Gary Johnson On Colbert Report

Gary Johnson appeared on The Colbert Report yesterday, introduced as “the former governor of New Mexico and an advocate for legalizing marijuana.” “Libertarian” was mentioned 12 times, while the Fair Tax was not mentioned once. Johnson disputed that the Libertarian Party is on the fringe, claiming that “most Americans are fiscally conservative and socially tolerant”. When asked to describe what a Libertarian is, Johnson said: “A Libertarian is going to end the wars in the Middle East. A Libertarian is going to balance the federal budget. A Libertarian is going to stand up for marriage equality.”

Johnson also said: “The Libertarian Party is 40 years old. In a poll 3 months ago, 50% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. Who perhaps is singularly most reposnsible for that? Perhaps it’s the Libertarian Party, which initially — kooks? Today, you know, not so kooky. Everything that the Libertarian Party is talking about today I think is not kooky at all, it’s really the prescription for what ails America.”

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102 thoughts on “Gary Johnson On Colbert Report

  1. Common Tater

    @1 I would love that.

    The only thing that gives me any pause is that he knows that many LP members are less likely to support his nomination when he mentions the “fair” tax, so for the next month maybe he’ll downplay that issue, then start putting it front and center again after the nomination.

    But I have no direct evidence that this will happen (other than that he is a former elected official, and successful politicians do that sort of thing routinely). I have to admit that the Colbert media appearance was very good, as have been most of the other media clips I have seen of him since Johnson jumped into the LP race.

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    I saw it, too. He comes across as almost shy, in a boyish way, which is refreshing, actually. It was a good appearance.

  3. John Jay Myers

    It was really good, he comes off really well. Not to be a stickler, but he should change his “end the wars in the middle east” statements, it doesn’t differentiate himself from Obama.

    He might win over more hearts and minds by saying the Middle East and Africa and over the whole world. (Because people do believe Obama is ending the wars, which could be disputed but they think it.)

    He could add that their our countries with concerns for countries like Bosnia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, the Congo…. right next to Bosnia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and the Congo, so why is it our job (not theirs) to help/protect etc their common man.

    I don’t think it would hurt his appeal to the left if he tied the wars and our interventions together with corruption and greed, which is pretty easy to do.

  4. George Phillies

    “for the next month maybe he’ll downplay that issue, then start putting it front and center again after the nomination. ”

    If he does this, he can count on pointed intraparty criticism to start immediately.

    You can do this if you are a Republican Presidential candidate, because many of your voters only believe what faux news tells them, but the outcome with libertarians will be more entertaining. Bring your popcorn!

    Some readers will remember 1992 and the LNC voting on whether or not to remove a Presidential candidate.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    The intraparty criticism has been incessant since the rumor of his bolting surfaced.

    Gj could call for bringing the Marines home from Ottawa, lose the FAIR tax in favor of no taxes, and promise to ride his bike from the airport (no limos) and someone would STILL savage him.

  6. John Jay Myers

    Well, to be clear we just saw Colbert completely disarm what is one of our major issues. Even though with the correct delivery it could illustrate just how bad Obama has been on actually ending wars, the guy is creating them, and is doing what Clinton did, which is fuel the fire that leads to terrorism.

  7. Just My thoughts

    I thought GJ lacked depth, and could have used this outlet to promote the party more. I’m surprised he didn’t discuss the national debt more.

  8. paulie

    @9 he mentioned the party repeatedly and had only a very short time to address a wide variety of subjects. I thought he did really well and hope that the rest of his media appearances go a lot like this, with as little “fair” tax talk as possible.

  9. Just My thoughts

    Yeah he mentioned the party, that’s to be expected if you’re seeking 3rd party.

    If I was him I would have spoken faster and with more urgency.

    He came off as every other politician (except RP), I want to end the wars in the middle east, I want to balance the budget.

    It’s too bad he didn’t actually say how he planned to accomplish these things.

  10. paulie

    How much can you say in that interview format and time limit?

    He did also mention marriage equality, marijuana legalization, repeated some things for emphasis, actually answered the questions that were asked, and mentioned the party quite a few times. He name checked Ron Paul in a good way.

    I’d say he covered all the bases.

    Would anyone like to rewind the questions and propose better answers that don’t take longer to say than it took Johnson to say what he actually did?

    Keep in mind that you will have the advantage to think about your answers and write them out, quite different from a live interview setting.

  11. Hardy Macia

    He did a great job in the time he had.

    Know your audience — no need to focus on the FairTax on the Colbert Report. Balancing the budget and overhauling the tax system will continue to be big issues.

  12. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    @11 The LP has many openings for candidates, you need to sign up buddy for one of the races, as we can tell you will be the best LP candidate of all time !

    Republicans don’t want anyone having more fun than they do, and the Democrats don’t want anyone making more money than they do. Libertarians want you to make money and have fun. – Andre Marrou, 1992 LP Presidential candidate

    Why don’t the troublemakers take their popcorn and go back to the Democrats and troublemake things for them? The LP has no time for, nor can they any longer afford troublemakers. They are a cancer on the LIBERTY movement!

    America can thank Ron Paul and the LP for Obama’s current “talk” on ending war anywhere.

    “I will begin to remove our troops from Iraq immediately.” – Barack Obama – Promise made during 2008 campaign speech
    According to PolitiFact, which is a project of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times,
    Obama has broken 40 of his campaign promises, compromised on 41 others.

    It took years and over $1 trillion and much more BLOOD to wind down Iraq. So why believe him about anything? He is but a puppet for the Military industrial Complex !

    Libertarians say Obama’s Afghanistan policy is a failure
    https://www.lp.org/contribute
    carla.howell@lp.org.

    3.3 International Affairs
    American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups. https://www.lp.org/contribute

    “I think now would be an apt time for the Nobel Peace Prize committee to issue the following succinct press release: ‘OOPS’ ”
    Brandon Robison,Winter of 2011 after Obama orders the attack on yet another sovereign nation murdering innocent children, women and babies.

