NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF”YOUR WORLD”: Well, you want to get people working? Start spending.
Senate Democrats today calling on the vice president to tack on new stimulus measures to debt talks. They say it’ll create jobs.
My next guest with a plan of his own.
Up next in our "Help Wanted" series: Republican presidential candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson joining me now.
Governor, good to see you again. How are you?
GARY JOHNSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Neil thanks for having me on.
CAVUTO: What do you make of this plan some Democrats are looking at, that is, making spending part of that discussion?
JOHNSON: Really, I just see it as more of the same. President Johnson -- that would be me -- would propose a balanced budget for the year 2013.
I would eliminate the corporate income tax, recognizing that it’s a double tax, and reestablishing this country as the only place to grow, nurture, develop -- develop business. I think if you just take the stimulus over the last couple of years, pretend like we didn’t do that, and if we would’ve applied that to the elimination of the corporate income tax, I think we would be seeing some real results from those seeds being planted a couple of years ago.
CAVUTO: Governor, there’s always a gap between the cut in taxes and the revenue generated to Washington. In the interim, in the loss of that tax revenue, you have a dip. In other words, deficits get worse. Now, the money comes in, like gangbusters, actually, but, in Washington’s past, it is spent equally fast in Washington.
How, as president, would you stop that?
JOHNSON: Well, I think that you point out a reality. And taking that reality, do you spend more money in ways that are, I think, a proven wrong with the last two stimulus packages? How about apply it to real fundamental change, like I say, eliminating the corporate income tax, provide certainty when it comes to business, something that government really can do?
If you just look at the coal-fired electrical generation industry, we’re not building new coal-fired plants because of the uncertainty of CO2 emissions and what ultimately these plants are gonna cost. Just do away with that uncertainty; I think you are talking hundreds of thousands of jobs.
And then, when it comes to taxes for you and I, I think we should be looking at eliminating the income tax, the IRS, and replacing it with a consumption tax, a fair tax, which, by all free market economists’ reckoning, really is just that. A fair tax would promote taxes, the notion of fairness and the notion of savings.
CAVUTO: You know, Governor, you have a lot of great ideas. I mean, long before your presidential announcement, you’ve been with me on a number of visits. And you’re not a crazy guy.
You are not one to be easily dismissed or trifled with. And I mean this in all due respect. Yet, you’re not invited to the last big presidential debate. You’re a two-term governor. You do light up meters and all when people hear you in debates and discussions. Yet you were not included in that august group. Why?
JOHNSON: Neil, a couple of things have happened in the last couple of weeks, some things that I’ve said.
They came out with a poll, who among those presidential candidates is looked favorably in their own home state? I’m the only candidate running for president that looks favorably – that’s looked upon favorably in their own home state.
CAVUTO: Yes, but you’re like Rodney Dangerfield. You don’t get any respect.
JOHNSON: No, I know.
And then, a couple of days ago, they came out with a report of who actually presided over job growth in their states, and the number-one candidate running for president was me. And, by the way, I never claimed to create one single job as governor of New Mexico, but it turns out it was the highest rate of everybody running for president right now.
But what I did -- what I did create was certainty. Business in New Mexico went to bed at night knowing that the regulatory environment was not going to get any worse. And given the fact that I got to run all the agencies in state government, I’m going to argue that it got significantly better.
CAVUTO: Now, you have a lot of your critics who pounce on that, Governor, because now maybe they see you getting some traction of late, and saying, well, you know, he was governor, if my memory serves me right, sir, from 1995 to 2003, a boom time for our economy and our markets. And that was the wind kind of at your back, and something that a lot of your opponents did not have the virtue of calendar to enjoy.
JOHNSON: Well, in the -- so, I also vetoed 750 bills while I was governor of New Mexico. I had thousands of line-item vetoes, only two of which were overturned.
I did that in a state that was 2-1 Democrat. I got reelected. So, I was really a penny-pincher. And I did this all in a state that was 2-1 Democrat that you could argue that winds were really in the face when it came to business environment.
CAVUTO: You know, no, that is a very -- Governor, you’re right. That’s a very fair comment. But here’s the other one, that you are not conservative enough, socially conservative. And, in the Republican Party, that might be a problem for, your views for legalizing marijuana. I think you’re for a woman’s right to choose -- that whatever your fiscal credentials and bona fides -- and they are substantial -- that this is going to be tough.
JOHNSON: Well, so, what I -- what I talked about in New Mexico when I ran for governor the first time was, the best government is the government that rules the least.
The best thing that government can do for you and I as individuals is to empower you and I as individuals to be all that we can be. And in that context, you know what? There are bad actors. There are bad actors out there when it comes to human beings, business. I know that, environmentally, there were businesses that were really bad actors that, if it weren’t for the government to able to step in and look over those situations, it would’ve been a lot worse. So, government has a role, but...
CAVUTO: But on these personal issues -- I guess what I am saying, on the personal issues, like marijuana and legalizing it, and a woman’s right to choose, potentially contentious ones within the Republican nominating process. You disagree?
JOHNSON: Well, that’s what I am putting myself on the line here, Neil, to do, is to become the spokesperson for the Republican Party.
What is this country? Isn’t this country life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness? Isn’t this country the country of freedom and liberty and the personal responsibility that goes along with that?
And so much of what government spends doesn’t make a difference in any of our lives. And I’ve got an eight-year experience to say that people really appreciated that.
CAVUTO: Finally, with so many looking to be in the race now, others hinting at it, even if you are invited to the next debate, it’s going to be crowded, isn’t it?
JOHNSON: Well, there are, what, 126 now that are looking to announce?
CAVUTO: I think 127.
JOHNSON: I always point out there’s only 126. There’s only 126. So, this is a finite amount.
CAVUTO: There we go.
JOHNSON: And this is -- this is the contest.
CAVUTO: Governor, thank you very, very much. Good having you.
JOHNSON: Neil, thank you.
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