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The piece sent "over the transom" taking a shot at Governor Johnson's possible motives for running as a Libertarian contains some interesting theories.

However, it also contains some disturbing claimed facts, and one thing I did do before publishing that piece was check them.

Unfortunately the facts cited are correct and Gary is being less-than-honest.

This is what his campaign web site claims on his record:

  • Left office with New Mexico as one of the only four states in the country with a balanced budget
  • Left New Mexico with a budget surplus
  • Used Line Item Veto thousands of times to trim the budget
  • Vetoed 750 bills during his time in office; more than all other governors combined
  • Cut over 1,200 government jobs without firing anyone
  • Created more than 20,000 new jobs
  • First New Mexico Governor to challenge education status quo and propose statewide voucher program
  • Restored State General Fund reserves to more than $222 million from a low of $28.1 million
  • Limited annual state budget growth to 5.0% during eight years in office
  • Cut taxes 14 times while never raising them—a first for New Mexico
  • Vetoed 32% of the total number of bills submitted for his signature

This all sounds good, right?

Well, no.  Yes, the budget rose 5% per year during his time in office.  Unfortunately that's a roughly 50% increase in the size of the State Government during those eight years.

That might be ok if the rate of increase was less than the rate of inflation.  So let's check the rate of inflation and see if Governor Johnson was telling the truth or if he's being less-than-honest with the public.

In 1995 the CPI index stood at 150.3.  In 2003 when Johnson left office it stood at 181.7.  That's a 20.9% increase over the same eight years.

In other words Gary Johnson increased spending in New Mexico at approximately 240% the rate of inflation -- or about double and a half as fast as prices rose.

Do you define that as "fiscally conservative" or "responsible"?  I do not.  Further, can you find any part of spending in this chart that he actually cut during his time in office or did every single one of these bars get bigger?

 by genesis 

Credit: Usgovernmentspending.com

Then there's the claim of a "balanced budget".   That's a nice claim.  Unfortunately it was achieved by lying, just as it has been in the other states, because the amount of debt the State Government had outstanding nearly doubled during those very same years.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1995_2003NMb_13s1li111mcn_H0s

 by genesis

That's a gross $2.78 billion increase in debt during those years.  The population of the state was (as of 2003) 1.87 million, so Governor Johnson added about $1,500 in debt to the financial responsibility of every man, woman and child in New Mexico during his administration and that's only for the state itself -- municipal governments added another billion, so the total was well over $2,000 per person.

Is that "fiscally conservative"?

Ron Paul has often been called "Dr. No" for his refusal to accede to more spending and bigger deficits.  While he's one man in Congress, you can rarely if ever find a bill that he has approved which increases spending and public debt. 

Gary Johnson, on the other hand, was the man with the pen who signed the spending bills in the end analysis.  He is the one who was responsible for approval of the budget and the actual spending and borrowing profile of the State.  And he has repeatedly claimed, and claims today, a huge number of vetoes.

It's true that Governor Johnson vetoed a huge number of bills.  But the implication he wishes you to believe, that he shrunk the size of government in New Mexico and thus that he also shrunk residents' responsibility, both directly in current government spending and in the debt that was left for both residents who voted for various policies and the children and unborn unable to vote for or against those policies is simply false.

Governor, you have some explaining to do if you expect me to support or vote for you, as I believe you have actively and intentionally misled not only myself personally but the Libertarian Party in general on the actual facts when it comes to your spending and debt record as Governor.

Nobody should vote for this man believing he will cut their debt load or actually shrink one single line item in the Federal Budget, as his history shows that over eight years as Governor of a small state he saddled every single resident with more than $1,500 worth of additional debt, sanctioned municipal and local governments adding roughly $1,000 more, and in fact added to State Spending in all of the categories he claims he will "control" or "cut" including pensions, health care and education. 

Not one of those areas was cut in size during his time in office.

And that, my friends, is a fact.

Ps: Before someone pipes up and tries to claim that population increases were responsible for this, the population of New Mexico in 1995 was ~1.7 million.   In 2003 it was 1.9 million, or 12% higher, an approximately 1.4% annual expansion.  It is thus immaterial to the expansion of the State budget and debt, and one cannot lay off these expansions on "growing population"; any such attempted claim is a futher lie.

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Folks, cut this crap out.

Really.

