Gary Johnson: The Real Problem

May 23rd email from Gary Johnson’s political advocacy committee, Our America Initiative: 

           
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If not for the fact that there are very serious abuses of power involved, the congressional outrage we are seeing about the Obama Administration’s IRS targeting of certain groups for scrutiny and harassment would almost be comical.  The same goes for the congressional indignation we are seeing over the Department of Justice’s secret spying on members of the news media.
Don’t get me wrong.  Asking non-profit organizations what they pray for and secretly obtaining and reading journalists’ personal emails are, by any reasonable measure, truly disturbing acts.  But watching, day after day, as congressional committees drag bureaucrats into hearings and Senators and Representatives take to the airwaves to express their shock over such abuses, someone needs to ask the obvious question:  Why is it even remotely surprising, much less shocking, that, when given power, the government will use it to the greatest extent possible?
That’s what government does.
Everyday, hard-working Americans are harassed by the IRS.  That is not new.  People in Congress can express outrage when that harassment ends up on the front page or happens to organizations they care about, but who is holding Congress itself accountable for a tax code they have concocted over the decades that is designed to punish some and reward others?? The legal weapons the IRS is leveling at specific groups were handed to the IRS by Congress.
And the “spying” on journalists?  Well, Congress, YOU enacted and renewed the Patriot Act and other laws that say it’s OK for the government to read private citizens’ emails, secretly obtain phone records and track our movements.  And now you are shocked that the Obama Administration would use that authority against Fox News?
How about admitting that the Patriot Act is a mistake, and repealing it?  That would be a lot more helpful than pretending as though you can’t understand why government abuses the power you gave it.
And if you truly don’t want the IRS to single out certain groups for special “treatment” — good or bad, then remove the thousands of loopholes, subsidies and other manipulative provisions in the tax code that make the IRS so powerful in the first place.  
With the abuses of government power that are coming to light in recent days — abuses that ordinary Americans deal with all the time, we must not let Congress off the hook.  With the encouragement of Republican and Democrat administrations alike, the politicians on Capitol Hill created the opportunities for those abuses.  We can complain about government exercising the force of agencies like the IRS and the FBI, but it is foolish to believe that, when given power, government won’t use it — or abuse it.  The real answer is to reduce the size and power of that government.
The Our America Initiative is committed to doing just that: Reducing government’s size, cost, and power over our daily lives.  Your support is the key.  Please go toOur America Initiative today and contribute what you can so that we can hold the politicians accountable for the abuses they have created.
Thanks, as always, for your friendship and support of liberty!
Governor Gary Johnson
Honorary Chairman, Our America Initiative
About Governor Gary Johnson: A two-term governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, Gary Johnson has been a consistent advocate for limited, efficient government and personal liberty. As the Libertarian candidate for President in 2012, he received more votes than any Libertarian candidate in history. An outspoken pro-Constitution libertarian, Johnson opposes American involvement in foreign conflicts with no clear U.S. interest. He opposes the failed multi-billion dollar war on drugs and demands greater transparency at the Federal Reserve. Johnson advocates cutting federal spending dramatically to achieve a balanced budget and make government live within its means without raising taxes. He believes real job creation and economic opportunity can be best achieved through smaller government and less regulation. The National Review rated Johnson as “#1” in job creation as governor. An avid skier and bicyclist, he has reached the highest peaks on five of the seven continents, including Mount Everest and, recently, Aconcagua in Argentina.
OUR America Initiative seeks to broaden the parameters of the public policy debate in the national arena. We look to enlighten Americans about civil liberties, free enterprise, limited government, and the traditional American values of freedom and liberty. It is our aim to increase discussion and involvement regarding all-important issues of the day.    Our America Initiative      |       P.O. Box 1985, Salt Lake City, UT 84110       |       1.800.662.9601
The OUR America Initiative is a 501(c)(4) political advocacy committee and may receive unlimited donations from both individual and corporate donors.

8 thoughts on “Gary Johnson: The Real Problem

  1. Tom Blanton

    We can complain about government exercising the force of agencies like the IRS and the FBI, but it is foolish to believe that, when given power, government won’t use it — or abuse it. The real answer is to reduce the size and power of that government.

