In the debates surrounding the ratification of the Constitution, James Madison warned against the dangers of factionalism.
Gary Johnson | All Articles
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Governor Johnson, who has been referred to as the ‘most fiscally conservative Governor’ in the country, was the Republican Governor of New Mexico from 1994-2003.
A successful businessman before running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994, Gary Johnson started a door-to-door handyman business to help pay his way through college. Twenty years later, he had grown that business into one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico, with more than 1,000 employees.
Not surprisingly, Governor Johnson brings a distinctly business-like mentality to governing, believing that public policy decisions should be based on costs and benefits rather than strict ideology. Johnson is best known for his veto record, having vetoed more than 750 bills during his time in office — more than all other governors combined. His use of the veto pen has since earned him the nickname “Governor Veto.” He cut taxes 14 times while never raising them. When he left office, New Mexico was one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget. Term-limited, Johnson retired from public office in 2003.
An avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist, he has scaled the highest peak on each of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest.
Immediately after the horrific attacks on America on September 11, 2001, President Bush and Congress went to work enacting laws they said would make us safer from such attacks in the future. That was not a shocking reaction --- and their intentions were understandable. After all, even those of us who advocate the smallest government possible agree that the federal government has a fundamental and constitutional duty to defend us from harm.
President Obama said an amazing thing this week. He assured Latinos via Univision that he would have “five years” to address immigration --- notwithstanding the fact that he has done nothing about it in his first three years.
Adherence to constitutional principles. REALLY cutting government spending. Getting government out of our personal lives and into preserving our liberties. Avoiding foreign entanglements we can’t afford.
Give credit to Herman Cain for throwing out an idea that has actually caused some debate in the presidential campaign about a real issue: taxes. Unfortunately, though, the criticism of his 9-9-9 plan is coming from the wrong direction. The complaints are coming from candidates and others who, at the end of the day, are secretly defending the status quo. They are trying to scare people in New Hampshire about the prospect of a 9% sales tax. They are pretending to protect the middle class by calling Cain's plan regressive. In short, they are saying we need to reform taxes, but don't go overboard. No surprise there; the existing tax code is the politician's best friend.
At least 28,000 people have been killed in drug cartel violence along the Mexican border. The attorney general of the United States is trying to explain why our government knowingly let hundreds of weapons be supplied to those drug cartel thugs. All the while, unemployment is at 9.1%, and we are all scratching our heads trying to figure out why the Department of Energy gave a soon-to-be-bankrupt company $500 million when we are bankrupt ourselves.
Let’s face it. Presidential debates --- especially primary debates --- are significant only to the extent that differences among candidates emerge. For Republicans this cycle, they tend to largely be contests to see who wants a balanced budget the most, who will repeal Obama’s health care reform the fastest and who will be the greatest champion on so-called social issues. With a couple of exceptions, there was not a lot to debate in Ames on these topics --- at least among those on the stage.
Maybe, just maybe, they forgot. Or maybe they actually believe that what the U.S. is doing in Libya somehow doesn’t constitute the use of our armed forces -- $750 million worth of bombs and missiles notwithstanding. Whatever the reason, it is obvious that the president has no intention of complying with the War Powers Act with regard to our military intervention in Libya.
Do the politicians in Washington really think we are that dumb?
We’ve seen this movie before. Spectacular photos of Tomahawk cruise missiles being launched from American navy vessels. B-2 bombers piloted by amazing American crews making nonstop trips from Missouri to the Mediterranean . . . and Americans of all political stripes asking: What’s the plan?
Over the past couple of years, the federal government has spent well north of $1 trillion in a failed effort to stimulate the economy and create jobs. President Obama assured us that, if we spent all that borrowed and printed money, the unemployment rate would remain below 8% or so.
In the late 1970’s, with interest rates, inflation and taxes at back-breaking levels, a broad array of politicians and interest groups with a shared conviction that excess spending, taxes and regulation must be turned around coalesced into a “conservative movement” that elected Ronald Reagan and set into motion a fundamental shift in American politics. That coalition included a lot of different interests who did not necessarily agree on all issues, but for whom the imperative to save the economy was the rightful priority of the day.
All of us tend to speak in terms of the American economy either creating or costing jobs. To an extent, speaking in those terms gets it backward -- or at best neglects the reality that job creation or loss forms a vicious circle with that thing we call the economy. From the local tax revenues that pay for schools and basic services to the real estate market and every other significant element of the private economy, the driving force in the American economy is people working in productive jobs and getting paid for it.
The 112th Congress took the oath of office a few days ago with the clearest mandate from the American people in recent memory: Cut the size and cost of government -- a lot.
"America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.” -- Senator Barack Obama, March 16, 2006, when he voted against raising the debt ceiling.
It is now in the hands of the Senate. The House of Representatives’ vote on Wednesday to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is an all-too-rare example of Congress attempting to reconcile policy and law with common sense.
Taxes must not be allowed to increase in 2011. However, the deal on the table today to extend the Bush tax cuts is not a good one. Americans sent a clear message on Election Day -- that Republicans need to stand firm on what they really believe: the Bush tax cuts should be made permanent, and that spending must not be increased. The current deal made with President Obama and some Democrats in Congress does neither.
Final reports from government commissions are not generally known to be stirring or often acted upon. Most of the time, that’s OK. Commissions are usually government’s way of pretending to address a problem without really doing so.
John Tyner became a YouTube sensation this week for recording and sharing his confrontation with TSA officials over the pat-down he was required to endure to get on an airplane. His outrageous experience clearly touched a nerve with a lot of Americans -- myself included.