    … The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature … the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war. – James Madison (1751-1836), 4th U.S. President
    (one author of the federalist papers)

    “I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these [Third World] nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own…. And if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the ‘haves’ refuse to share with the ‘have-nots’ by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don’t want and above all don’t want crammed down their throats by Americans.”– General David Sharp, former US Marine Commandant,1966

    U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/obamavsbush

  13. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    @8 that sounds like what a US Senate candidates needs to be saying to so much of all that TX media ! The local media will listen to a US Senate candidate no matter the Party label. LP candidates please don’t be afraid to mention your website in each interview and press release.

    “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
    - John Quincy Adams

    Who should the Libertarian Party target?: http://www.youtube.com/user/clearsky24
    I will add, TARGET Independents in 2012 ALSO !!!

    What Obama Doesn’t Want You To See – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPXDar_AFBg&feature=share

    “When I announced my decision to seek the Libertarian nomination for president, I stated my belief that there is a majority of Americans who are looking for a real home in American politics — a home they are not finding with either the big “R” or big “D” parties….There is a freedom agenda America is ready to endorse: freedom from crushing debt and freedom from crushing government. It is that agenda that has prompted me to unapologetically call myself a libertarian, and which WILL find its rightful place in the 2012 election.”
    -Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate

  14. Paulie

    LP candidates please don’t be afraid to mention your website in each interview and press release.

    Sound advice.

    You may also want to start using these on your bumper stickers, lawn signs, t-shirts, hats etc:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code

    Smart phone users can scan it to read your site.

  15. Be Rational

    Great job by Gary Johnson.

    If he drops the welfare portion of the “Fair” tax and instead supports a flat rate consumption tax with no prebate to replace all other taxes then I’m on board to support him.

    If not, then no.

  16. Bill Wood

    Gary Johnson did very well. He covered a lot of ground in the short time he was on, plus talking about the LP and showing a sense of humor. Job well done.

  17. John Jay Myers

    I am not trying to be “that guy” honestly. I am just saying these are some pretty straight forward questions he is being asked, so he needs to have zingers for when someone tries to disarm him.

    That crowd would have probably loved to hear after Colbert’s comment on ending the wars “No we are not, we are escalating wars, we are creating more, and more of the problems that got us into these wars in the first place”. (something like that)

    You can’t let people believe Obama is good on foreign policy/civil liberties, he needs to hone responses (even very quick ones) on these issues.

  18. Trent Hill

    Some people are never happy.

    He got on the Colbert Report, gave a good interview, and mentioned the party multiple times while focusing on “social issues”, which appeal more to Colbert’s viewership.

    It was a great interview. To the people who said that he should’ve talked faster or gotten more into the interview–that’s not easy to do without looking frantic or crazy. His laid back attitude made him seem much more humble and rational.

  19. Chuck Moulton

    It was a pretty good interview!

    My one point of constructive criticism is that “balance the budget” (his one position that didn’t get audience applause) is an ambiguous position. Practically every liberal and conservative claim to be for balanced budgets (though of course elected officials invariably spend beyond their means). He ought to have said “balance the budget by cutting spending” or “balance the budget without raising taxes”. That’s a stylistic messaging suggestion though, not an ideological issue.

    He presented himself and the Libertarian Party quite well!

  20. Robert Capozzi

    My take: A on both style and substance. A very big improvement on style, as GJ seemed far more at ease than I’ve seen him in previous appearances. Handled the RP matter deftly. The “crazy”/”not so crazy” thing worked pretty OK.

    Ending the wars was a bit weak. I’da preferred something like: “Ls want to get the gov’t out of your business, out of your bedroom and out of bombing and bullying people in far off lands. Ls are for peace, at home and abroad.” Or something.

    Glad there was no message of the FAIR Tax.

    GJ looked at ease, glib. He is laid back, and that’s to the good, although sometimes he can be just a bit too halting (probably due to nervousness).

  21. Less Antman

    I’m not going to nitpick: he did a solid job on Colbert and, given the format, got in more substance than I would have expected. And avoided his personal landmine topics. I’d prefer a stronger foreign policy message of free trade and non-intervention, though: the best way to give us a unique brand.

  22. Oranje Mike

    It’s going to be an interesting time in Vegas and I cannot wait to be a part of it. I’m a fan of Gary Johnson and would not argue his status as the “best candidate” but Lee Wrights is a better libertarian. The “Fair Tax” could sink his ship at the convention but I predict a Johnson/Wrights ticket on the ballot. Of course, that’s the oval I will fill in on my scantron ballot and hope my vote is actually counted.

  23. Trent Hill

    Oranje–I think a Johnson/Wrights ticket is in the offing too, unless Johnson brings someone with a name with him to the convention.

  24. Andy

    “Brian Holtz // Apr 3, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Imagine 6 months of earned media like this after Johnson gets nominated in Vegas.”

    Remember that people said the same thing about Bob Barr and Barr turned out to be a disaster.

    I’m not sold on this guy.

  25. Andy

    “Trent Hill // Apr 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Oranje–I think a Johnson/Wrights ticket is in the offing too, unless Johnson brings someone with a name with him to the convention.”

    I just finished eating. Are you trying to make me throw up?

  26. Alan Pyeatt

    I’m still in the Lee Wrights camp, but I think it’s VERY difficult to find fault with Gary Johnson’s performance on the Colbert Report.

    Any discussion of the fair tax probably would have been over the audience’s head. Yes, his answer on foreign wars could have been more polished, but I think he represented us very well, overall.

  27. paulie

    Remember that people said the same thing about Bob Barr and Barr turned out to be a disaster.

    Johnson sounds much better than Barr.

    Not long before the LP convention, Barr was on national TV defending US government aid for Plan Colombia, see

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_Colombia :

    “The term Plan Colombia is most often used to refer to U.S. legislation aimed at curbing drug smuggling and combating a left-wing insurgency by supporting different activities in Colombia.

    [...]

    Critics of the initiative also claimed that elements within the Colombian security forces, which received aid and training from the U.S., were involved in supporting or tolerating abuses by right-wing paramilitary forces against left-wing guerrilla organizations and their sympathizers. Another controversial element of the anti-narcotic strategy is aerial fumigation to eradicate coca. This activity has come under fire because it damages legal crops and has adverse health effects upon those exposed to the herbicides.

    [..]

