr got the nomination.

  72. Andy

    “If we can get him to walk it back to Barr’s position – we need some type of fairer, simpler and tax and there are a number of plans on the table worth considering – I’d consider that a win of sorts. It lets him safe face and somewhat placates critics like me. Trouble is, I don’t think there is much incentive for him to walk it back even that much.”

    This is SUPPOSED to be the LIBERTARIAN Party. If a candidate for the party’s Presidential nomination needs to be “talked back” from a proposal that is clearly as toxic and anti-liberty as the Fair Tax is, then that person should NOT be a candidate for the party.

    The candidate should already be “libertarian enough” well before the nominating convention. If they aren’t then forget them.

  73. Andy

    “LP voter // Jan 14, 2012 at 3:43 am

    @84 Andy — What do you think of Gov. Ventura as a candidate? Is he “libertarian enough”?”

    I actually don’t know for sure if Jesse Ventura is “libertarian enough” at this point or not. I do think that Jesse Ventura has become more libertarian in recent years, and I also think that he’s probably more libertarian than Gary Johnson is at this point, but I don’t know for sure if whether or not he’d pass my “litmus test” to be the Presidential candidate for the party. This is one of the reasons that I said that he should be the Vice Presidential candidate for Ron Paul. The VP doesn’t do as much as the President and the same goes with when they are running for office (Paul / Ventura isn’t likely to win anyway). I do think that Ron Paul is “libertarian enough” to be the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President, and while I’m not as sure about Ventura, I think that he’d help bring in more votes for the ticket.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    83 a: This is a DISTURBING trend, and nominating a Fair Tax promoter like Gary Johnson will only make this trend grow, and this is a very bad thing.

    me: I respect that YOU find this “disturbing.” There are many ideas in L circles that others might find “disturbing.”

    That’s the thing with inner conditions: we can only report on them as we feel them. If we’re in someone’s company who is disturbed, we might notice their fight or flight metabolic markers go off, but even then we can’t be sure what’s really going on inside another person.

    This is why polling has utility. We could poll this question: Candidate A advocates the FAIR Tax. Candidate B advocates legalizing bestiality. Which position do you find disturbing?

    Now, I’m surely not the most in-tune person on the planet, but I’d guess that Candidate B would “win” that contest by a mile. Agree?

    I play this little game to illustrate the severe limitations of NAP absolutism. When one chooses to engage in politics with NAP absolutism as one’s guide, it would be VERY easy to conclude that Candidate B is “principled” and Candidate A is an “opportunist.” This, I suggest, is a sure-fire way to stay far out on the fringes. Such digital, simplistic thinking misses all sense of proportion and nuance, which is, like it or not, where the mass of humanity plays.

    Andy, ask yourself: Have you ever in your life held a position that you now consider to be anti-L? My guess is, like most Ls, the answer would be “yes.” So, then the question is: How long did it take for you to forgive yourself for your past plumbline transgressions? In your world, is there a specified period of penance that you had to serve before you could look yourself in the mirror and say “I am a L”?

    There is no evidence that GJ came up through this sort of condemnatory Randian/Rothbardian tradition, so he might have a difficult time even understanding this conversation. He’s probably not steeped in the highly regimented, theoretical constructs that so many “hardcore” Ls have. Instead, he’s probably always resonated with the Declaration of Independence’s “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” idea. My guess is he wants to maximize individual liberty and minimize coercion, but he recognizes that a LOT of work needs to be done to turn the ship around. Like most Americans, he sees that the tax system is broken. As he was contemplating running for prez, he saw this ready-made FAIR Tax movement, and it sounded pretty good. On many levels, it DOES sound pretty good to a wide range of people, but NOT to anarchists, who simply want no State.

    Rather than making this a federal case, why not recognize the likely source for GJ’s mistake? Why make him an untouchable pariah in your mind for his FAIR Tax sin?

    BTW, I ask again, Andy, what is your predicted outcome for the LP prez nomination?

  75. Indy

    “Is Gov. Johnson bigoted against plural marriage?”

    Valid point.

    There is no libertarian reason that more than two consenting adults should not be able to marry; it is not akin to bestiality and child rape – there is informed consent, which should be the determining factor for libertarians.

  76. Robert Capozzi

    89 I, yes, I see your point. Were I a GJ advisor, if he were asked that question, he might say:

    That’s an interesting point in theory. My campaign is focusing on near-term issues like same-sex marriage, an issue whose time has come.

  77. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@88,

    Opposing the “Fair” Tax has nothing to do with “NAP absolutism.”

    The “Fair” Tax is not an incremental measure that doesn’t move the ball far enough down the field toward freedom to satisfy purists.

