Gary Johnson: Libertarian?

This is an op-ed piece from the site owner.

I keep seeing people on the web, and especially on Facebook, touting Gary Johnson’s record as Governor to show that he’s a libertarian and/or fiscal conservative. Here are some facts:

johnson-libertarian

New Mexico Spending 2003 (Johnson’s last year as Governor)

New Mexico Spending 1995 (Johnson’s first year as Governor)

That is a 75% increase in eight years. Spending increased over 9% per year on his watch.

Libertarians (and others) please discuss.

—————–
Update: After Andy’s comment I did a little more research. I didn’t find a definitive answer but I found this from Johnson’s own website:
johnson-admits-5-percent

So he admits to annual increases of 5% during his two terms. I can’t verify that his 5% is correct and my 9% is wrong, but at least I have a source. He cites none. But even at 5% growth, it’s not libertarian and it’s not fiscally conservative.

93 thoughts on “Gary Johnson: Libertarian?

  1. Andy

    I’m not sure how these figures were determined, so without looking into it more, I’m not going to comment on this.

    I will say that at best, Gary Johnson was only a moderate Libertarian, aka – a Libertarian Lite or Nerf Libertarian.

    He was only libertarian as a Governor when compared to the other Governors and mainstream politicians at the time. This does not mean that he was a hardcore libertarian, because he was not.

    His campaign was not as big of a disaster as Bob Barr 2008, but I’d prefer to see a candidate who is more hardcore Libertarian next time.

    Can’t the party find somebody who is a more hardcore Libertarian, who is good at doing outreach to the public, who has at least some money and/or name recognition, and who has the ability to raise money, and can travel around the country and do all of the things that candidates for President are supposed to do?

    The choice in candidates at the last two LP national conventions have been disappointing.

  2. Andy

    Warren, I did not have time to study the information in those links when I posted the comment above.

    I’m not a huge Gary Johnson fan by any means, however, to play Devil’s Advocate, there could be more to the story than what you said above. Perhaps there was a big increase in economic activity in New Mexico that lead to more tax revenue coming in, which lead to more spending (the Laffer Curve). Also, Johnson is supposed to have vetoed something like 750 bills while he was Governor. Maybe if he had not done that, government spending in New Mexico would have increased even more than it did (going by the figures which you posted above).

  3. Steve M

    Adjusting for inflation the 4.4 in 1995 dollars would have been 5.3 billion in 2003 dollars.

    (non inflation)
    Healthcare rose from 1.1 to 2.7 billion
    Education rose from 1.0 to 1.5 billion
    Pensions rose from 0.4 to 0.8 billion
    welfare rose from 0.5 to 0.7 billion (half of the 0.2 billion would be inflation)

    New Mexico GDP in 1995 was 42.1 billion and in 2003 57.9 billion so state spending as a percentage of GDP rose from 10.5% to 13.9%

    For education as I recall these were the years that the population boomlet hit the school system. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/18/baby-boomlet-us-births-in_n_176474.html

    For healthcare inflation rates I looked at metricmash.com/inflation.aspx?code=SAM

    which shows 47.22% inflation for medical from 1995 to 2003 so applying that to 1.1 billion would make it 1.6 billion. Leaving 1.1 billion unexplained.

  4. George Phillies

    For more on the financial aspects of the Johnson campaign, see recent issues of Liberty for American magazine libertyforamerica DOT com/lfamagazine PERIOD htm

  5. Robert Capozzi

    For this to be interesting I would want to see these numbers inflation adjusted and per capita and compared with other states.

    Remeber too that governors are not dictators.

  6. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m curious, Warren, I know you don’t care for Johnson. Is this the source of it? Do you just think he isn’t Libertarian enough? You certainly don’t have to answer my question.

  7. Steve M

    Robert,

    That is why I included the GDP info.

    The elephant was the health care spending and as I understand it this was driven by the legislative branch. Spending on transportation and law enforcement remained constant.

    I also Like Garry Johnson and would support him again.

  8. paulie

    Comparison with other states would be key. Also, as already pointed out above, he was not the dictator and he did veto more bills than all the other governors…combined. Don’t forget he had a huge Democratic majority in the legislature.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    With the usual preface that I’m no Gary Johnson fan, I can offer one explanation for increased spending that he would have had very little control over:

    After the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” there was a specific change in the way federal spending was structured. A lot of it was changed from direct spending to “Community Development Bloc Grants” in education, infrastructure, Medicaid, etc.

    That is, where as of 1995, the feds might have spent $X in New Mexico on A, B and C, as of the late 1990s and forward, the feds would instead write big checks to the government of New Mexico with the specification that the state government spend them on A, B and C. So exactly as much money was being spent on A, B and C, but now it was magically “state spending” where it hadn’t been before.

  10. Andy

    “Robert Capozzi October 21, 2013 at 11:26 am
    For this to be interesting I would want to see these numbers inflation adjusted and per capita and compared with other states.

    Remeber too that governors are not dictators.

    Robert Capozzi October 21, 2013 at 11:28 am
    ‘Hardcore’ Ls are unelectable.”

    Yes, Governors are not dictators, however, even without being a dictator, there are a lot of things that a libertarian Governor could do without being a dictator. Such as, they could pardon everyone convicted of a victimless crime. They could order the state police to stop harassing people for victimless crimes, and fire any cop that does not comply. They could inform the public about their right to jury nullification, and they could encourage jury rights activists to stand outside of every court house in New Mexico to hand out jury rights information, and they could threaten to have any government official who interferes with this activity arrested and charged with depravation of rights under color of law. They could demand that the federal government abide by the 10th amendment to the US Constitution by staying out of any activity in New Mexico that is not specifically authorized by the Constitution and is supposed to be left to the states, or to the people (as per the 10th amendment).

    Gary Johnson vetoed 750 bills as Governor. This was probably a good thing, but how many bills crossed his desk that he did not veto? Maybe he should have vetoed 2,000 bills.

    Regardless, there are a lot of things that a more solid libertarian could do if elected to the office of Governor.

    I would not automatically assume that hardcore – or at least somewhat hardcore – libertarians are not electable, but whether they are or not, the fact remains that this would have only been an issue during Gary Johnson’s first term as Governor. During his second term as Governor, he was not running for re-election, so couldn’t he have been more hardcore libertarian during that term? It was good that in the last year or so of his 2nd term as Governor that he publically questioned the War on Drugs, but why did he stop there? He was still Governor, he could have issued a pardon to all non-violent drug offenders before he left office, but he did not. Why? He was in a position where he could have made a big statement and released a lot of people from jail/prison, and from having to deal with parole/probation, over something that should not even be a crime, yet he did nothing more than pay lip service to ending the Drug War. It’s nice that he talked about this, but actions speak louder than words.

  11. paulie

    Yes, Governors are not dictators, however, even without being a dictator, there are a lot of things that a libertarian Governor could do without being a dictator. Such as, they could pardon everyone convicted of a victimless crime. They could order the state police to stop harassing people for victimless crimes, and fire any cop that does not comply. They could inform the public about their right to jury nullification, and they could encourage jury rights activists to stand outside of every court house in New Mexico to hand out jury rights information, and they could threaten to have any government official who interferes with this activity arrested and charged with depravation of rights under color of law. They could demand that the federal government abide by the 10th amendment to the US Constitution by staying out of any activity in New Mexico that is not specifically authorized by the Constitution and is supposed to be left to the states, or to the people (as per the 10th amendment).