    The US Defense Department funded a two year study which found that the use of the armed forces to interdict drugs coming into the United States would have minimal or no effect on cocaine traffic and might, in fact, raise the profits of cocaine cartels and manufacturers.

    [...]

    Critics of Plan Colombia, such as authors Doug Stokes and Francisco Ramirez Cuellar, argue that the main intent of the program is not drug eradication but to fight leftist guerrillas. They argue that these Colombian peasants are also a target because they are calling for social reform and hindering international plans to exploit Colombia’s valuable resources, including oil and other natural resources.

    [...]

    A United Nations study reported that elements within the Colombian security forces, which have been strengthened due to Plan Colombia and U.S. aid, do continue to maintain intimate relationships with right-wing death squads, help organize paramilitary forces, and either participate in abuses and massacres directly or, as it is usually argued to be more often the case, deliberately fail to take action to prevent them.

    Barr also said in the same interview (Hannity and Colmes, iirc) that he would favor a drug war in his own state, even if he opposes some aspects of the federal drug war now.

    In general, when it came to the anti-liberties aspects of his record in Congress, Barr’s approach as a Libertarian candidate was alternatively to defend them and sweep them under the rug. In response to a direct question from me at the Heartland Conference in April in Kansas City, he said that he would plan to unite both those who admired his pro-war, aggressively socially conservative record in Congress and those of us who had significant problems with much of that record by focusing on the issues that unite us, which he considers to be the most important ones. The “Saul on the Road to Damascus” changed man narrative which we were promised never materialized. As an LP candidate, he effusively praised Jesse Helms’ life work.

    Meanwhile, Johnson’s record in office, at least in broad terms, is not one that he has to run away from or sweep under the rug as a Libertarian candidate. He pushed for marijuana legalization, vetoed spending, and in general walked his talk, which was usually small l, moderate libertarian. Unlike Barr, none of Johnson’s record in office involved pushing for significant anti-liberty initiatives.

    Marijuana legalization and other civil liberties/socially liberal issues are front and center with Johnson.

    He’s also pretty good on peace issues and economic issues when compared with the vast majority of elected Democrats and Republicans. While he is not as extreme on these issues as I am, at least he wants to move in the same general direction on each of the three broadly defined policy areas (social issues, economic issues and foreign policy) as I would.

    While I do continue to have some serious differences, such as the fraudulent “fair” tax, he’s significantly better than Bob Barr.

  28. Oranje Mike

    Now I am envisioning a Johnson/Wrights ticket that gets an endorsement from Dr. Paul after the Republican Circus, er, convention is over. That would be amazing. Keep his base energized and than promoting the only pro-liberty ticket on the ballot.

  29. Lesson of the widow's mite

    @ 19…… this is the only true way the fair tax can really work….everyone rich and poor have to pay their share…the prebate issue is the weakest part of the whole plan.

  30. Hardy

    @anti-fairtaxers

    Breaking News…Johnson drops support for FairTax…

    Today, Johnson drops support for the FairTax and introduces a 70,000 page tax plan to implement a 6 point tax plan. It’s of a mixture of personal income tax, corporate income tax, payroll taxes, dividend taxes, estate taxes, alternative minimum taxes.

    Coupled with his tax plan he also calls for a constitutional amendment (let’s call it the 16th) to allow the federal government to impose a personal income tax.

    Radical Libertarians across the board are applauding Johnson’s move to support the status quo.

    WL: “This is great. We need to support the tax preparers. The compliance cost of the FairTax was too low. It would have cost millions of jobs for tax preparers. His new plan adds 300 billion in compliance costs which any Austrian knows must is good for the economy.”

    AC: “The FairTax pre-bate was too simple. People don’t like simple. Make it complicated and people will like it better. I support the personal exemptions and earned income tax credits in our current tax system.”

    MC: “Awesome move. No one wants an overhaul. Supporting the current corrupt, complicated, costly tax system is the better way to go. Don’t rock the boat”.

    FS: “Ron Paul supports the current system and I’m happy Johnson is too now. We should just peck away at the system and create new tax credits and other loopholes to reform the system. Eventually, congress will pass enough crap that people will call for an eventual abolishment of the government. One giant step. Wait for it…”

    OO: “I don’t know about Johnson’s new 6 part tax plan what’s to keep Congress from adding a 7th tax?”

    KD: “I looked at his 70,000 page plan, and I think paragraph 3 on page 43,223 is going to upset some libertarians. This might cause some contention within amount libertarians. So I suggest we change the third word ‘person’ to ‘individual’ to smooth things over.”

  31. Wes Wagner

    RE: The Fairtax issue

    Supporting the fair-tax is a loser of an issue for a number of reasons:

    1) I don’t think you pickup a single libertarian delegate vote by supporting it that you didn’t have already.

    2) It alienates left-leaning libertarians who might have otherwise supported Johnson.

    3) It puts fear into the minds of the same that this will be the “single-issue” push Johnson will use to try to get noticed in the greater campaign since he has already put so much into it.

    4) The combination of this issue, plus, the no-crimes were committed by bankers statements, give Johnson the appearance of being pro-banker. Not a winner of a position to be seen in during times when we should be attempting populist political rebellion vs the establishment kleptocracy for bonus political points.

    5) The fairtax double taxes seniors/retirees/etc who are now going to spend their retirement savings (not all of which were saved pre-tax, bear in mind) and get taxed again on the same earnings. Another 3rd rail.

    I hear alot of calls about how this party needs to be more “politically mature” … well choosing a loser of an issue to take a “moral stand” on that does not even fit with the morality of our party is not exactly a hallmark of political maturity.

    Even if Johnson believes the fair tax is great, wonderful, perfect, unassailable, etc., this is not the time to actually pick that fight. Wrong forum, wrong time, nothing to gain, everything to lose. At least for our party… Johnson’s personal objectives may vary.

  32. LibertarianGirl

    funny anecdote ..so I went to sam Adams night here in Vegas. GJs 2 campaign dudes were playing ina band for us…they were repeating the fact that Wayne Root had been trying to groom and counsel Gary on how to word things and Gary didnt like it , he was like ” why cant I just say it like this” NOTE TO GJ SUPPORTERS. tell him to keep it real and be himself , being groomed by Wayne Root will lose him votes from the delegates that are on the fence . Plus we smell real/vs fake likee a pile of shit….tell it like it is Gary , its always the best option

  33. Hardy

    @42 “2) It alienates left-leaning libertarians who might have otherwise supported Johnson.”