    Johnson nearly got this right. He forgot to add two words at the end – to zero. Oh yeah, that would make him a crazy anarchist instead of a half-crazy government hating right-wing idiot in the minds of pro-government authoritarian statists and that just wouldn’t serve the cause for freedom.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    tb: that would make him a crazy anarchist instead of a half-crazy government hating right-wing idiot in the minds of pro-government authoritarian statists and that just wouldn’t serve the cause for freedom.

    me: I’m confused by your words, TB. Aren’t “right-wing idiot(s)” also “pro-government authoritarian statists,” since all non-anarchists fit the latter category?

    Maybe you are unearthing some sort of deep-seated self-loathing, or perhaps expounding on another aspect of the love/hate relationship?

    Does GJ get points for “nearly” getting this one “right” in your book? Or is he just another hopelessly “evil” statist since he refuses to speak your truth…that the only good government is no government? 😉

  3. Tom Blanton

    I’m confused by your words, TB. Aren’t “right-wing idiot(s)” also “pro-government authoritarian statists,” since all non-anarchists fit the latter category?

    Sorry, RC. I didn’t mean to confuse you any more than you already are.

    Right-wing idiots can certainly also be pro-government authoritarian statists, but nearly all left-wing idiots are pro-government authoritarian statists. Those left-wing idiots are ususally the ones pointing fingers at people and describing them as idiot right-wingers, especially libertarians – even when the libertarians may be further to the left than the left-wing idiot.

    Now, non-anarchists may be pro-government statists, but not all of them are pro-government authoritarian statists. Most LP members aren’t full blown authoritarians, even though a few pro-government “minarchists” might have authoritarian tendencies. Generally, these “minarchists” can be identified when they talk about freezing government at current levels or rolling back government to 2008 levels.

    I hope this has helped eliminate some of your confusion.

  4. Wayne Brady

    I’m certainly no longer confused. I don’t know about anyone else.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    TB, helpful, but not entirely clear. It appears there may be some sort of Dual Blanton Scale (DBS). The first scale is binary: all non-anarchists = statists; all anarchists = non-statists. Fair?

    You measure how “authoritarian” one is based on what they advocate in the near term. You, for ex., are a non-statist, but you might be more authoritarian than one who advocates statelessness tomorrow, regardless of the dislocative effects that might trigger. (I seem to recall that you advocate a complete unwinding of the State in 10 years.)

    As one who advocates more incremental measures than probably most Ls, I would be highly authoritarian in the near term. (I do so on the grounds that modest rollbacks to the State are more likely to happen, and more likely to be persuasive to larger numbers of people, not as a matter of “principle.”) As a theoretical asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist, I might get an “indeterminate” rating on your “statist” scale. My vagueness about a specific desired endstate is a function of my practice of purposeful ambivalence toward grandiose notions.

    Ron Paul and Gary Johnson might be less authoritarian than I am on the DBS, but are both statists.

    Does that scoping work for you?

  6. Tom Blanton

    (I seem to recall that you advocate a complete unwinding of the State in 10 years.)

    That’s only when I want to appear to be reasonable for a statist audience. Secretly, I believe it could be unwound much faster.

    Mostly I just advocate that assholes leave me alone. I’m fine with them hassling anyone else that is willing to tolerate it. I believe all Americans should get exactly what it is they want. If they want to be lied to, spied on, ripped off, abused, and prevented from being happy, then I am fine with all of that as long as they leave me out of it.

    Unfortunately, most Americans, and even a large number of libertarians, do not recognize the right of a person to simply be left alone and opt out of things they don’t want to be a part of.

    They seem to believe they have an inalienable right to fuck with anyone anywhere at any time over anything. I’m not sure where this right comes from, but apparently many believe that some supernatural being that lives in the sky gave it to them – perhaps Santa Claus? The weird thing is that most Americans are too lazy to actually fuck with you themselves so they like to delegate their imaginary right to fuck with you to thugs wearing fancy costumes that work for the government.

    Go figure. And they think I’m crazy because I don’t like this game.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    TB. yes, as you may recall, I advocate Nonarchy Pods for those who wish to opt out completely.

    But, I ask again, have I reasonably summarized your Dual Blanton Scale?

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