    It’s an “own goal” as far as freedom is concerned.

    Even its proponents admit — nay, advertise! — that it it rakes in just as much revenue for the federal government as the income tax and is by design just as “progressive” as that tax.

    Its proponents don’t admit that the “prebate” is a government welfare program, but it obviously is whether they admit it or not. When every man, woman and child in the country gets a monthly check from the government whether they pay any tax or not, that’s welfare, not an “advance rebate.”

    Its proponents claim that it would “eliminate the IRS,” but in fact it would still require a federal bureaucracy to administer and enforce, and would also create new and similar state-level bureaucracies.

    It’s not that the “Fair” Tax isn’t libertarian “enough.” It’s that there’s just no plausible argument for it being anything but full-on anti-libertarian.

    I’m not sure nominating a “Fair” Taxer for president would severely damage the LP among the general electorate. Boortz et. al have already convinced much of that electorate that the LP is just the GOP’s stalking horse on issues like this, so it would just be a mild affirmation, not a game-changer.

    And it’s not like the LP is sitting on the cusp of a major victory, with the “Fair” Tax being the only thing in between.

    But why damage the LP brand at all by putting it behind clearly anti-freedom proposals?

  78. Robert Capozzi

    92 tk, I find your critique of the FAIR tax overstated, but I am assuredly not a proponent of it. If candidate X had, say, Badnarik’s resume and my positions, I would choose GJ over X, despite my reservations with his FAIR TAX position.

    NAPsolutism weighs issues on one scale, or at least they try to. That’s why there’s some zealous opposition to the FAIR tax…it doesn”t reduce revenue > evil.

  79. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@93,

    “NAPsolutism weighs issues on one scale, or at least they try to. That’s why there’s some zealous opposition to the FAIR tax…it doesn’t reduce revenue > evil.”

    Um, no, as I’ve patiently explained more than once.

    The point is not that the “Fair” Tax is evil because it doesn’t reduce revenue.

    The point is that the “Fair” Tax is at best a wash in that it claims to do exactly what the tax it’s replacing does.

    It’s like claiming that the solution to military overspending is to change the color of the chevrons on the Marine Corps’ dress blue uniform, or that the solution to marriage apartheid is to notarize marriage licenses with a seal that includes a pink triangle.

    The “Fair” Tax is evil, for several reasons, but revenue neutrality isn’t one of them. Revenue points up the complete unseriousness, not the evil, of the proposal.

    If you want the “evil” parts of the “Fair” Tax, two of them would be:

    – The deception as to its actual rate.

    – The deception of trying to pass off a universal federal welfare program as a “tax rebate.”

    – The taxation effect on people like retirees who have earned money all their lives, saved money all their lives, paid income tax on that money, and would then take an additional 30% tax hit when they finally spend the money they’ve already paid income tax on.

  80. Michael H. Wilson

    This discussion of the method of taxation is silly.

    Ron Paul is getting attention because he is focusing on bringing the troops home and other changes he is promoting, not one damn word from him over any method of taxation.

    When in the will libertarians ever learn? Cut Spending!

  81. Robert Capozzi

    95 tk: – The deception as to its actual rate.

    me: Stipulating that I’m not an advocate of the FAIR Tax, I view the relevant “rate” as being the overtax take as a percentage of GDP. I also factor in the semi-quantified positive aspects of the FAIR Tax, like dramatically lower compliance costs and the aggregate benefit to the nation of not taxing income but consumption. The 23 vs. 30% thing is a sideshow for me.

    tk: – The deception of trying to pass off a universal federal welfare program as a “tax rebate.”

    me: Again, I’m ok with the prebate on a number of grounds. When looked at in tandem with GJ’s proposed 47% cut in spending, I view the combined fiscal program of GJ’s as being a huge net positive for liberty, in concept. I’ve not looked at his specific proposals, but I did prefer RP’s tidy $1T number, optically speaking. As you may agree, politics is all about perception and marketing, so in this case RP seems to’ve packaged his ideas somewhat better than GJ.

    tk: – The taxation effect on people like retirees who have earned money all their lives, saved money all their lives, paid income tax on that money, and would then take an additional 30% tax hit when they finally spend the money they’ve already paid income tax on.

    me: News to me. Thanks. I’d not heard this particular critique before. It’s yet another reason to not advocate the FAIR Tax. Since seniors are virtually all getting SS, I’m not especially troubled by this tax shift toward seniors, and in many ways it seems roughly fair. (They get a huge windfall now, as I’m sure you know.) How it works with the prebate seems to protect the less-well-off seniors, which in theory sounds OK to me, too.

