by Elaine in Roanoke
I’ve heard some Bernie Sanders supporters say that before they will vote for Hillary Clinton, they’ll cast a vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate who will be on the ballot in all 50 states. I also have Republican friends who cannot abide Clinton but are looking at Johnson as a possible candidate to support with their vote. Everyone even remotely contemplating casting a third party vote for Johnson needs to learn exactly what he stands for and what he would hope to accomplish as president.
I’m not going to catalog all the socially liberal positions of Gary Johnson, but rather focus on his ideas of what the federal government should be and what he believes its role should be in our lives. Right now, I’m going to discuss his platform on the social safety net for Americans and his views on exactly what that entails. Later, I’ll discuss his hair-brained ideas about the budget, the economy and government regulation, especially as it impacts the environment, plus look at how he views national defense, immigration, and treaties the United States has with other nations.
The bedrocks of the social safety network that has developed over the years are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and welfare. For starters, Gary Johnson doesn’t understand the nature of Social Security and Medicare. He speaks of them as if they are welfare programs, not insurance programs for which workers – and employers – have paid premiums through payroll taxes throughout their working lives. So, Johnson has cavalierly stated he would cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid federal funding by 43%. He wants the age for filing for Social Security raised to 70 or 72. In addition to cutting the program by almost half and telling people that future retirees must be in their 70’s to receive any benefits, he has said he really wants Social Security to be privatized, thus at the whims of the stock market and bond market.
Gary Johnson and other Libertarians (one prominent one is David Koch who ran on the libertarian ticket in 1980 as vice residential candidate) would give block grants to the states for both Medicare and Medicaid and give the states full responsibility on how the greatly reduced money was spent. Don’t forget, the funding would be 57% of what it is today. For supporters of Bernie Sanders, here is what the senator has said about libertarians.
Gary Johnson does not believe in unemployment insurance for persons who lose their jobs, whether caused by a bad economy or because corporations move jobs overseas. He believes every state should be a right-to-work state, and that the federal government should never bail out an industry to save jobs. (Sorry auto industry.) Libertarians also are against any minimum wage and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
You might wonder exactly why Johnson made 43% the cut he wants in social programs? Well, he wants the entire federal budget cut by 43% in order to implement a flat tax of 23% on all non-essential goods and services, a deeply regressive national sales tax that would replace all income taxes and corporate taxes, but that’s for me to discuss another day. I leave you with just this thought. If Gary Johnson were president and could implement what he envisions for government, there essentially would be no social safety net in the United States. We would be back in the 19th century when no one could expect government assistance for anything. Think about it.