    Valid points.

    During his second term as Governor, he was not running for re-election, so couldn’t he have been more hardcore libertarian during that term? It was good that in the last year or so of his 2nd term as Governor that he publically questioned the War on Drugs, but why did he stop there? He was still Governor, he could have issued a pardon to all non-violent drug offenders before he left office, but he did not. Why? He was in a position where he could have made a big statement and released a lot of people from jail/prison, and from having to deal with parole/probation, over something that should not even be a crime, yet he did nothing more than pay lip service to ending the Drug War. It’s nice that he talked about this, but actions speak louder than words.

    Perhaps he harbored national ambitions or feared reprisals? I don’t know.

    I did see him say he wished he had issued more pardons, but I don’t remember where or when.

    I would say he did have a libertarian record compared with other Governors, and a libertarian platform for office compared with other people who had held offices on that level, but yes – there is more he could have done in office but didn’t and issues where he could have been better.

    Overall I think he overestimated his level of name recognition and support, both in the NSGOP primaries and as the LP nominee, and underestimated the need to have the campaign build the party by sharing data and resources and mentioning the party brand more frequently (as Harry Browne did) to create synergy and long term growth.

    But focusing so relentlessly on the negative and calling him completely unlibertarian is not a good trait…we drive a lot of people away that way. Instead we should focus more on encouraging them to become more libertarian. That doesn’t work in all cases, but it does work in some.

  12. Andy

    “Perhaps he harbored national ambitions or feared reprisals? I don’t know.”

    Gary Johnson dropped out of politics for several years after this, so I don’t know if “national ambitions” had anything to do with this. Even if “national ambitions” were something on his mind, what better way to get national publicity and attain “cult hero” status among libertarians and other who oppose the War on Drugs than by pardoning all non-violent drug offenders in New Mexico before he left office? Leaving people to suffer in the so called “criminal justice” system due to one’s own “national ambitions” does not seem like the best thing to do.

    If he came out and said something like, “Hey, I wanted to pardon more people, but I was threatened by the CIA, DEA, etc… They said that they’d kill me or kill my family. I didn’t want to end up like JFK.” I could respect an answer like this.

    “I did see him say he wished he had issued more pardons, but I don’t remember where or when.”

    I also heard him imply that he pardoned more people than he really did. I looked up his record on pardons a while ago. During his 8 years as Governor, he pardoned something like 124 people. I’d be willing to bet that during the 8 years that he was Governor, that there were a lot more than 124 people who were arrested for victimless crimes or shafted by the “criminal justice” system in some other manner in New Mexico.

    “Wishing” that you had done more years after the fact does not help anyone who was being screwed over by the system when you had the opportunity to stop them from being screwed over.

    “I would say he did have a libertarian record compared with other Governors, and a libertarian platform for office compared with other people who had held offices on that level, but yes – there is more he could have done in office but didn’t and issues where he could have been better.”

    This is only because the standards have become so low in this country.

    “Overall I think he overestimated his level of name recognition and support, both in the NSGOP primaries and as the LP nominee,”

    Many Libertarian Party members overestimated his level of name recognition and support, and I predicted that their expectations would fall short from the beginning. He had been Governor of a low population state 10 years before the election. He dropped out of politics for several years before he ran for President. Yes, he had more name recognition than the typical LP candidate, but this does not say much. His “celebrity” status was low level at best.

    “and underestimated the need to have the campaign build the party by sharing data and resources and mentioning the party brand more frequently (as Harry Browne did) to create synergy and long term growth.”

    His campaign did this better than the Barr campaign did, but then again, this does not say much.

    “But focusing so relentlessly on the negative and calling him completely unlibertarian is not a good trait…we drive a lot of people away that way. Instead we should focus more on encouraging them to become more libertarian. That doesn’t work in all cases, but it does work in some.”

    Some people said the same about Barr and Root, and in this case they were wrong, they should have been driven away sooner than they were as less damage would have been done to the Libertarian Party brand.

  13. paulie

    If he came out and said something like, “Hey, I wanted to pardon more people, but I was threatened by the CIA, DEA, etc… They said that they’d kill me or kill my family. I didn’t want to end up like JFK.” I could respect an answer like this.

    Too many people would say he’s nuts even if it were true. Perot lost much of his credibility with the public this way.

    I also heard him imply that he pardoned more people than he really did.

    Yep, so did I.

    “Wishing” that you had done more years after the fact does not help anyone who was being screwed over by the system when you had the opportunity to stop them from being screwed over.

    I know of no working time machines.

    This is only because the standards have become so low in this country.

    The starting point isn’t getting any closer to our goals due to wishful thinking.

    Some people said the same about Barr and Root, and in this case they were wrong, they should have been driven away sooner than they were as less damage would have been done to the Libertarian Party brand.

    As I said: That doesn’t work in all cases, but it does work in some. My sense from Johnson when I met him several times in person is that he is open to learning more. I stand by the rest of what I said there as well.

  14. Michael Gilson-De Lemos (MG)

    Very interesting post, thanks. I suspect similar charts can be created for Greens.

    The Libertarian argument here is that taxation be voluntary at this stage of civilization, not small budgets in themselves. Some proposed Libertarian budget-cutting is really shifting public common expenditures off the government budget where they shouldn’t have been in the first place e.g. social insurances.

    So size of spending while attractive is alone a weak indicator. A good tax rate cut increases revenues on the whole. If he halved taxes and doubled revenues, then what?

    What is interesting is what Gov. Johnson said about his work. He ameliorated a bad situation and limited undesirable spending. ‘No’ works. This is simple negotiating ability.

    Also, there is much spending the legislature let alone Governor doesn’t really control as it shouldn’t be there. It’s just the administrator: e.g. social insurances, pensions, parks. This may be the case in NM.

    I agree his other Libertarian credentials while Governor apparently often left something to be desired. Johnson was still pretty wild for a lot of people though. Also, he was a package that people could accept to the point of giving him a very good vote e.g. Islamic voters.

    Politics is a trailing indicator. At this point the http://www.lp.org is happy to run credible visiting high-level candidates of experience from other parties for President. Their message is the LP attracts nice folks with some good stuff about rights and justice.

    If the LNC could consistently get a Dem/GOP Lib-lite ticket of this type I wouldn’t complain. I hope LNC always has someone making outreach efforts to such persons.

    In due course, as ballot problems crumble, we’ll see people nominated with long records as L/libertarians in public service and avid followings.

  15. Andy

    “Too many people would say he’s nuts even if it were true. Perot lost much of his credibility with the public this way.”

    Jesse Ventura talked about being confronted by CIA agents who were imbedded in Minnesota after being elected Governor. There are even videos with him talking about it on YouTube. Jesse Ventura still has a large following, and I’d say that he’s more popular than Gary Johnson.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7uLA2p2IZE

    “The starting point isn’t getting any closer to our goals due to wishful thinking.”

