- Former Title: Governor of New Mexico (1995-2003)
- Party Affiliation:
- Birthplace: Minot, North Dakota
- Religion: Lutheran
- Alma Mater: University of New Mexico (BA)
- Website: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com
Former two-term New Mexico governor and self-made millionaire Gary Johnson is a libertarian with a conservative stand on fiscal issues and a liberal view on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion. As governor from 1994 to 2003, he pushed for lower taxes and lower government spending, and set records by vetoing some 750 pieces of legislation. He has since been nicknamed, “Governor Veto.”
"America needs a 'President Veto' right now -- someone who will say 'no' to insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington," Johnson said.
He opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and supported spending cuts to entitlement programs including defense. His soft stance on immigration rules is inconsistent with the view of a large number of Republican voters on immigration policy.
In 1975, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Mexico. After a stint as a door-to-door handyman to fund his college education, he went on to build a multi-million-dollar construction business called Big J Enterprises.
A skiing enthusiast, mountain climber and bicyclist, he lives in Taos, New Mexico, in a self-built house.
Johnson says the government must halt spending “across the board,” including on stimulus, transportation, energy, and housing. He says the tax code must be revised and simplified, taxes on saving and investment should be lifted, and corporate income tax should be eliminated. Johnson opposes bailouts, cap-and-trade, and barriers to free trade. He believes the legalization of marijuana would provide a source of tax revenue while also saving money on “an expensive and futile prohibition.”
Johnson’s approach is two-pronged: first, simplify legal immigration by making it less difficult to qualify for and obtain a work visa. Second, deal with illegal immigration by cracking down on illegal aliens and penalizing companies that hire undocumented workers. Johnson also believes that decriminalizing marijuana will “significantly” shrink illegal immigration from Mexico.
Johnson has visited Occupy Wall Street protest sites, where he has talked with demonstrators, telling one that the “root of all evil is politicians that are going to save [us] from terrorists, from illegal immigrants, from drugs. Elect me, [they say], and I'll save you.” Johnson has also embraced and been welcomed by some Tea Party organizations.
Johnson says that “commonsense” energy development is stymied by government regulations, which he pledges to reform.
Johnson supports a woman’s right to abortion up until the point of fetal viability, argues that the state “should not impose its values upon marriage,” and believes that marijuana should be legalized.
Johnson would peg Social Security benefits to inflation rather than wage growth, since wage growth generally rises faster than inflation.
Johnson says he would eliminate “excessive spending, bloated stimulus programs, unnecessary farm subsidies, and earmarks.” He also supports greater scrutiny of the Federal Reserve.
Johnson believes that America should end its military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. He opposes the use of torture and says that detainees must not be imprisoned indefinitely without trial.
Johnson favors the repeal of both Obama’s healthcare reforms and Medicare prescription drug coverage and would place Medicare and Medicaid in the care of the states.
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