    I consider myself left-leaning, or do you mean anarchist?

    Do left-leaning libertarians not support abolishing the IRS and overhauling our crony capitalistic tax code?

    Or is the only solution for a left-libertarian the complete abolition of all government immediately?

  34. Bill Wood

    Gary has won two major elections, I think he should do just what hes been doing, it seems to work for him.

  35. Jill Pyeatt

    As per LG’s comment at 43: Does anyone know if GJ has anyone advising him about the Libertarian Party besides Root?

  36. John Jay Myers

    @44 abolish the IRS and replace it with nothing.
    Not a scheme that is “revenue neutral”.

    Let the states do a consumption tax, in order to pay for what the Federal government does. If they did that you would see people of all different walks of life screaming for the government to stop spending money. Which is what needs to happen.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    Hardy @44,

    “Or is the only solution for a left-libertarian the complete abolition of all government immediately?”

    That red herring is well past it’s sell-by date.

    Libertarians who lean left OR right should oppose changing to a tax that:

    - Does not cut government revenues;

    - Does not reduce redistribution of wealth through the tax code;

    - Institutes a new universal federal welfare entitlement;

    - Does not eliminate the IRS, and in fact creates 50 NEW state-level IRSes in addition to the national one that will be required to collect the tax from the states, police interstate tax evasion/fraud, and administer the new welfare entitlement;

    - Forces people who have saved money they paid income tax on to pay ANOTHER 30% of it in taxes;

    - Lies right up-front about the actual rate of the tax.

    Hell, you don’t even have to be a libertarian to oppose that. You just have to not be high on crack.

  38. Wes Wagner

    Hardy @44

    Ok, so you challenged one of my points, and let the others sit out there unaddressed.

    On the challenged point, classical liberals and the philosophies of ethical taxation espoused by people such as Locke would point out that a fair tax, such as that being proposed, unfairly protects the holders and accumulators of capital who receive extraordinary benefits from the services provided by government (safety, protection, the courts to protect their capital, right to title, etc.) and do not pay an equitable proportion of the benefits of those services in comparison to someone who holds far less capital.

    Of course some of these arguments were made in advocation of the progressive income tax by socialist leaning liberals in the 20th century, and they were half right — which was right enough to carry the political discourse of the day.

    The system we have is not equitable — but the fairtax is actually a step in the wrong direction of equity, which is why it is opposed.

    Arguments that it makes the abuse of equity simpler and cheaper to administer ring hollow and are not a strong rallying cry for action.

    The anarchist wing of this party would likewise consider this a pointless act of social disruption that does not cause us to arrive any closer to the desired destination.

    The minarchist factions would find this mostly “revenue neutral” disruption just plain pointless since issues of deficits and $120T liabilities are not actually addressed.

    I would not try to guess the Randian opionions.

  39. Paulie

    this is the only true way the fair tax can really work….everyone rich and poor have to pay their share…the prebate issue is the weakest part of the whole plan.

    Then you would be accused of taxing regressively, since poor people have to spend all their money to survive whereas rich people don’t.

    Also, it’s a lot harder to get rid of an existing tax than to start a new one, so unless and until you repeal the 16th amendment first please don’t even start advocating for any new tax – at a minimum.

  40. Paulie

    Ideally, Paul will show up at the LP convention and become the VP and we could keep the momentum rolling.

    I will bet any amount of money against that happening.

    In the fairly unlikely, but not implausible, event that Ron Paul shows up at the LP convention and agrees to be placed on the ticket, it could only be for president, not VP.

  41. Paulie

    Breaking News…Johnson drops support for Fair(sic) Tax…

    [...]

    FYI, that was sarcasm.

    Most unfortunate that he hasn’t actually dropped support for this terrible idea.

  42. Paulie

    Radical Libertarians across the board are applauding [...] the status quo.

    Only if you believe that the current system and the fraudulent tax are the only two possible alternatives.

    I don’t believe that, and neither does any radical libertarian I know.

  43. Bill Wood

    Jill, I’m not even sure if Wayne is advising Gary. I know some of his District Coordinators, they seem to be very good at what they do.

  44. Paulie

    WW @ 42

    True, although there are also many other good reasons to oppose the fraudulent tax scheme incorrectly deemed “fair” by its proponents.

  45. just saying

    @22 – I agree that it was a good interview and focusing on the “social issues” for the Colbert audience was wise. But he also could have said something about the NDAA and other police-state issues, besides just the marijuana issue, that the Colbert audience would have been receptive to.

    When it comes to NDAA, it seems like Roemer is more likely to volunteer a vigorous opposition than Johnson.

  46. just saying

    @33 – I don’t know that it’s fair to call Barr “pro-war.” He did join Paul, Kucinich and others in suing Clinton to stop the illegal Balkans war. He followed the party line on the Iraq vote, but he was not known as an outspoken warmonger like McCain or Lieberman or Graham or…. I doubt he even bothered to defend the vote at the time.

    Has Johnson said anything about “Plan Columbia”? Johnson is always going on about how important “alliances” are and how he wants to keep them, that seems like one of them.

  47. Wes Wagner

    Paulie @55

    I did not mean my list to be comprehensive by any means… but given that Johnson is supported by alot of people whose predisposition is pragmatism, I figured pointing out the pragmatic failures of this one issue might be a reasonable point of contention.

    Johnson theoretically has the opportunity to be a unifying candidate by just dropping a couple issues, hitting another two issues that he is currently in denial on a little harder in support of, and showign that he is willing to stick to his guns on it post-primary, and viola’ instead of this turning into Bob Barr v2 with a squeaker race and alot of hurt feelings, we have something decent that will help the party and improve the presidential race as a whole.

  48. Wes Wagner

    As a followup — strategically speaking, the goal of the primary should not be how do you get past 50%+1 to win it.

    The goal should be how do you exit the primary with 80-90% of the organization supportive of the general direction being taken.

    There are decisions Gary Johnson could make that even if he polls 52% , the people who didn’t vote for him will support him.