    Gary Johnson’s term as Governor could have sparked a libertarian revolution, or at least greatly increased libertarian activity and awareness of libertarian philosophy. It did not.

    I’d say that Ron Paul’s time in Congress and runs for President did more to promote liberty than Gary Johnson has done.

    “My sense from Johnson when I met him several times in person is that he is open to learning more. I stand by the rest of what I said there as well.”

    The time to “learn more” is BEFORE you run for office. Assuming his intentions were (are) sincere, he should have spent more time hanging out with hardcore Libertarians and engaging in Libertarian Party activism, and being exposed to hardcore Libertarian ideas (through books, websites, videos, etc…), prior to announcing himself as a candidate.

    No real, hardcore libertarian would have spent so much time stumping for the Fair Tax. Sure, Johnson talked about a lot of other issues, and the majority of what he said was good, but really, the Fair Tax is not an issue that is supported among the majority of the libertarian movement, certainly not among those who are the most active and most passionate.

  16. paulie

    Jesse Ventura talked about being confronted by CIA agents who were imbedded in Minnesota after being elected Governor. There are even videos with him talking about it on YouTube.

    And I guarantee it will be heavily used to marginalize his credibility if he runs. Speaking of record as Governor, his wasn’t that great. Running out of time to address the rest.

  17. David

    Just look at vote totals for a state like Montana. in 2008 Bob Barr- 1,355 in 2012 Gary Johnson 14,165 so Johnson made a big difference as a candidate

  18. paulie

    Vote totals don’t address the question of whether he is ideologically libertarian, but I think they are a somewhat mitigating factor. Both Johnson and Ron Paul have some departures from my views; I would be a lot less eager to support them if they had the views they have but less support/infrastucture.

  19. Andy

    Paul said: “And I guarantee it will be heavily used to marginalize his credibility if he runs. Speaking of record as Governor, his wasn’t that great. Running out of time to address the rest.”

    And I guarantee you that Jesse Ventura is a lot more popular than Gary Johnson, and would get a lot more votes than Gary Johnson got if he were to run for President.

    Having said this, I agree that Jesse Ventura also has flaws in his record as well as on libertarian philosophy. He’s kind of like Gary Johnson in that regard, only with more popularity and more charisma.

  20. paulie

    Apparently he supports Obamacare. I think that may be a big problem for him if he ever actually runs. Which, most likely, he won’t. His record in office is also a lot less libertarian than Johnson’s.

    Johnson could build his popularity if he runs again. Not sure if that will happen, but the conspiracy talk, while it would get Ventura more fervent supporters, would also place a ceiling on how far he could get in the long run, much as it did with Perot. Johnson does not have that issue.

  21. Andy

    Paulie said: “October 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm
    Apparently he supports Obamacare.”

    I don’t know if he really supports Obamacare or not. Regardless, he does have some holes in his philosophy. He’s good for the most part, but I’d like to see him get more solid in philosophy before he runs for office again.

    “Johnson could build his popularity if he runs again. Not sure if that will happen, but the conspiracy talk, while it would get Ventura more fervent supporters, would also place a ceiling on how far he could get in the long run, much as it did with Perot. Johnson does not have that issue.”

    I’d be willing to bet money that Jesse Ventura would get more support than Gary Johnson, and the “conspiracy talk” would help if it did anything.

  22. paulie

    I don’t know if he really supports Obamacare or not.

    Supposedly in some recent remarks he did.

    I’d be willing to bet money that Jesse Ventura would get more support than Gary Johnson, and the “conspiracy talk” would help if it did anything.

    It may help in the short run, but in the long run it presents a problem. Johnson therefore has more long term potential. And a better, albeit not perfect, record as Governor.

  23. Warren Redlich

    @Jill – The trigger for me was GJ embracing Roger Stone. That led me to look closer, as I had been a GJ fan in the past.

    GJ’s spending record is similar to statist George Pataki. And his campaign’s abuse of funds should disturb any LP supporter.

    Unfortunately it comes down to nonsensical statements like “I like him.”

    We complain about sheeple in the big parties but the LP has the same problem.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    A: ….they could pardon everyone convicted of a victimless crime. etc.

    Me: Deflection, since this article was about SPENDING. It’s true he didn’t do that, but you’ve moved the goal posts. To deny that seems credibility destroying!

    A: They could inform the public about their right to jury nullification,

    me: True. And he could state that bestiality laws should be struck down, too. You seem to be a big fan of RP, but did he introduce any legislation on jury nullification? If not, hypocrisy much?

    A: I would not automatically assume that hardcore – or at least somewhat hardcore – libertarians are not electable,

    me: It’s not a matter of “assuming” anything. It’s a matter of fact. None have been elected to dog catcher, much less governor of a state. To my knowledge, at least. Did Marrou run as a “hard core” L?

    Wake up and smell the coffee, Andy. Running to abolish most/all government appeals to very few, yes?

    Many think government is WAY too big, but in their guts, they recognize that abolishing most/all government overnight is a non-starter.

  25. paulie

    GJ’s spending record is similar to statist George Pataki

    I think Pataki’s is much worse. There are factors you may not be factoring in.

    And his campaign’s abuse of funds should disturb any LP supporter.

    It may have been abuse of FEC reports, depending on who you believe.

    Also, Nielson claims to have dissociated from Stone, although he hasn’t said anything publicly.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    wr: GJ’s spending record is similar to statist George Pataki.

    me: Quite the indictment, Counselor. Evidence?

  27. paulie

    None have been elected to dog catcher

    Impossibly high standard, no one of any ideology or party has ever been elected dog catcher. 🙂

  28. paulie

    Evidence?

    I’ll guess it’s the raw numbers, IE starting budget vs ending budget; but that leaves out a lot of detail.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    p, I’d be VERY surprised if NM’s inflation-adjusted per capita budget grew faster than NY’s in the GJ years. Did they?

  30. paulie

    I’ll leave it to Warren to answer that. I assumed that was what he meant, and he usually does his research, even if he doesn’t consider all the relevant factors or context I don’t think he would make the statement without some sort of basis to justify his position.

  31. Jill Pyeatt

    Thanks for the answer, Warren. I admit that Phillies’ reports of campaign spending has changed my opinion of Johnson a bit, although I don’t expect him to run in 2016.

    BTW, did you see that Roger Stone is loudly endorsing Robert Sarvis in Virginia?