  82. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@97,

    It’s not just retirees, and it’s not just Social Security income.

    Lots of people have earned money, paid income tax on that money, then put it in investments or savings and paid taxes on interest and capital gains.

    Why should they have to pay ANOTHER 30% on money they’ve already been taxed on?

    There are ways around it, but they seem pretty burdensome and complicated.

    One would be to just have the federal government top off all existing savings accounts, Roth IRAs, etc. as of the date of “Fair” Tax implementation by 30% . Bam, even Stephen. The people got 30% added, and they get taxed 30% when they spend it.

    Another would be to create a new form of currency for disbursement of pre-“Fair”-tax savings. Spend that currency, no tax.

    But absent some scheme like that, people who may have paid as much as 28% income tax on their savings end up with a total federal tax rate of nearly 60% on that money when they spend it.

  83. Andy

    “As he was contemplating running for prez, he saw this ready-made FAIR Tax movement, and it sounded pretty good.”

    If this was what Gary Johnson thought, he’s either a fool or a shill. Either way this should disqualify him as a candidate for the Libertarian Party.

  84. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “It’s not that the ‘Fair’ Tax isn’t libertarian ‘enough.’ It’s that there’s just no plausible argument for it being anything but full-on anti-libertarian.”

    This is an instance where I’m in total agreement with Tom Knapp.

  85. Andy

    “If candidate X had, say, Badnarik’s resume and my positions, I would choose GJ over X, despite my reservations with his FAIR TAX position.”

    I don’t agree with this at all.

  86. Andy

    “BTW, I ask again, Andy, what is your predicted outcome for the LP prez nomination?”

    Given the weak field of candidates, and given the fact that too many Libertarian Party members who show up at conventions are enamored with anyone who has ever been elected to anything, and are desperate to swing from the pubic hairs of anyone who has been elected to anything who they believe to be some kind of “celebrity” (even if in reality their “celebrity” status is so low that they are on D or E or even F list as far as being a celebrity goes), and given that a majority of LP delegates were naive enough or unprincipled enough to nominate Bob Barr at the 2008 LP National Convention, I’ve got a feeling that Gary Johnson will win the nomination.

    There are only two things that can stop this:

    1) A better candidate that really has their shit together jumps in the race.

    2) One of the already declared candidates really get their shit together and is able to defeat Johnson (not likely to happen).

    So yes, I fear that Gary Johnson is going to win because there are too many “Libertarians” who attend conventions that are either delusional and naive, don’t have any balls, or lack principles (or any combination of these two or three of these things).

    If this happens I suppose that I’ll cast another write in vote for Ron Paul in November, if I even bother voting in the Presidential election at all.

  87. Andy

    “This is why polling has utility. We could poll this question: Candidate A advocates the FAIR Tax. Candidate B advocates legalizing bestiality. Which position do you find disturbing?”

    I find the Fair Tax to be more disturbing.

  88. Robert Capozzi

    104 A: I find the Fair Tax to be more disturbing [than legalizing bestiality].

    me: I respect that that is your inner state.

    My feedback is that that conclusion puts you in, I’d sway, the 0.001%. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

  89. Robert Capozzi

    99 tk, thoughtful. The FAIR taxers may have some snappy half-answer or transition plan, which would probably remind me of the great Talking Heads line: “You’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything.”

    Grandiose constructs like the FAIR Tax might be an OK thought experiment, but I actually find it more far-fetched than abolish-and-replace-with-nothing.

  90. Robert Capozzi

    102 A: I don’t agree with this at all.

    me: I think if you track this back, Andy, you’ll realize that you’ve just endorsed Capozzi-ism, at least over Johnson-ism. Are you sure about that? ;-)

    I may violate more plumbline positions than even Johnson does, so be careful what you wish for….

  91. Robert Capozzi

    110 p, yes, he probably didn’t. But the setup is Candidate X has Capozzi positions vs. Gary Johnson, I said I’d choose Johnson. Andy said he disagreed, which I’d think has be mean he’d choose X, the enlightened one ;-) with Badnarik’s resume.

    I’ve worked hard here on IPR to establish myself as the Most Heretical L in the nation, even more heretical than Wayne Root. Root, for ex., doesn’t go for the jugular like I do, the Moses Tablet: The SoP.

    Andy might want to be careful, the High Counsel of Most Pious Principle is watching.

    [I am kidding....]

  92. Humongous Fungus

    Good interview with Gary Johnson on MSNBC this morning. I caught the tail end. He predicted he might take more vote from Obama than from Romney. Anyone else catch that?

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