Sunday, January 17, 2010
Governor Gary Johnson
Governor Gary Earl Johnson is a candidate who might represent the Tea Party and libertarian movements in the Republican Party in 2012. Currently, the Tea Party out-polls the Republican Party, so Johnson may be nominated. Because President Obama's popularity has been waning while the Tea Party's has been waxing, Johnson may be elected president. He has had an outstanding record with respect to fiscal conservatism as governor of New Mexico.
Concerning his personal background, Wikipedia writes that "Johnson has advocated libertarian ideals of limited government and non-interventionism." He attended the University of New Mexico, where he worked as a handyman to make ends meet. After graduation, he built a construction firm, Big J Enterprises, which he sold in 1999. According to its website, Big J fabricates, installs and maintains piping, air handling systems and is a specialty mechanical contractor. Its clients include General Mills, Sandia Labs and Los Alamos National Laborartory.
In 1994 Johnson was elected governor of New Mexico at a time when New Mexico was 2 to 1 Democratic. In its 2002 ranking of governors' fiscal performances, the Cato Institute gave Johnson a "B" which means that his score was in the top 15% of the nation's governors (the report is embedded below). The report gave only two governors A's. There were 11 B's, 9 C's, 15 D's and four F's. The score is based on a numerical ranking, but the numerical ranking is likely unfair because Johnson was saddled with a left-wing legislature that he had to aggressively fight. In its qualitative discussion of Johnson's record, the Cato report says that Johnson was part of a "thin crop" of fiscal conservatives in 2002 and:
"On such issues as school vouchers and the right to bear arms, Johnson has shown two strong tendencies: a commitment to individual freedom and a willingness to take a hard look at the evidence. Looking at the facts, he concluded that crime is reduced when law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns and that kids would get a better education if their families had a choice of schools...Gary Johnson held off a big spending legislature with three budget votes in 2002."
While governor, Johnson vetoed 750 bills.
"Johnson is starting to sound like a mad-as-hell populist with an eye cast on 2012 and the building fury aimed at Washington."
Politico describes Johnson as "the next Ron Paul".
United Liberty.org says that Johnson "takes a far less restrictive view" on immigration than many on the populist right." The site quotes Joe Wierzbicki of the Tea Party Express:
“He championed personal liberty and a smaller, less intrusive government, and we applaud both his record and his efforts to continue his fight at the national level,”...(Johnson has)“generated a lot of excitement in the Ron Paul constitutionalist and libertarian sect, which is furious about the policies of both Bush and Obama and the Congress of the last three sessions.”
David Boaz of the Cato Institute notes that:
"On such issues as school vouchers and the right to bear arms, Johnson has shown two strong tendencies: a commitment to individual freedom and a willingness to take a hard look at the evidence. Looking at the facts, he concluded that crime is reduced when law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns and that kids would get a better education if their families had a choice of schools."
The Gary Johnson 2012 site notes these accomplishments:
* He didn't raise taxes as Governor once.
* He vetoed over 1,000 spending items.
* He cut taxes 14 times.
* In a state dominated 2 to 1 by Democrats he served two terms.
* He left New Mexico with a balanced budget.
The site describes the following as Johnson's "Seven Principles of Good Government":
1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others. Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions on that.
2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are willing to tell the truth–regardless of the consequences.
3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become. You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to maintain your integrity.
4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.
5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.
6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always time to salvage things. There is always time to fix things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.
7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and get one that you do love, and then make a difference.
Some questions I have for Governor Johnson are as follows:
1. What are three things he learned from his company that could be applied to the federal government?
2. To what degree does he see it possible to cut the federal budget? How will he go about cutting?
3. What is his position on the bailout and TARP?
4. What is his position on health reform? On how to control health care costs?
5. What is his position on the Fed? On the gold standard?
6. What is his position on the Middle East?
7. What is his position on (a) Afghanistan, (b) Iraq, (c) terrorism?
8. What is his position on states' rights and state sovereignty?
9. What is his position on Social Security?
Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2002, Cato Policy Analysis No. 454 ...