Gary Johnson Libertarian Presidential Candidate
Gary Johnson is an American businessman, politician and the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. He was the 29th Governor of New Mexico, serving from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican. He also ran in the 2012 presidential election for the Libertarian Party.
Gary Johnson’s Fiscal Positions
Johnson is fiscally conservative. He opposes the current federal personal and corporate tax system, and instead supports a national consumption tax on goods and services. He is against all forms of bailout or stimulus, and has been vocal in his opposition to Obama’s American Jobs Act. He is greatly skeptical of the lack of transparency regarding the Federal Reserve and has advocated for Congressional oversight of the institution. In lockstep with this conservatism, he believes strongly in the value of the free market. In his Our America Initiative, published before the 2012 campaign, he said, “Free markets and limited government are the foundation of prosperity.”
Gary Johnson’s Social Positions
While his economic views are in line with the right, his social philosophies are fairly liberal. He has been vocal in his support of women’s reproductive rights, though he has supported legislation banning late-term abortions and believes Roe v. Wade wrongly “expanded the reach of the Federal government into areas of society never envisioned in the Constitution.” Johnson views the War on Drugs as a great failure and a leading cause of American crime, as it has precipitated a black market run by gangs and cartels. He has called for the de-scheduling of marijuana and the treatment of harder drugs as a health problem rather than a criminal justice problem.
Gary Johnson’s Military Positions
Johnson’s views on the military are budgetary. He supports a 43% reduction in spending in order to balance the federal budget. He wants to end all involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, though he still leaves drone strikes on the table. He has also stated that he would not oppose a foreign intervention for humanitarian reasons. He opposes the USA Patriot Act and the unfair torture and treatment of terrorist suspects in Guantanemo Bay and elsewhere and would push for military tribunals to process the suspects instead of indefinite detention.
Gary Johnson’s Military Background
Johnson began his career in 1976, when he founded a mechanical contracting business called Big J Enterprises. At first he was the only employee, but received a stroke of luck when the firm was contracted to expand Intel’s facilities in Rio Rancho. Big J eventually grew into one of New Mexico’s biggest construction companies with a multimillion-dollar capitalization and over 1,000 employees.
Gary Johnson vetoed more bills in his time as New Mexico’s mayor than the other 49 governors put together, according to the National Review. He left the state with a $1b budget surplus as well as a major road building infrastructural program and no tax increases during his entire tenure.
From 2009 to 2011, Johnson’s presidential bid was under the Republican Party banner, but he switched to the Libertarian Party due to low polling numbers and exclusion from several debates. Though he missed his stated goal of 5% of the national vote, his 1.3m votes were still the most in the history of the party.
Photo (crop): Gary Johnson at 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0