  32. paulie

    Wikipedia on Johnson:

    First term[edit]

    See also: New Mexico gubernatorial election, 1994

    Johnson entered politics in 1994, with the intention of running for governor and was advised by “Republican Elders”[17] to run for the State Legislature instead.[17] Despite their advice, Johnson spent $500,000 of his own money and entered the race with the intent of bringing a “common sense business approach” to the office.[25] Johnson’s campaign slogan was “People before Politics”.[26] His platform emphasized tax cuts, job creation, state government spending growth restraint, and law and order.[3] He won the Republican nomination, defeating state legislator Richard P. Cheney by 34% to 33%, with John Dendahl and former governor David F. Cargo in third and fourth. Johnson subsequently won the general election, defeating the incumbent Democratic Governor Bruce King by 50% to 40%. Johnson was elected in a nationally Republican year, although party registration in the state of New Mexico at the time was 2-to-1 Democratic.[27]

    As governor, Johnson followed a strict small government approach. According to former New Mexico Republican National Committee member Mickey D. Barnett, “Any time someone approached him about legislation for some purpose, his first response always was to ask if government should be involved in that to begin with.”[28] He vetoed 200 of 424 bills in his first six months in office – a national record of 47% of all legislation – and used the line-item veto on most remaining bills.[2] In office, Johnson fulfilled his campaign promise to reduce the 10% annual growth of the state budget.[2] In his first budget, Johnson proposed a wide range of tax cuts, including a repeal of the prescription drug tax, a $47 million income tax cut, and a 6 cents per gallon gasoline tax cut. However, of these, only the gasoline tax cut was passed.[29] During the November 1995 federal government shutdown, he joined 20 other Republican governors who called on the Republican leadership in Congress to stand firm in negotiations against the Clinton administration in budget negotiations; in the article reporting on the letter and concomitant news conference he was quoted as calling for eliminating the budget deficit through proportional cuts across the budget.[30] Although Johnson worked to reduce overall state spending, in his first term, he raised education spending by nearly a third.[9] When drop-out rates and test scores showed little improvement, Johnson changed his tactics and began advocating for school vouchers – a key issue in budget battles of his second term as governor.[9]

    Second term[edit]

    See also: New Mexico gubernatorial election, 1998

    In 1998, Johnson ran for re-election as governor against Democratic Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez. In his campaign, Johnson promised to continue the policies of his first term: improving schools; cutting state spending, taxes, and bureaucracy; and frequent use of his veto and line-item veto power.[31] Fielding a strong Hispanic candidate in a 40% Hispanic state, the Democrats were expected to oust Johnson,[9] but Johnson won by a 55%-to-45% margin:[32] making him the first Governor of New Mexico to serve two successive four-year terms after term limits were expanded to two terms in 1991.[25] Johnson made the promotion of a school voucher system a “hallmark issue” of his second term.[33] In 1999, he proposed the first statewide voucher system in America, which would have enrolled 100,000 students in its first year.[9] That year, he vetoed two budgets that failed to include a voucher program and a government shutdown was threatened,[9] but ultimately yielded to Democratic majorities in both houses of the New Mexico Legislature, who opposed the plan. Johnson signed the budget, but line-item vetoed a further $21m, or 0.5%, from the legislative plan.[34] In 1999, Johnson became one of the highest-ranking elected officials in the US to advocate the legalization of cannabis.[35] Saying the War on Drugs was “an expensive bust”, he advocated the decriminalization of cannabis use and concentration on harm-reduction measures for all other illegal drugs. “He compared attempts to enforce the nation’s drug laws with the failed attempt at alcohol prohibition. Half of what government spends on police, courts and prisons is to deal with drug offenders.”[22] He suggested that drug abuse be treated as a health issue, not as a criminal issue. His approach to the issue garnered supportive notice from conservative icon William F. Buckley,[36] as well as the Cato Institute and Rolling Stone.[17]

    In 2000, Johnson proposed a more ambitious voucher program than he had proposed the year before, under which each parent would receive $3,500 per child for education at any private or parochial school.[33] The Democrats sought $90m extra school funding without school vouchers, and questioned Johnson’s request for more funding for state-run prisons, having opposed his opening of two private prisons.[37] Negotiations between the governor and the legislature were contentious, again nearly leading to a government shutdown.

    Pataki:

    Main article: Governorship of George Pataki

    The Cato Institute gave Pataki a C for his fiscal policy during the three terms in office,[10] saying that he wasn’t the fiscal conservative that he originally campaigned as, mainly because he became a “big spender”.[11] Studies show that state spending went from $62 billion in 1995 to $95 billion in 2004. It is predicted that, had the state kept the budget at the same 1995 levels, the rate of inflation would have increased spending to only $77 billion.[12] In July 2005, Pataki announced his intention not to seek a fourth term as governor in 2006.

    Legacy[edit]

    Prior to Pataki’s departure New York Post political writer Fred Dicker wrote a scathing critique of Pataki’s tenure, accusing the Governor of broken promises, inattentiveness to his duties, and a focus on maintaining power. It was entitled “Good Riddance”.[13]

    On Pataki’s final day in office, The New York Times ran an editorial evaluating his twelve years as governor.[14] While the Times praised his work on health care and the environment, he was criticized for the lack of tangible reform and the consolidation of power under his watch. The Times was ambivalent about his record on crime and the state budget.

    Yet, despite tax cuts that were enacted in 1995, revenues soared to the point that when Pataki left office in 2006, a rainy day fund exceeding $4 billion was passed on to his successor. Perhaps the most important legacy of his third term was his decision to challenge the Speaker of the Assembly, resuting in two Court of Appeals decisions sustaining the powers of the Governor to formulate a state-wide budget. These decisions have been used by Governor Paterson and Governor Cuomo to rein in legislative budget initiatives beginning in 2010.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    wr: Unfortunately it comes down to nonsensical statements like “I like him.”

    me: Hmm, can you elaborate? How is it “nonsensical” to say “I like him”? Have you never said “I like him”?

    Or are you suggesting that “like” is not a factor, that there’s some sort of objective scale that all pols (and perhaps everyone?) can be evaluated on?

  34. wredlich Post author

    The “I like him” statement refers to a comment further up, and to my experience dealing with voters and activists from various parties.

    Me: “GJ’s spending record is similar to statist George Pataki”

    Paulie: “I think Pataki’s is much worse. There are factors you may not be factoring in.”

    NY 2006 (Pataki’s last year): $97B in spending
    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/state_spending_2006NYmn

    NY 1995 (P’s first year): $56B in spending
    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/state_spending_1995NYmn

    That’s a 73% increase in spending over 12 years. Johnson did 75% in 8 years.

    Both started in 1995. In 2003, GJ’s last year, NY under Pataki was at $87B. So in the same time period Pataki oversaw a 55% increase while GJ oversaw a 75% increase.

    Do you really need more evidence? Isn’t this compelling?

    Is anyone really going to argue that New Mexico is a more liberal state than New York?

    It is a fact that Gary Johnson was a big spender in New Mexico, bigger than George Pataki.

    Please pull your heads out of the shroud of “But we like him” and recognize that Gary Johnson is not a libertarian. He’s not a fiscal conservative. He never was. He never will be.

    The Roger Stones of the world give you candidates who tell you what you want to hear. When are you going to recognize this? When are you going to reject candidates who lie to you?

    How are you different as Libertarians than Republicans who fall for Mitt Romneycare Romney, Newt Universal-Healthcare-Mandate Gingrich?

    Or, in the words of Keyshawn Johnson: C’mon man!

  35. paulie

    The “I like him” statement refers to a comment further up,

    Please quote it.

    Do you really need more evidence?

    Yes.

    Isn’t this compelling?