    These are important considerations.

  49. Paulie

    When it comes to NDAA, it seems like Roemer is more likely to volunteer a vigorous opposition than Johnson.

    Johnson has criticized NDAA. It’s hard to pack that many issues into a segment that length and have the audience come away remembering anything at all.

    I doubt he even bothered to defend the vote at the time.

    You may be right, but he did support the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, in and out of Congress, for years. I’m not sure when exactly he stopped supporting them. He has certainly not been an opponent of massive military spending in his years in Congress, that I know of.

    Barr also supported the “patriot” act with his vote, although he later criticized aspects of it. My point was mostly that Johnson does not have such a record as Governor to run away from or try to sweep under the rug, neither of which I saw Barr doing effectively.

    Has Johnson said anything about “Plan Columbia”? Johnson is always going on about how important “alliances” are and how he wants to keep them, that seems like one of them.

    I would be very surprised if Johnson supports that, but I suppose someone should ask him directly.

  50. Hardy

    @48 Knapp, so if Johnson comes out in favor of a FairTax-like plan that cut revenues instead of just being revenue neutral, you’d be more in favor of it because it cuts revenues?

    Instead of cutting the budget by 43% as Johnson is promising to submit to congress in 2013, he’ll submit a budget that cut spending by let’s say 50% (so he fits a world’s Smallest Political Quiz question).

  51. Hardy

    @49 Wes,

    1) So you want Johnson to change his position just to pick up some more convention votes? Then you’d be after him for pandering.

    2) Your claim is FairTax encourages savings (accumulation of capital) so it should be opposed. I guess I don’t have an argument against that since that’s what it does – encourages savings.

    3) The only single issue he needs is balancing the budget. Neither Obama or Romney will do that, but if you look at the Tea Party and Occupy protesters they are sick and tired of politics as usual and the corruption in the system where those with influence fix the tax system so they benefit at the expense of the rest of us. Having a tax reform plan for them that gets rid of all the corruption. You might not like a few points of the FairTax bill, but I’m still amazed libertarians sit here and support the status quo for taxes.

    4) I have no idea how to answer your pro-banker. You are misrepresenting what he was attempting to say which congress passed all these laws the bankers are taking advantage of in the first place. The solution being to scrap the whole tax system filled with loopholes created for bankers and others and replace it with something without loopholes.

    5) The seniors are already getting double taxed. The FairTax takes all the embedded taxes in the price of goods and makes it transparent. This includes payroll and corporate taxes. It’s not just the income tax. Also dividends are no longer taxes. This is a break even for seniors, plus the pre-bate means they don’t pay any tax on purchases up to the poverty level.

  52. Wes Wagner

    Hardy @62

    1) No. I would prefer he be a man of character that knows when you are a representative, your personal opinions are not as important as your constituents opinions. That is the difference between a statesman and a politician.

    2) No. My claim is that it unfairly protects people who have already accumulated capital. Re-read my statements and source material inferred.

    3) “Balancing the budget” does not set aside reserves for unfunded liabilities, which inherently is still unbalanced because off balance-sheet liabilities are still accruing.

    4) The bankers did criminal acts outside of the laws. Selling a mortgage backed security to a public pension fund that has no actual mortgages in it is criminal fraud under current statutes. I could cite dozens of other major crimes, but a single instance is enough to defeat your point.

    5) It is not a break even for seniors who have retirement income in excess of poverty level/social security. Check your math and ask someone in their situation.

  53. Thomas L. Knapp

    Hardy @61,

    I’d be less opposed to a “Fair” Tax that cuts revenues than I am of one that doesn’t, but I still wouldn’t be in favor per se of any tax that comes with a universal welfare entitlement and 50 new IRSes, penalizes previous savers, and would deal the final death blow to American heavy manufacturing and homebuilding.

    Granted, I don’t consider the whole thing as much of a ding against Johnson as I did at first. “OK, so we’re economic retards …” isn’t exactly the best message the LP could run with this year, but at least it’s not as bad as “OK, so we’re economic retards … who want to blow up the world!” and so on.

  54. Thane Eichenauer

    I don’t see Gary Johnson promoting any variant of the so-called Fair Tax other than the “official” Fair Tax. Those folks have a cadre of supporters who aren’t going to get on board to anything but the official version. Unofficial version would likely be tagged a National Retain Sales Tax without prebates as the so-called Fair Tax used to be called.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Fair+Tax+fraud

  55. Robert Capozzi

    61 H: so if Johnson comes out in favor of a FairTax-like plan that cut revenues instead of just being revenue neutral, you’d be more in favor of it because it cuts revenues?

    me: Speaking as the most radical L on the planet to my knowledge, GJ tweaking his FAIR Tax plan from a revenue neutral to a cut in revenues would be a step in the “wrong” direction, ATC. GJ is positioned as the responsible truth teller, and it would be irresponsible to cut spending more than he’s already proposing. It would also be irresponsible to advocate increasing the deficit and debt. That is, in the short term, which is what governing is.

    Knowing that GJ is highly unlikely to not get elected, it’s important that GJ offer voters the IDEA about a path toward liberty and away from a growing, more coercive, State. It’s important that Ls no longer be out on the implausible fringes advocating science fiction, but rather to offer voters and citizens an edgy alternative.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@66,

    “it’s important that GJ offer voters the IDEA about a path toward liberty and away from a growing, more coercive, State”

    That would be good.

    A new universal welfare entitlement, 50 new IRSes, a raid on savings, and a less avoidable tax don’t seem like that kind of path to me.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    67 tk, right. I’m not a fan of the FAIR Tax. It was a dysfunctional choice by GJ, IMO. Overall, though, I think he’s a fine exponent for increased liberty.

    Some might say I know nothing about liberty since I’m OK with states and localities banning machine guns in the subway, too. GJ may or may not favor that ban, but I’d still support and vote for him.

    But, then, I’m a radical, freed from evaluating a candidate from any litmus tests.

  58. JT

    Capozzi: “But, then, I’m a radical, freed from evaluating a candidate from any litmus tests.”

    How do you know that you’re a radical if you have no standards by which you evaluate?

  59. JT

    Wagner: “No. I would prefer he be a man of character that knows when you are a representative, your personal opinions are not as important as your constituents opinions. That is the difference between a statesman and a politician.”

