Gary Johnson on TV in the next hour

Gary Johnson will be interviewed by Erin Burnett on CNN s/t between 4-5 pm.

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Thanks Francoise….he got in a solid anti-war statement…but then threw in a “fair tax” plug as if there is such a thing. Oh well.



I second the thank you to Francoise. I actually enjoyed the interview. Poor Gary managed to speak so fast that he got all his bona fides in during the 4 minutes he was given! And, yes, he did speak out against "all the wars."

Regarding Johnson's comment on the "consumption tax" I will risk being asked to leave the LPSF, but here goes. When we are doing tablings, participating in forums, being interviewed, and otherwise addressing the general public, what do we say when people ask our position on government revenue? Do we say government should have no revenue, and explain how government operates without any revenue at all? Do we say "starve the beast!" and let there be no government, and explain why we are representatives of a political party? Do we quote the Constitution's Section 8 "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States, but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States"; and give as an example a consumption tax?


IMO: the ideal is that government is voluntarily funded. However, I
recognize the need for a transition during which we have *less*
coercive government, but coercive nonetheless: less tax is better than
more tax, even though all taxation is bad.

Further, there is a difference between taxes and fees; both are
coercive, in a sense, but a fee is at least semi-voluntary. To some
extent, excise taxes are voluntary, and so are less bad than income
taxes (as, other than subsistence farmers, everyone must have some
kind of income just to survive).

So we can get rid of the worst taxes first, and at the same time, cut
the worst of the unconstitutional government spending. Our *goal* is
a voluntary government, but anyone who thinks we have too much
government right now should really be voting for us whether or not
they agree with that ultimate proposition.

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Thank you for the good response, Chris. The way I see it, a "voluntarily funded" government is our ideal, but not a plan a serious politician running for office can include as the sole funding source in his platform. Therefore, I am assuming your answer would have been similar to Johnson's, given that an excise tax, as I understand it is a type of consumption tax (the purchaser ends up paying it regardless of the fine distinctions). I would probably lump fees as consumption taxes also, since if you want to consume a product on which there is a fee, you pay the fee, just as you would if the fee were called a tax.

I appreciate your response, and is one I will keep in mind when doing tablings, etc.


Hi Marcy,

Great question!

My anarcho-libertarian response: the Govt can raise revenue any way it
wishes, so long as it does not initiate violence in the process.

If you're a limited Govt libertarian, you can use Harry Browne's response:
For over a century, the U.S. government survived quite well without an
income tax. It operated a small, constitutional government on the revenue
from tariffs and excise taxes.

Tariffs are taxes imposed upon imported products, and excise taxes are
imposed at the manufacturing level on domestic products. Because those taxes
affect the prices of products, they were self-limiting. That is, the taxes
couldn't produce unlimited revenue to the government.

If a tax was raised too far, the product would be priced out of the reach of
the consumer, sales would fall, and the tax revenues would fall.

Does this answer your question satisfactorily?

Warm regards, Michael

Hi Michael,

Thank you! Chris spoke of excise taxes but he assumed we all knew why they were better, which I did not. You have given me the "why."

You have also explained why progressives like the income tax -- unlimited!

Now I have to figure how to communicate that to the general public, who want unlimited freebies.