    No. What was the population/growth decline in each state during those years? What were the demographic trends (how many people in school, how many retired, etc)? What was the budget growth in each state in the years before and after either of those Governors? How intransigent was the legislative majority? Among many other things. Those numbers are not nearly as simple as they appear on the surface, a lot goes into them.

    I’m also not going to ignore social issues or foreign policy, which (per Capozzi’s definition in discussion with Andy above) is outside the scope of the discussion as defined here, yet very much a part of the larger question of who is or is not libertarian. You can’t compare Johnson to Romney, Gingrich or Pataki on those issues.

    I think the wikipedia entries I quoted above paint a more complete picture of Pataki’s and Johnson’s respective roles in spending trends in their states than the overly simplistic comparison of starting and ending budgets under the two governors.

  36. Andy

    “Deflection, since this article was about SPENDING. It’s true he didn’t do that, but you’ve moved the goal posts.”

    I was not just talking about spending, I was talking about all aspects of Gary Johnson’s terms as Governor of New Mexico, but since you brought it up, the number of people ensnarled in the criminal justice system does effect spending, because it costs money to put people in jail/prison, and not to mention all of the other costs associated with a police state.

    “You seem to be a big fan of RP, but did he introduce any legislation on jury nullification? If not, hypocrisy much?”

    Ron Paul did talk about jury nullification. There are videos on YouTube of him talking about it. I’ve never heard Gary Johnson mention jury nullification, and I know that his Vice Presidential running mate, Jim Gary, actually came out against jury nullification.

    I don’t know if Ron Paul ever put forth any pro-jury nullification legislation during his time in Congress (he did put out other radical libertarian pieces of legislation though), but at least he talked about the issue.

    I wish that Ron Paul would have talked about jury nullification more than he did, and if I ever get the opportunity to speak to him again (I got to talk to him in person briefly a couple of times in 2008) I would like to discuss promoting jury nullification with him. The fact that Ron Paul gave this important issue any air time at all is a lot more than Gary Johnson has done with it.

  37. Andy

    Paul said: “It may help in the short run, but in the long run it presents a problem. Johnson therefore has more long term potential. And a better, albeit not perfect, record as Governor.”

    I think that the “conspiracy talk” would help Jesse Ventura, both long term and short term. Polls indicate that a majority of Americans do not believe the official government story about the JFK assassination. Millions of Americans would like to know what the government is really hiding at Area 51. The 9/11 Truth Movement has grown to the point where there is a large segment of the population – maybe not a majority nationally (yet) – but still a pretty big chunk of the population, who do not believe the official government story about 9/11.

    Imagine if Jesse Ventura ran for President and said something like, “I’m sick and tired of the government lying and keeping secrets for the American people. If I get elected President, I’m going to release all of the government files on JFK, 9/11, and every other point of controversy. I’m also going to conduct a live, television tour of Area 51. No more secrets, no more lies!” I guarantee you that this alone would get him a lot of votes.

    Jesse Ventura has “mainstream credentials” (for those who consider such a thing to be important), celebrity status (outside of politics), plus he’s got a political cult following (which includes die hard Alex Jones fans, who are the same people who helped make the Ron Paul Money Bombs a big success). Jesse Ventura also has charisma, more than Gary Johnson. When Jesse Ventura ran for Governor of Minnesota, he brought out a lot of the independents and people who do not normally vote. This is a key factor to any minor party or independent candidate getting elected (or making a good showing of themselves).

  38. paulie

    I think that the “conspiracy talk” would help Jesse Ventura, both long term and short term

    Short term, yes, but it would also be used against him to undermine him being taken seriously by a large portion of the public, just as happened with Perot when he dropped out and talked about Bush threatening his daughter’s wedding. He did come back after that and still managed a very impressive showing for a non-duopoly candidate, but it was half of what his support level was before he did that (he was actually leading in the polls prior to dropping out) and he was always a joke to a lot of people after that.

    As far as his record, I have been told that by Minnesotans it was a lot like most DFL governors, so that’s not very good. But he does talk a good game and has a lot of positives, as you pointed out. What I would be more concerned about with him is his long record of talking out of both sides of his mouth on whether he would run, and if he did run, with what party if any.

    Johnson is still fairly young and could build his following in future elections and in between. We can’t jump to conclusions about how far he can or can’t get.

    I grant that Johnson’s record could have been better, but it did have a lot of positive aspects and was certainly a lot better than Bob Barr’s, as was his campaign. And I do like that he did have some mainstream credentials, unlike, say, Badnarik.

    Also, as Governor he had more in the way of impact on policy with his vetoes than Ron Paul has had as a Congressman. Ron Paul has a lot of good bills and no votes which don’t pass and don’t change the outcome, while as Governor Johnson was actually able to veto a lot of bad bills. And he used the opportunity to veto a lot more than Ventura did.

    With both Johnson and Ventura I like that they are both strong on the social and civil liberties issues and make them a major part of their appeal. We haven’t done enough of that with the LP.

    I would never say Johnson is, or ever has been, perfect. I think he should have issued a lot more pardons. I think his tax plan is ridiculous; Ron Paul said he would vote for it too, but he never pushed it the way Johnson did. And Barr waffled on that issue as well. I’m not sure about Ventura. I would like for Johnson, if he runs again, to be more consistent on peace issues and on civil liberties issues related to the “war on terror,” just as I wish Ron Paul had been more solidly libertarian on some social issues (granted, he was not as bad as some people make him out to be on those issues either). I agree that both candidates should stress jury nullification. I would like Johnson to get past his overly simplistic application of privatization which leads him to believe private prisons are a good thing. I would like his campaign to be operated more transparently, to have ads ready to go from day one, to do targeted fundraising and to share data in real time with the LP.

    Johnson does have a lot of positives and overall I would say he is a libertarian. Perfect? No. But pretty damn good for a former two term governor.

  39. paulie

    “LibertarianGirl
    October 21, 2013 at 11:46 am
    I liked him”

    That’s not necessarily saying that she did not examine his positions and record, or ignored them. You are reading too much into such a short statement.

  40. Andy

    Paul said: “I think his tax plan is ridiculous; Ron Paul said he would vote for it too, but he never pushed it the way Johnson did”

    Ron Paul paid lip service to it one time early on, by saying something along the lines of that he’d vote for it if it came up if it meant that most Americans did not have to fill out tax forms anymore, however, Ron Paul NEVER adopted the Fair Tax as a part of his platform. Ron Paul’s platform has always been to eliminate the income tax and replace it with nothing. It should tell you something that Ron Paul never sponsored the bill to bring the Fair Tax to a vote in Congress, and that he never made the Fair Tax a part of his platform, much less stumped for it like Gary Johnson did.

  41. paulie

    Ron Paul’s platform has always been to eliminate the income tax and replace it with nothing.

    That’s a lot easier to say from the standpoint of a legislator, versus someone who has to govern. Paul never proposed a short term budget that went into any detail on how to replace the income tax with nothing and what would get cut. It could be done, but he talked in generalities. Johnson’s focus was more short term and he proposed a 43% cut. As I said, neither one was anything like perfect, but Johnson is very good for a former two term Governor while Ron Paul is very good for a multi term congressman and not-so-distant presidential nomination runner up. However out of the two, only one has any real potential as a future candidate.