    I don’t agree with this comment as stated. Say a Libertarian is elected as a U.S. Rep because most of the voters in his district agree with many of his views. Then a bill that expands personal or corporate welfare in a particular way is proposed that most of his constituents support. Should he vote for it even though he opposes it?

    I don’t think that a representative is required to support whatever the majority of his constituents want. They vote for him to do what he thinks is good policy-wise. If enough of them prefer someone else who’s running to decide such matters, then they vote for someone else.

  60. Robert Capozzi

    69 jt, wonderfully radical question! Radical for me means willing to question and question and question and question. That process inevitably leads to the conclusion that feeling is at the root of every perception. “Radical” is just a word to help describe that process.

  61. Chuck Moulton

    Hardy Macia wrote (@62):

    You might not like a few points of the FairTax bill, but I’m still amazed libertarians sit here and support the status quo for taxes.

    That’s a ridiculous straw man.

    Just because many people (rightly) say that the Fair Tax would make things worse in the long term, that doesn’t mean they support the status quo.

    For example, I have publicly supported:

    1. A consumption tax replacing all those taxes with no prebate and a constitutional amendment not only repealing the 16th, but also expressly prohibiting all those other taxes.

    2. A low flat income tax replacing the current income tax.

    3. A low flat personal income tax replacing all other taxes, with a constitutional amendment prohibiting all other taxes.

    4. Taxing the states in proportion to population and let them figuring out how to collect the revenue.

    None of that is status quo.

    This reminds me of a famous Grover Norquist characterization of Obama’s tax plan. I’ll paraphrase because I can’t find a link to it.

    The budget deal was like they were trying to order pizza and the Republicans wanted pepperoni as a topping. The Democrats wanted shards of glass as a topping. So the Democrats proposed that they order a pizza with both pepperoni and shards of glass.

    When the Republicans refused the Democrats would invariably say “What, you don’t like pepperoni?” And the Republicans would quip back “We like pepperoni just fine. We just don’t like those shards of glass. The shards of glass make the whole pizza bad.”

    No amount of spending cuts will ever make any tax hikes palatable.

    I really don’t understand the disconnect here. Libertarians (myself especially included) have stated over and over again that certain aspects of the Fair Tax — especially the prebate — make the proposal completely unacceptable. This isn’t something that can or will be compromised on. No amount of pepperoni will make the shards of glass something we can swallow.

    You keep arguing as if I and others are against a consumption tax or are against tax reform. That’s plainly false and just makes you look idiotic.

    We’ve already said what we’re against. You haven’t explained it away and you won’t. It’s getting tiresome.

  62. Zeleni

    He played to his audience. The vast majority of the Colbert Nation is anti-war, pro gay-marriage, and pro-legalization. Most of them aren’t going to support his policies on the economy, health care, and the environment. At least those on the left – including myself. I don’t believe I disagreed with a single issue he mentioned, although I know I cannot support his candidacy based on his complete platform (and that of the Libertarian Party). He tailored his message but did not mince words or obfuscate his policies. He wasn’t trying to win over one splinter group or another within the Libertarian Party. He was trying to reach out to the American people which is what you have to do if you want to get any traction at all. You should be trying to figure out what to do with the millions of people who watched that interview instead of sitting around bickering.

  63. Matt Cholko

    I could eat a pizza with shards of glass on it, provided that it also has double pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, ham, tomatoes, double extra cheese, and extra sauce. It also has to be on a tasty, new york style crust.

  64. just saying

    Barr also supported the “patriot” act with his vote, although he later criticized aspects of it.

    He was actually contemporaneously and previously, not just “later,” critical of most of the bill. He only agreed to vote for it after extracting what (little) concessions he could regarding sunsets, etc.

    My point was mostly that Johnson does not have such a record as Governor

    It is true that it is harder for the general public to “grok” the nuanced choices of the legislative process than the clear-cut actions of a Governor.

    to run away from or try to sweep under the rug,

    The most comparable issue is this:

    Why didn’t Gov. Johnson pardon non-violent drug offenders?

    He was supposedly against the drug war at the time, so what was the issue? Not even at the end of his second term? He was literally holding the lives of people in his hand as a chief executive and he did nothing, despite his purported principles.

    Didn’t Harry Browne promise to pardon marijuana offenders on the first day of his Presidency? Maybe Johnson should listen more to Harry Browne and less to WARoot.

  65. paulie

    You might not like a few points of the FairTax bill, but I’m still amazed libertarians sit here and support the status quo for taxes.

    I don’t support the US occupation of Afghanistan. I have opposed it every single day from since before it started. I’ve marched against it, blogged against it, written letters against it, made phone calls against it…you get the picture.

    If someone proposed a harebrained scheme to move US troops out of Afghanistan into Poland by way of Russia, without either country’s regime’s permission, I would oppose that scheme as well. Especially, but not only, if I distrusted the promise that US troops would then get out and stay out of Afghanistan.

    Does that mean that I must be demanding the immediate dismantling of the US military as a whole? No, I don’t see that as likely to be a short range goal. For the moment, my short range goal is to have them get out of Afghanistan without invading any additional countries.

    I hope and trust that the analogy here does not need to be explained further.

  66. paulie

    Zeleni

    He played to his audience. The vast majority of the Colbert Nation is anti-war, pro gay-marriage, and pro-legalization. Most of them aren’t going to support his policies on the economy, health care, and the environment.

    Honestly, I don’t think he played to his audience. These are the same issues he usually emphasizes in the other media clips I’ve seen from a diverse selection of outlets (MSNBC, Fox, CNN, etc).

    I haven’t seen his ACLU speech, but I read a description. It said he spent a chunk of his time on economic issues which were not connecting with the audience.

    I think that was a function of how much time he was given to speak. If he has the time he gets into those; if not, he highlights the issues he finds most important.

    I don’t believe I disagreed with a single issue he mentioned,

    You probably disagree with what he means by “balance the budget,” although he did not elaborate on that.

    You should be trying to figure out what to do with the millions of people who watched that interview instead of sitting around bickering.

    Sound advice, and a good capsule summary of why the LP is not much larger and more successful than it is now.