Here are the facts:

  • Rubio was born to two parents who were not citizens at the time of his birth.  They were here in the country and he was born here, but his parents were not citizens at the time of his birth.

  • At a later date his parents became citizens of the United States.

Marco Rubio is ineligible to be President of the United States under the natural born citizen requirement.  He is a citizen but will never be a natural born citizen as he was not at birth due to the Cuban citizenship of his parents and you cannot retroactively acquire natural born citizenship status.

He therefore must not be nominated as VP, since the primary qualification for that office is the ability to stand as President if something happens to the President while he is in office.

The Constitution's 12th Amendment specifically says:

But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

I know there are people who think the Constitution shouldn't read this way on natural born citizenship as a requirement for this office, but it does read this way AND IS WHAT IT IS.

If you want to change this the proper thing to do is to amend The Constitution before you run someone who is currently ineligible.  Circumventing it as was done with Obama is wrong, no matter which party does it.

We've had enough lawlessness in this country at the top and we are way past the point where we should be tolerating it in any fashion, irrespective of whether you happen to like someone or not.

THE RULE OF LAW MUST STAND ABOVE THE "DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS" OR THIS NATION IS NO LONGER A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC.

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There's only one problem with being pissed off about it -- they are, for the most part, right.

Hear Dr. Paul on the subject of the 9/11 terror attacks—an event, he assures his audiences, that took place only because of U.S. aggression and military actions. True, we've heard the assertions before. But rarely have we heard in any American political figure such exclusive concern for, and appreciation of, the motives of those who attacked us—and so resounding a silence about the suffering of those thousands that the perpetrators of 9/11 set out so deliberately to kill.

There is among some supporters now drawn to Dr. Paul a tendency to look away from the candidate's reflexive way of assigning the blame for evil—the evil, in particular, of terrorism—to the United States.

There is nothing wrong with a belief that our military "reach" is too wide, too broad, and broadly unsupportable.  But you have to be either intentionally obtuse or outright dishonest to believe that the United States' enemies are only our enemies because we're a bunch of jackbooted jackasses who step on the necks of people worldwide and "generate" our own terrorists.

That's revisionist bull****, to be blunt.

Before running such crap anyone with a hint of intellectual honesty would have to note the several hundred year long Jihadi nightmare unleashed upon people worldwide by those seeking to establish their Caliphate -- long before there was a United States, and continuing on since.  One would have to note that Muslim piracy and terrorism was commonplace on the high seas in the time of the Revolutionary War, and had exactly nothing to do with the United States "projection of power" (since we had just formed this nation!)  One would have to note the examples of nations (and there's lots of them) that have had as their only offense being majority Christian and thus "praying the wrong way."  And finally, one would have to look at the record of appeasement and its results in the mirror of history, including the millions killed as a consequence in WWII.

When it comes to Iran there's a curious problem with Ron Paul's narrative that his supporters simply ignore.  Paul says that Iran is just "misunderstood" and doesn't really want to wipe Israel off the map.  Ok, let's assume I accept that "bad translations" are responsible for that "misunderstanding."  What am I supposed to make of their repeated, vehement, and "in English" denial of the Holocaust?  That's much harder to argue over, isn't it?

Curiously, where the Journal misses the point in their attack on Ron Paul is where I drive my stake home through those who support him along with the rest of the Republican field: His utter lack of understanding of the essential link between our economic reality today and our current military posture.

That's energy, of course.

I happen to support a widespread retrenchment of our military projection.  The reason is simple: We've never managed to have that work out the way we intend.  How many times have we installed some guy here or there and had it go sideways on us?  Mubarak anyone?  The Shah?  How about the mess in Central America -- pick one there, they all sucked.  The problem with supporting jackasses as "our jackass" is that it doesn't work -- they're just all jackasses and eventually they turn on their own people, and then they turn on us.

But denial over the reason we've put the current system together is foolish, and here Ron Paul does the same thing that all the other "mainstream" candidates do: He intentionally looks the other way while participating in the government systems that make our current posture mandatory.

America can be isolationist.  We have the ability.  Most nations do not, but we do.  We can afford it.  We have the resources.  We have the people.  We have the smarts and we have the industry.  In short, we don't have to run a trade deficit and we shouldn't; we have the luxury of indulging only in fair trade and that which generates trade surplus.