  42. Warren Redlich

    “However out of the two, only one has any real potential as a future candidate.”

    If you mean Ron Paul is the one with real potential, then we agree. But I suspect that’s not what you mean.

    You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  43. paulie

    You think Ron Paul will run again? Not a chance. Rand Paul will run, aside from the fact that Ron will be in his 80s. I believe he is done as a political candidate, although he is in good shape and will continue to be involved as a speaker, media personality, writer, etc for years to come.

    You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    po·ten·tial
    p??tenCH?l
    adjective
    1.
    having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.
    “a two-pronged campaign to woo potential customers”
    synonyms: possible, likely, prospective, future, probable; More
    noun
    noun: potential;?plural noun: potentials
    1.
    latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
    “a young broadcaster with great potential”
    synonyms: possibilities, potentiality, prospects; More

  44. Robert Capozzi

    wr and a, consider this: You walk into a room and there you see a man standing with a smoking gun in his hand and another dead and bloody on the floor. You conclude that the man standing shot the dead one.

    Imagine, however, that you are incorrect. A video of the incident shows that the dead man had the gun to his head, screaming that he was going to commit suicide. The standing man attempts to wrestle the gun from the suicidal one’s hands, too late.

    WR’s freeze frame conclusion makes GJ look like the standing man. On closer inspection, in context, it could be that GJ did as best he could with the situation.

    It’s also possible that GJ is a flaming, big government liberal.

    WR’s freeze frame evidence is unpersuasive and, as PF says, simplistic. While I agree the numbers WR presents look bad, the analysis lacks granularity and context.

    You can do better than that, Counselor, and you KNOW better.

  45. Andy

    “That’s a lot easier to say from the standpoint of a legislator, versus someone who has to govern.”

    If I am ever elected Governor of a state, the first thing that I’d do about the income tax is to pardon everyone who is in prison for not paying it (at least the state income tax if this were a state that had an income tax, I don’t think that I’d be able to pardon anyone who is in prison because of the federal income tax). The 2nd thing that I’d do is that I’d call a press conference that I’d call the “Truth In Taxation” conference. I would say that my person view is that all taxation is theft, and then explain why. After this I would talk about how the government has been lying about the application of its own tax laws for years, and I would bring expert witnesses on the stage such as former IRS agents Joe Bannister and Sherry Peal Jackson, as well as people like Bob Schulz, Peymon Mottahedeh, and Larken Rose to explain who the IRS and the various state income tax agencies have been deceiving the American people for decades. I would have the Larken Rose presentation transition into a moral argument against taxation, which would then lead to a presentation from Marc Stevens. I would show on the screen the parts of the law which indicate that American citizens are not required to have or use Social(ist) (In)Security Numbers, and that American citizens who desire to not participate in the Social(ist) (In)Security Ponzi scheme merely have to fill out documents which proclaim that they are American citizens, and they were asked to provide an SSN, but they declined to provide one. I would let all employers in the state know that if they filing this document with the IRS indemnifies from penalties as is stated in the IRS’ own regulations (which most people, even most IRS agents and CPA’s, don’t even bother to completely read). I would also explain who the Federal Reserve System is a sham, and I would invite G. Edward Griffin and Ron Paul to the stage to give presentations on the subject. I would then encourage people in the state to start using alternative currencies like gold, silver, Bitcoin, or whatever else people come up with for facilitating trade. I would also broach the subject of government Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, and I’d let everyone know how local, state, and federal government entities have millions, and in some cases, billions of dollars in assets that they keep separate from their operating budgets, and how they collectively own billions of dollars worth of corporate stocks and bonds, and billions more in real estate. I would then bring out Walter Burien to do a presentation on this subject.

    I would announce that IRS agents are no longer welcome in this state, and that any IRS agent who attempts to seize property or apprehend anyone in the state for not filing taxes, or for not paying any taxes which they allege that a person owes, that these IRS agents would be considered criminals, and will be treated accordingly.

    Think this is radical enough?

    If I was elected Governor of a state, everyone would know about it.

  46. paulie

    It’s also relatively easy to fantasize about what you would do in that position. Getting to be in that position is a lot harder. Johnson could have certainly been better, but for someone who was actually able to be elected and re-elected governor – in a state with a 2-1 majority against his party, and as an outsider to his party establishment on top of that – he was very good.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    a, would you RUN on those policies, or would you be a Trojan Horse candidate?

    I guarantee that if you RAN on those issues, you will not break 1%.

    If you go Trojan Horse, running as the likable, nerf L, but governing as an Alex Jones/JBS/Jefferson Davis L, expect to be jailed quickly, taken out of office and possibly not heard from again. Short of that, expect a rapid impeachment.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    a: Think this is radical enough?

    me: No, not nearly enough. It’s quite “extremist,” but not “radical.”

  49. wredlich Post author

    “WR’s freeze frame evidence is unpersuasive”

    Right. Eight years of evidence is a “freeze frame”.

    It is a fact that state spending increased dramatically faster in NM than it did in NY under Pataki. Please tell me that you think NM is a more liberal state than NY. Please.

    As for the “counselor” reference, you seem to think the burden is on me to show more. Au contraire mon frere.

    In legal jargon, I have set forth a prima facie case that Gov. Johnson was a big spender who dramatically increased the size of NM state government.

    The burden now shifts to his proponents to show an alternate explanation that somehow exonerates the defendant from this crime against liberty.

    I await your evidence with … okay, I ran out of my metaphor here. Your turn. 🙂

  50. Robert Capozzi

    Counselor, I agree…yours IS prima facie case for further examination. I too’d like to know why spending grew so fast in NM, despite GJ’s rhetoric.

    PF and I’ve offered some plausible explanations, and another is that NM is a relatively poor state, esp vs NY, ie, larger percentages of people near or below the poverty line, iirc.

    You ask a great question, IOW. I do think you’ve played prosecutor, judge and jury in a heavy handed, possibly impatient, manner, though, for not qualifying your question more. Comparing one period vs one other state with no granularity leads the witnesses unduly, IMO. The Pataki years were largely boom years for NY after decades of under-performance, for ex.

  51. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “a, would you RUN on those policies, or would you be a Trojan Horse candidate?”

    Good question. I would like to run on that platform, but on the other hand, there could be advantages to running as a mainstream politician, and then flip-flopping once elected. A fictional example of this can be found in the Larken Rose novel, “The Iron Web”.

    “I guarantee that if you RAN on those issues, you will not break 1%.”

    I think that I could bread 1% running on this platform. The Libertarian Party has run hardcore candidates who have gotten a higher percent of the vote than that. I’m not saying that I would win, nor am I guaranteeing that I’d break 1% of the vote, I’m just saying that it is quite possible that I could break 1% of the vote for Governor running on a platform plank like I suggested above.

    “If you go Trojan Horse, running as the likable, nerf L, but governing as an Alex Jones/JBS/Jefferson Davis L, expect to be jailed quickly, taken out of office and possibly not heard from again. Short of that, expect a rapid impeachment.”