  67. paulie

    Why didn’t Gov. Johnson pardon non-violent drug offenders? Not even at the end of his second term? He was literally holding the lives of people in his hand as a chief executive and he did nothing, despite his purported principles.

    He has said (Reason interview iirc) that while he disagrees with prohibition laws, he believes that they should be changed through the legislature, and the he should not use executive power to unilaterally nullify the law in effect. He also said (again iirc) that some violent/dangerous/property criminals who were not convicted of the actual crimes they have committed which libertarians agree should be crimes were being incarcerated on drug convictions.

    I have some better questions for Hardy and any other Johnson staff and/or surrogates (and Johnson himself if and when I get to ask him questions), though. From what I understand, at the Manhattan LP meeting and possibly at other times Johnson has said that he pardoned “hundreds” of drug offenders. Is that what he said? Is it true? How many did he pardon exactly? How does it compare to other NM Governors before and after him, or Governors of other states at that same time? Did he, in fact, pardon a significantly higher number of drug offenders than other governors have or not?

  68. paulie

    Didn’t Harry Browne promise to pardon marijuana offenders on the first day of his Presidency?

    I believe it was all nonviolent drug offenders as well as others convicted of a variety of victimless “crimes” which libertarians believe should not be crimes at all.

    Maybe Johnson should listen more to Harry Browne and less to WARoot.

    I don’t know how much he listens to Wayne – he certainly seems to be emphasizing socially liberal issues a lot more than Wayne’s laser focus on selling libertarianism to the right wing talk radio/TEA party crowd would indicate.

    I would agree that he should listen to Browne.

  69. Robert Capozzi

    72 cm: I really don’t understand the disconnect here. Libertarians (myself especially included) have stated over and over again that certain aspects of the Fair Tax — especially the prebate — make the proposal completely unacceptable.

    me: does this mean that some Ls would not vote for GJ in convention or the elections? Does that include you?

    In my case, I don’t support the FAIR Tax, but I think it’s not awful for a LP candidate who has virtually no chance of winning to advocate it. It has some teaching utility. The prebate is actually one of its better features, IMO, for my Geoist-leaning L perspective.

    I do hope that GJ wins the nomination and I hope to vote for him in November.

  70. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@81,

    “The prebate is actually one of its better features, IMO, for my Geoist-leaning L perspective.”

    As a Georgist/geoist leaning libertarian myself, I couldn’t disagree more. Lying about policy is always a really, really, really bad idea.

  71. Robert Capozzi

    82 tk, yes, it really is! Then again, we could view any “policy” as being a “lie.” Jurisprudence could be viewed as being a “lie,” if we believe that the law is a means to maintain justice, since it fails often and favors the well-heeled. Justice is certainly not “blind.”

    Instead, we make do with approximations. I view the prebate as an approximation, not a “lie.”

  72. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    An approximation to what?

    The “prebate” is sold as an “advance rebate” of taxes to be paid.

    But you get it whether you pay the amount of tax that it allegedly represents, or some other amount, or no tax at all.

    Calling it a “rebate” isn’t an “approximation,” it’s an outright lie, a blatant fraud, and a transparent attempt to use a universal welfare entitlement as moocher bait to curry support for adoption of the “Fair” Tax.

  73. Robert Capozzi

    84 tk, an approximation of a citizens dividend, returning rents to all citizens.

    I don’t think the FAIR tax works on a lot of levels, but the result of the prebate has the effect of approximating a dividend.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    I recall seeing Roy Childs justifying lying if the result is righteous. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but imagine if you could tell a lie which would bring about Nonarchy in, say, 5 years.

    Would you tell that lie?

  75. HEY ROBBY

    Hey Robert it’s pretty funny that you lived within 5 miles of where I lived but I never once had even heard your name until I came on this website. You must be quite the activist.

  76. Hardy

    @72, Chuck

    Any income is terrible compared to a consumption tax. If you are a small business owner you’re still dealing with dozens of hours and a tax code full of lobbyist loopholes as to what businesses can write off.

    Consumption tax means that you keep all your money and you can decide how much taxes you want to pay based on your purchasing habits. Buy all used goods and grow your own food and pay no taxes.

    Granted in that case with the FairTax bill these people would have a windfall of $2400 a year in welfare as some are trying to describe it, but 99.5% of the people won’t live completely off the land and not make any purchases so they will pay taxes and the pre-bate refunds the taxes paid up to the poverty line.

    I disagree that it should be fully to the poverty line. It could be 50% or 75%. I’d also like to see it phased completely out by saying any child born after 2014 doesn’t qualify for the pre-bate… I find all this something typically voters won’t care anything about and is only in the libertarian debate clubs that it even arises.

    As Robert said, the chances of Johnson winning are slim. So I see, supporting an off-the-shelf-solution that is libertarian in direction for a tax overhaul plan which already has a large organization behind it is better than trying to make up his own plan.

    I think option 4 where we apportion the tax to the states and let the states figure it out is even better than the FairTax. It’s also pushes to the states where it used to be and it goes along with Johnson’s other issues of giving Medicaid and Medicare completely to the states.

    Option 1 – The amendment should prohibit all those taxes. I think the amendment should be an all encompassing liberty amendment though which also includes term limits for congress, and a few other things. I’ve suggested it to the campaign…. but I’m not getting hung up over it as having Johnson elected would do more for liberty than any of these minor things we are nitpicking over — and they are fairly minor in the grand scheme of things.

    Option 1 – pre-bate – without the pre-bate consumption taxes are regressive. That means it’s dead on arrival. The pre-bate an a simple way to deal with removing the regressivity without opening up the law to lots of loopholes (which I think we’ve debated already) or requiring people to file income statements to get a rebate.

    The reason why I say they are against tax reform is that all they do is argue against it without giving any solutions. You gave 4 options in your reply so you are exempted from that criticism.

  77. Chuck Moulton

    Hardy Macia (@89):

    without the pre-bate consumption taxes are regressive. That means it’s dead on arrival. The pre-bate an a simple way to deal with removing the regressivity without opening up the law to lots of loopholes

    There is a HUGE difference between the intentions of legislation and its actual result.