But it is the cover of our federal budget deficit that gives life to trade deficits, to offshoring our jobs and ultimately our energy dependency and military power exercises.  Absolutely none of that is workable without government overspending.  It's a deadly embrace and Ron Paul is not only in the institution that's responsible for it, he fails to make the essential link and then speak against the actual cause, identifying not just the "what" but the "why".

So The Journal gets their criticism mostly right, but they do it for the wrong reasons.  It's not hard to understand their blindness -- if they actually looked at the picture from 30,000 feet The Journal would have to go after all of the Republican field and Obama, and that would leave them with the uncomfortable position of having to look beyond the "establishment" candidates.

I'd say that half a loaf is better than none at all, but in this case half a loaf is none, because without addressing the true issues we'll never make progress and when, not if, our excessive spending becomes unsustainable the harm that will come to this nation will be dramatically worse than it needs to be.

In that failure The Journal, in the fullness of history, will be judged complicit.

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STOP IT folks.

I'm tired of the partisan crap.

Rubio is ineligible for the office of President.  That's how it is.  I don't care if you like it or not, that's how it is.  It is because his parents held allegiance to a foreign nation at the time of his birth and therefore so did he.

There's no way to cure this other than through Constitutional Amendment.

If you don't like this fix it the right way.  All this BS, strum and furor doesn't change facts - Rubio was born to two foreign nationals; neither was a citizen at the time he was born.  And he was not the child of two people "fleeing Castro" either - his parents came to the United States before Castro took power in Cuba.

In addition to being ineligible he's a damned liar.

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I'm probably going to draw a lot of fire for this, but I believe the US Supreme Court made the right decision yesterday:

WASHINGTONA divided Supreme Court struck down decades-old limits on corporate political expenditures, potentially reshaping the 2010 election landscape by permitting businesses and unions to spend freely on commercials for or against candidates.

President Barack Obama attacked the ruling and said it gave "a green light to a new stampede of special-interest money in our politics," particularly "big oil, Wall Street banks, health-insurance companies and the other powerful interests" that "drown out the voices of everyday Americans." He pledged to work with lawmakers to craft a "forceful response."

What sort of "forceful response" might that be?  The use of force (that is, the government's stash of guns), right?  "Do as we say, or we (maybe literally) shoot you!"

Hmmm....

Let me make my viewpoint clear on this, lest a whole swarm of lemmings start trying to put words in my mouth:

  • "Congress shall make no law.... or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" - This is very clear.  Laws restricting speech are unconstitutional.  Period.

  • Money is not speech.  However, money buys amplifiers in all of their forms.  If you stand on a street corner and talk, people within 10 feet can hear you.  If you buy a $2 megaphone people within 30 feet - in front of you - can hear you.  If you buy a $100 powered megaphone, people can hear you to a range of perhaps 100'.

  • So long as I don't drown out other people's ability to speak and be heard I should be able to buy and use as big an amplifier as I would like (and can afford.)  This is the old libertarian (little "L") principle: I can swing my arms around all I want so long as my fist does not connect with your nose.

As a consequence if you honor the black-letter law as expressed in The First Amendment, you are led to the inescapable conclusion that The US Supreme Court came to the correct decision - whether it is personally distasteful or not.

The true test of whether you believe in liberties and rights is not whether you support them when they coincide with what you'd like to see happen - it is whether you support them when they are adverse to what you would prefer.

But with that said, I do believe there is a serious problem with campaigns and politicians - and corruption thereof.

And here, I have a solution.

Public employees - that is, politicians - should not be able to receive a campaign donation (in any form) from anyone except an actual constituent - that is, someone who is qualified and registered to vote in their district or state.

Let the corporations (and individuals), along with PACs, Unions and others buy all the issue and even candidate ads they want - so long as they honestly identify who is funding the speech in question.

But bar all public employees from receiving any campaign contribution from anyone other than a natural person who is registered to vote in the area represented by that particular politician, with violators subject to felony prosecution.  If such an act is traced to a corporation the firm's charter is revoked.

Isn't it funny how we never address the actual problem - the fact that candidates have huge war chests funded by corporations (directly and indirectly) and instead try to focus on trying to restrict people's desire to speak - a right that is guaranteed under our Constitution?

Solve the problem instead of allowing politicians to play Kabuki Theater with this (very legitimate) issue.

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