    Yes, I’d no doubt need a bullet proof vest, and I’d have to carry a gun at all times, and have some trusted bodyguards. The legislature may try to impeach me, but they’d have to present a legal argument in doing so, and I’d be able to refute any legal argument that they could come up with, and I’d actually present counter legal arguments as to why they should be impeached. They may very well screw me over in a “Kangaroo Court,” but remember, if I got elected it would mean that I’d have a lot of supporters. The “jig would be up” for the government. All of the cards would be laid out on the table. The “barbarians would be at the gates” so to speak.

    If there is one thing that lying, control freak, sociopathic government officials do not like, and that is being confronted with the truth, especially in public.

  52. Andy

    The following speech is from Larken Rose’s novel, “The Iron Web”. Wouldn’t it be great if a Governor or President got up on a stage and said something like this in real life?

    Larken Rose: The Complete and Undeniable Truth

  53. paulie

    Right. Eight years of evidence is a “freeze frame”.

    Yes, the analogy is that it is a slice of evidence taken in isolation from other factors I identified. Much like a freeze frame, regardless of how long a period it covered.

    In legal jargon, I have set forth a prima facie case that Gov. Johnson was a big spender who dramatically increased the size of NM state government.

    The burden now shifts to his proponents to show an alternate explanation that somehow exonerates the defendant from this crime against liberty.

    I’ve asked the additional questions that would help determine whether that evidence is conclusive or whether there could be another explanation. So far I did not get any answers.

    I’m just saying that it is quite possible that I could break 1% of the vote for Governor running on a platform plank like I suggested above.

    Yes I think it is possible you could break 1%. It seems a lot less possible that you would win, though.

    “If you go Trojan Horse, running as the likable, nerf L, but governing as an Alex Jones/JBS/Jefferson Davis L, expect to be jailed quickly, taken out of office and possibly not heard from again. Short of that, expect a rapid impeachment.”

    Yes, I’d no doubt need a bullet proof vest, and I’d have to carry a gun at all times, and have some trusted bodyguards. The legislature may try to impeach me, but they’d have to present a legal argument in doing so, and I’d be able to refute any legal argument that they could come up with, and I’d actually present counter legal arguments as to why they should be impeached. They may very well screw me over in a “Kangaroo Court,” but remember, if I got elected it would mean that I’d have a lot of supporters. The “jig would be up” for the government. All of the cards would be laid out on the table. The “barbarians would be at the gates” so to speak.

    You lost the thread of the conversation. The scenario in question here was one where you would win as a “mainstream” candidate, then come out of the closet once in office. You wouldn’t have a lot of supporters who voted for you based on what you actually plan to do. What you would have is a lot of supporters who would think you fooled them, suddenly went crazy, or both. And neither bodyguards nor legal proceedings would save you; there are many ways to get someone, whether from a thousand yards away, a bribe to someone they trust by mistake, a spiked drink, planted evidence, a teenager making allegations…the list goes on. The jig would indeed be up, but not for the government, regardless of what Larken Rose wrote in some novel.

    So, again, there’s no short cut. We have to play a game of inches to get the culture and the electorate to embrace liberty a little bit at a time. That includes plugging away relentlessly with radical libertarian candidates who make moderate libertarian positions seem less crazy over time. It includes running moderate libertarians who may actually get elected at some point, and govern on the platform they ran on. It includes many non-electoral strategies. It includes working inside and outside the establishment parties. What it does not take is some fiction book scenario of fooling the electorate and getting away with it. Leave that to the fiction books; it would not work out so well in reality, I would imagine.

  54. paulie

    The following speech is from Larken Rose’s novel, “The Iron Web”. Wouldn’t it be great if a Governor or President got up on a stage and said something like this in real life?

    Yes, fantasies are nice, but Johnson actually got elected and re-elected. The Iron Web remains a work of fiction.

  55. paulie

    . Wouldn’t it be great if a Governor or President got up on a stage and said something like this in real life?

    Actually listening to the start of this now. Do you seriously think that some politician getting up and giving this speech would convince a lot of people? The only thing it would convince most people of is that politician has lost it. Sorry to say.

    A trip to a psychiatric facility would probably follow in short order.

  56. paulie

    You don’t seriously think a politician getting up and giving that speech would wake up the masses all at once, do you? Seriously? I know you are not that out of touch with the average person.

  57. Andy

    “paulie October 23, 2013 at 10:06 am
    You don’t seriously think a politician getting up and giving that speech would wake up the masses all at once, do you? Seriously? I know you are not that out of touch with the average person.”

    It would not wake up everyone, but it would wake up some people, and it would affirm the beliefs of others. There is a large but mostly “silent majority” in this country, many of whom would cheer a speech like this.

  58. paulie

    Majority? I don’t think so. I actually reached the end by the way – had it in my headphones while I did stuff in other tabs. I’m sorry, but I’m trying to imagine a governor or president giving that exact speech. I can see no other outcome but a mental health commitment and endless fodder for comedians. It sounds like something a guy in a bathrobe would be preaching on a street corner…and would sound even more that way once edited and sound bited down to chunks which fit in within the attention span of most folks who don’t spend 20 minutes listening to politicians’ speeches. People rarely experience epiphanies that change their whole world view all of a sudden, and some politician berating them and calling them sheep in a grandiose condescending way would not do the trick all of a sudden. Maybe for a very tiny number of people, but most would just recoil from it and conclude the guy went crazy. And that would be that.

    I don’t hear Ron Paul, or anyone else who has ever been a successful politician of any kind, talking anything like this. And Ron Paul is an outlier, and hasn’t had to deal with the responsibilities of executive office. I don’t see Jesse Ventura giving this speech either; he certainly didn’t do anything like that when he was governor.

  59. wredlich Post author

    Robert: “PF and I’ve offered some plausible explanations”

    Paulie: “I’ve asked the additional questions that would help determine whether that evidence is conclusive or whether there could be another explanation. So far I did not get any answers.”

    Robert brought up the legal framework by calling me “counselor”. In the legal world, I have provided evidence. You have not.

    It is not my job as prosecutor (as Robert calls me) to refute my own evidence. The ball is in your court to respond with evidence that defends him. Plausible explanations and questions are not evidence.

    BTW, Robert’s reference to me as “judge and jury” seems over the top. It should be clear from the post that I view the IPR readers as judge and jury.

  60. paulie

    I’m not going to play defense attorney. I asked the questions because I don’t know the answers. I’m open to the possibility that you could be correct. Still, it seems to me that the sections on Johnson and Pataki that I quoted from wikipedia put the numbers in a some context that your argument glosses over. And let’s not forget that the definition of libertarianism is about more than just the economic side if we are going to go asking whether Johnson is libertarian and comparing him to Pataki.

  61. Robert Capozzi

    wr: The trigger for me was GJ embracing Roger Stone.

    me: Perhaps this has created a distortive bias in your ability to discern.

    It’s OK. While I often agree with GP, since he continues to justify his narcing on the LP, I admit that I am skeptical about anything he says.

