Where is Johnson on the Issues?   Leave a comment

Libertarians believe in liberty, enterprise and personal responsibility:

“Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government’s only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud,” the party’s website says.

Gary Johnson.jpgGary Johnson rightly calls the Democrats and Republicans “slightly different flavors of the status quo.”

I’m going to be honest here and say I’m not particularly fond of his running mate and I don’t agree with Johnson himself on every issue, but he is WAY ahead of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Here’s where Johnson stands on 11 key issues:

Johnson would eliminate loopholes and deductions for special interests; get rid of “double taxation” on small businesses; and, eventually, replace income taxes with a tax on consumption. The Libertarian Party platform calls for the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service.

Johnson and Weld both tout their economic records as governors. They would cut over-regulation that they say is stifling entrepreneurs and small businesses. Remember Johnson became governor of a state (New Mexico) that had deep deficits and a trashed economy. He turned it around and left surpluses and a healthy economy. Weld was a red governor in a deep indigo blue state (Massachusetts) so had to work under a lot of regulations.

Johnson opposes government surveillance of private communications and financial transactions and favors an unregulated internet. He was an early supporter of gay marriage. (I would get prefer to get the government out of marriage altogether so that nobody can force another into participating in their gay wedding against their beliefs). Johnson also supports a woman’s right to have an abortion.(I consider abortion to be morally reprehensible and preventable with modern contraception. I said I didn’t agree with Johnson on every issue) He opposes restricting gun ownership, except with respect to the mentally ill, and thinks Americans would be safer if more people carried guns. “Responsible adults should be free to marry whom they want, arm themselves if they want, and lead their personal lives as they see fit — as long as they aren’t harming anyone else in doing so,” his website says. (Weld is not as consistent. I will probably detail him sometime soon. Unfortunate, but this is one of those times when you just ignore the vice-president and hope that the healthy presidential candidate lives to a ripe old age — kind of like Joe Biden).

The role of the military and foreign policy in a Johnson administration would be to “protect Americans from harm and allow us to exercise our freedoms.” Johnson would stop using the military for “nation building” and “policing the world,” which he says has created new enemies and kept the country in a state of “perpetual war.” (I think once he got into it, he’d find it’s hard to dismantle such an apparatus, but his presidency could be a step in the right direction … not the gutting of the military, but a return to its original mission).

Johnson says his background as the former governor of a border state informs his understanding of immigration policy. He is critical of Trump’s plan to build a wall. Johnson would make it easier for immigrants, after a background check, to get a work visa and a Social Security card so they could pay taxes. And, isn’t that really the issue here, that they come here, work for below minimum wage (thus undercutting legal Americans ability to get jobs), don’t pay into the system, but then suck away resources that the rest of us pay for. If they were forced to compete on a level playing field with legal workers, they would probably choose to return to Mexico because the incentives would be taken away.

Johnson believes “tough on crime” laws have criminalized aspects of our personal lives that should not be the concern of the state. He cites the war on drugs as an example, and calls it a failure. Johnson also is critical of mandatory minimum sentences that prevent judges from using their discretion.

As president, Johnson would take marijuana off the federal government’s list of controlled substances, allowing states to legalize its recreational and medicinal use. He favors taxing and regulating the marijuana business. “We need to treat drug abuse as a health issue, not a crime,” he says. I’m double minded on this. I think marijuana and other drugs do immeasurable harm to our society and individuals and families within our society, but I think the war on drugs has been a disaster. Prohibition doesn’t work. We need to find other ways of dealing with the real problems of drug addiction in our country.

Johnson would abolish the federal Department of Education and eliminate the Common Core curriculum. He favors school choice and competition to foster innovation. He’s also spoken in the past of favoring local control of schools. Historically, schools performed better when there was local control. The outcomes of schools nationwide have consistently declined since the creation of the Department of Education.

The Libertarian candidates would refocus the Environmental Protection Agency on its core mission of protecting the environment. Johnson says the climate “probably” is changing and that humans “probably” have something to do with it, but they question whether government’s efforts to combat it are working, or worth the expense. He favors science-based environmental regulation that does not involve social engineering.

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