Stossel: I Like Gary Johnson
All political candidates call themselves freedom-lovers, but they are
not. Neither major party really opposes government control of the
economy or of our personal lives. I'm a libertarian because I see the
false choice offered by political left and right: Democrats talk about
personal liberty; Republicans talk about economic freedom. But what they
do once in power belies their words.
I say we're best off if government just leaves us alone to our peaceful cooperation with whomever we please. Let politicians advocate moral behavior. Let them give to charities. But leave government -- which is physical force -- out of it.
why I like Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico.
He's the Libertarian Party candidate for president. As governor, Johnson
vetoed 750 bills, and yet he got re-elected in that blue state.
I asked Johnson what it means to be a libertarian.
responsible, socially accepting ... more liberal than Obama on several
issues, more conservative than Romney on several issues."
Johnson proposes to cut federal spending by more than 43 percent:
"Balance the federal budget now. I think that unless we do that, we're going to find ourselves in a monetary collapse."
do that, he'd go where the money is. He'd cut the big programs that
will soon bankrupt us. That includes Medicare. Conventional wisdom says
what he's proposing is cruel and, for a politician, suicidal.
we've got to slash Medicare spending. If we don't, we're going to find
ourselves with no health care whatsoever. Medicaid, same thing. Military
spending, same thing."
The left claims that without social spending, people would starve in the streets!
is the exact reaction that I got as governor of New Mexico, having
vetoed all that legislation. ... Kids were going to starve, all the
worst things were going to happen, and none of them did. And I got
Who would decide what part of Medicare to cut?
this up to the states. Fifty laboratories of innovation and best
practice ... (instead of) Washington top-down, Washington-knows-best --
that's what has us in the situation that we're in right now."
Johnson also says, "End the wars." Won't a pullout of our troops mean the terrorists win?"We have hundreds of millions of enemies ... that, but for our military interventions, we would not
otherwise have. So let's take military spending back to 2003 spending
levels. Start out with the premise that we should provide ourselves with
a strong national defense. But 'defense' here is the operative word.
Not 'offense' and not 'nation-building.'
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