    If the prebate Fair Tax would really pass completely as is and never change FULL STOP, then it could potentially be palatable. But that’s not reality.

    That’s the common economics problem of not going beyond step 1. Step 2 involves looking at unintended consequences of the legislation. That involves things Knapp has pointed out about distortions to the housing market, the car market, etc. Step 3 involves looking at public choice questions of what the legislation is likely to morph into over the years.

    A prebate will get raised higher and higher, morphing into a socialist redistribution of wealth far beyond the poverty level. To claim otherwise would require completely ignoring economic history, political trends, and public choice theory.

    The advocates of the Fair Tax seem to like judging the proposal on its intentions. Those of us who live in reality rather than fantasy land though are aware of the huge differences between the intentions and the reality of practically every piece of legislation. Look at the original income tax. Or social security. Or regulation of health insurance. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    For me the question isn’t whether I would trade all these other horrible taxes for a consumption tax + a prebate. Here in reality the question is whether I’d be willing to trade a temporary reprieve from all the other taxes (I’ll be generous and give them 25 years before they re-implement everything) for a new federal consumption tax + socialist redistribution of wealth on the order of $30k – $40k / year (again I’ll be generous and assume it will take them 50 years to creep up the prebate from the poverty level to a comfortable stipend much closer to the median income).

    No thanks. I’m not willing to stomach shards of glass for pepperoni.

  78. Andy

    Chuck, does the above post mean that you’ve dropped your support for Gary Johnson to become the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President?

  79. Andy

    “Maybe Johnson should listen more to Harry Browne and less to WARoot.”

    I sure do miss the Harry Browne days. The Libertarian Party has not had a candidate as good as Harry Browne since then. I sure do wish that the Libertarian Party had a candidate like Harry Browne right now.

  80. Chuck Moulton

    Andy wrote (@92):

    Chuck, does the above post mean that you’ve dropped your support for Gary Johnson to become the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President?

    No.

    Just because I oppose the terrible Fair Tax legislation (and won’t compromise on that) doesn’t mean I can’t support a candidate who has 99% good positions, 1 horrible position, and 2 lukewarm positions (entangling alliance with Israel & military tribunals).

    He’ll still likely get my vote at the convention.

    Whether he gets my money or not after the convention depends on to what extent he promotes libertarian positions vs. how much of his time he shills for the Fair Tax.

    Also due to the Fair Tax I’m leaning towards Lee Wrights for VP to keep Johnson honest rather than voting for another elected official or a deep pockets financer on the ticket.

  81. Mike Kane

    I have a long list of economic / public choice rammifications that make the fair tax not implementable. I will be posting those in a letter to the delegates of the national convention soon

  82. Hardy Macia

    @91, but Chuck, they can do what you are afraid of right now. Nothing is stopping them from raising the income tax brackets or adding another tax in addition to all the current taxes to make things more progressive. The FairTax bill abolishes all of them and goes to a single simple tax.

    Nothing would prevent congress from changing the pre-bate rate based on the poverty level to 1000% of the poverty level…. except Governor Veto being President vetoing this stuff, and the 40 million voters who put him into office outraged at it.

    One solution if this is a concern is part of the 28th Amendment that repeals the 16th and prevents all other forms of taxes is to include a fixed cap on the pre-bate to $200 a month or something…can’t use the poverty line because congress could change that… but NH legislature is paid $100 by the NH constitution and it’s remained fix for decades now.

    The other balancing effect on just jacking up the pre-bate is that the tax rate has to go up… so yeah we can increase the pre-bate, but then the consumption tax will increase as a result and you’ll have a very large segment of the population against any increase in the consumption tax rate. Yeah, it might generate some class warfare…but the way the pre-bate is designed is that it does help those below the poverty line climb out poverty without the current mindset that’s easier to just collect welfare than to work because FairTax doesn’t’ penalize people for working — it encourages it and savings. It discourages consumption so the folks under the poverty level might hold off on buying their $150 sneakers and flat screen tvs.

  83. Hardy Macia

    @95 please do a side-by-side on how our current system compares also. What’s the economic/public choice ramifications of an income tax system that has a 300+billion dollar a year compliance cost associated with it, also with the effects of the payroll tax on the poor and business owners who want to hire an employee for the first time, and explain how death taxes are libertarian.

  84. Hardy Macia

    @96 The FairTax is a reset/reboot. Clean the slate of 70,000 pages of regulations, law, and rulings and replace it with a 140 page bill. Change is scary, but doing what we’ve done for the last 100 years is much worse.

    A consumption tax means it’s up to the tax payer to decide how much taxes to pay and when. There are no requirements for them save receipts, file tax returns every year, or open their homes up to audits as in our current system. The current income and payroll taxes are very invasive and very anti-liberty.

  85. Chuck Moulton

    Hardy Macia wrote (@96):

    @91, but Chuck, they can do what you are afraid of right now. Nothing is stopping them from raising the income tax brackets or adding another tax in addition to all the current taxes to make things more progressive. The FairTax bill abolishes all of them and goes to a single simple tax.

    It’s much easier politically to resurrect an old tax than to impose a new tax.

    History has shown that very clearly.

    Hardy Macia wrote (@96):

    Nothing would prevent congress from changing the pre-bate rate based on the poverty level to 1000% of the poverty level…. except Governor Veto being President vetoing this stuff, and the 40 million voters who put him into office outraged at it.

    Presidents have 4 year terms. We’re not electing Johnson dictator forever.

    Again you are using short term thinking.

    Hardy Macia wrote (@96):

    One solution if this is a concern is part of the 28th Amendment that repeals the 16th and prevents all other forms of taxes is to include a fixed cap on the pre-bate to $200 a month or something

    Sounds good. That’s not the proposal that Johnson is supporting though.

    Hardy Macia wrote (@96):

    The other balancing effect on just jacking up the pre-bate is that the tax rate has to go up

    No it doesn’t. The tax rate would have to go up if we required balanced budgets and if all other spending stayed the same (e.g., didn’t reallocate money from the military to the prebate), but those assumptions don’t hold.

  86. Bill Wood

    Daily Caller has a nice article up from their interview with Gary Johnson. the Roswell question and Gary’s answer is very funny.

  87. Pingback: Gary Johnson On Colbert Report | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

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