  62. paulie

    Let’s start with a simple one, how did the population growth/decline compare? I haven’t checked but I would guess NM’s grew relatively rapidly while NY grew slowly or declined.

  63. paulie

    The trigger for me was GJ embracing Roger Stone.

    I keep meaning to write that article about Stone trying to torpedo Johnson at the end. Don’t know if I can make myself slog through all that.

  64. Robert Capozzi

    PF, those are easily determined, although I’m not sure they are salient, since this is per capita data. Tell me why I should take 5 minutes to look it up when WR’s prima facia case has been exploded as worthless with a used 5 minutes of my time, which he’s wasted with noise.

  65. paulie

    I didn’t say you need to do it.

    The original numbers Warren keeps referring to were not adjusted on a per capita basis, so they do not take population changes into account at all.

    Yours do, but they include both state and local, which does not isolate the state from the local. Unless I am misinterpreting from the name of the link.

  66. Andy

    Paul said: “Majority? I don’t think so.”

    Read what I said again. I did not say that a majority of the people would cheer such a speech. I said that some of the people out of the “silent majority” would cheer sit, key word SOME.

    I suspect that 2/3 of the population will never really be libertarians. 1/3 of the population is made up of control freaks and people prefer to be lead around by control freaks, and another 1/3 of the population just “goes with the flow,” as in they are mostly apolitical.

    The target audience for libertarians are the 1/3 of the population that we actually stand a chance of reaching, and some of this 1/3 is more difficult to reach than others.

  67. Andy

    “paulie October 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm
    I don’t think a politician giving this 20 minute speech with its grandiose language would do the trick.”

    I didn’t say that it would, however, it would really shake things up and no doubt get replayed a lot on YouTube by people all over the country, and outside the country too for that matter.

    The character who gives this speech in Larken Rose’s novel, “The Iron Web,” had just been elected President, and ran as a mainstream politician, but was actually a deep undercover anarchist/voluntaryist libertarian. He gives the speech during his first State of the Union address in front of Congress. He starts out saying something like, “I lied to get elected.” The speech is being broadcast live on national and international television. During the speech he also fires every federal government employee and reveals information about the previous President being involved in staging a false flag terror attack. Larken describes every member of Congress as being in an uncomfortable state of shock, except for one elderly Congressman who is sitting their during the speech with a big grin on his face, which is an obvious reference to Ron Paul. After the speech the President rushes out of DC because he knows they will try to kill him and he goes off to live with a colony of anarchist/voluntaryist libertarians, I think they were in a rural part of northern Arizona. This lights as spark for a lot of change as the federal government starts to collapse and some states start to secede from the union.

    Just a work of fiction, but it would be cool if something like that happened for real.

  68. paulie

    Yeah, definitely a work of fiction. Unlikely he would make it out of DC. He would probably be declared mentally incompetent by the cabinet and locked away. No one would actually be fired.

    and no doubt get replayed a lot on YouTube by people all over the country, and outside the country too for that matter.

    No doubt. Probably mostly in mocking cut-ups with outtakes. And for a small portion of the population it would reinforce their existing beliefs. Wake people up? Not so much. This is not the language of persuasion.

    Anyway, as nice as it may be to engage in these kinds of fantasies, it has little to do with judging someone who was actually able to be elected twice and govern (not just legislate) in the real world, not some novel.

    As far as I know Johnson doesn’t travel backward through time, go to distant planets, or start fires with his gaze either. To my knowledge, although he can climb Mt. Everest, he can’t jump from the base to the summit in one leap while using no mechanical devices. Nor, as far as I know, can he bench press a skyscraper or turn himself into an owl.

    So, fictional scenarios aside we have to judge him by more realistic standards.

  69. Andy

    Paul said: “No doubt. Probably mostly in mocking cut-ups with outtakes.”

    I think that a lot of people would like it and that it would develop a cult following. I could see a lot of people saying something like, “Dude, did you see that Governor give that speech where he rips on the entire government? Man, you’ve got to check that shit out. That dude is badass, man. He really tells it like it is.”

    “And for a small portion of the population it would reinforce their existing beliefs. Wake people up? Not so much. This is not the language of persuasion. ”

    I’ve already said that 1/3 of the population are statists, and will probably always be statists, and another 1/3 go whichever way the wind blows. A speech like this would serve as a rallying cry for the 1/3 who actually are reachable for the libertarian message. This speech is not intended for the other 2/3 of the population, other than to tell them to fuck off.

  70. paulie

    it would develop a cult following.

    So did Jim Jones and the wackos who cut off their balls and killed themselves so a UFO would come pick them up. I don’t think the cult following you speak of would be as small as those two, nor would most of this cult following castrate themselves, drink poisoned kool aid or otherwise commit suicide, but on the other hand I don’t think it would be anything close to 1/3 of the US population either.

  71. paulie

    I Lied to Get Elected

    It’s just not a good idea to hold out any hopes that liberty will triumph in such a fashion. Nor do I see why it is relevant to this discussion. We have already established that Johnson is not an extreme libertarian of the sort you are talking about. Nor do I see any extreme libertarians lying their way into power except in fiction. So I think comparing him to a fictional scenario which has never ever come to reality is a bit unfair. At least Warren is quoting real budget numbers. They may be overly simplistic, or not, but they are factual. This continued harping on Larken Rose’s fictional scenario seems silly. It’s unrelated to reality; if it ever did play out, I don’t think it would play out the way Rose fantasizes that it would, but since it hasn’t, we can’t realistically compare real life to fiction with no basis in fact.

  72. Robert Capozzi

    pf, my take is that AT LEAST Andy’s stuff is obviously fictional. WR’s is more damaging in the pursuit of truth, since his seemingly “objective” numbers point away from truth. (He still could make the case, btw, but the numbers he’s shared thus far are clearly misrepresentative.)

    I’m concerned that WR’s (understandable) Jones with Roger Stone is coloring his otherwise sensible approach.

    It’s something I struggle with myself, since I find myself immediately discounting GP’s opinion, given his inability to be contrite about his FEC narcing on the LP. I often agree with GP, but given this apparent blindspot of his, I seem to have my own concomitant blindspot.

  73. Gene Berkman

    I looked at the two links to the federal database on New Mexico spending. The figures it gives include:
    1995 – GDP for New Mexico 42,146 million dollars; government spending 4,396.8 million dollars
    2003 – GDP for New Mexico 57,866 million dollars; government spending 5,741 million dollars.

    That is a much lower rate of increase than indicated by your graphic at the beginning of this column.

    As for comparing with Pataki, New York has not quite 8 times the population of New Mexico. If New York spending trends under Pataki were similar to New Mexico spending under Gary Johnson, the New York budget would have gone from 33,716,8 million dollars to 45,928 million dollars.

    The figures you give show Pataki’s spending going from 56 billion dollars to 97 billion dollars – higher per capita spending to begin with, higher per capita spending at the end, and a higher percentage rate of increase in spending. Pataki’s government spending is more comparable to the proposed federal spending that Bernie Sanders supports.

  74. Eric

    So has NO ONE found anything that actually defends this spending? I am interested, everyone seems to be talking about other stuff. Stick to the issue, spending!!!

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