Caution on the Cliff From a Flat-Tax Flagwaver
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Caution on the Cliff From a Flat-Tax Flagwaver

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Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, who told The Fiscal Times not long ago that he’s “not your typical politician,” says he’s been watching the political action on the looming fiscal cliff – and that it’s “really nothing good.”

In fact, it stinks.  

Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate who received more than one million votes in this year’s presidential election, sent an email to supporters and others on Friday afternoon from his home in New Mexico. He said, “In Washington, their definition of a ‘cliff’ is that government spending will be cut next year by slightly more than $100 billion, if Congress and the president don’t come to an agreement to cut spending by less than that.

“With a $16 trillion debt and trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see,” he added, “only in Washington would cutting $100 billion be viewed as an impending disaster.”

RELATED:  Your Easy-to-Use Guide to the Fiscal Cliff

The social liberal and flat-tax advocate, who has long favored the decriminalization of marijuana, says, “There are talking heads on TV saying that cutting spending by a few small percentage points will devastate the economy. 

“Where were those talking heads when the Democrats and Republicans were conspiring to run up an unsustainable $16 trillion national debt? Who is pointing out the obvious: That ridiculous levels of spending have already devastated the economy – and that the so-called fiscal cliff is a pothole compared to the real cliff that our Thelma and Louise government is driving us over”?

Johnson says “the ‘deals’ on the table to prevent [the combined $600 billion plus in spending cuts and tax increases] look very familiar: Raise taxes and promise to cut the spending. Sure, the Republicans and Democrats are arguing – at least for the cameras – over what to call the tax increases, but regardless,” he adds, “they’re all talking about solving their problem by taking more of our money. And the spending cut promises? As Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush learned the hard way, the taxes go up, but the spending cuts seem to never happen.”

So – “here we go again,” says Johnson. “That sound you hear is the can being kicked down the road.” He predicts that after three weeks of “posturing and posing,” the country’s political leaders will “cut a deal to once again avoid dealing with the disastrous debt problem.” 

Yet “the future of America, the survival of economic freedom, and the liberty that government is destroying are all too important... Kicking the can down the road is not acceptable any longer.” He also urges a continued “fight for smaller government [and] an end to absurd spending.” 

Last year, during the debt-ceiling talks, Johnson told The Fiscal Times, “I hope the GOP doesn’t raise revenue. I’m advocating the fair tax and everything that goes along with that. It does away with the business-to-business tax. Basically you're not going to have a corporate tax at all. That’s going to create tens of millions of jobs. Every free-market economist has said I’m their spokesperson … Long term, a fair tax would very much support a kind of a reboot of America, setting the stage for centuries of forward growth, as opposed to this collapse that we’re looking at right now.”