Gary Johnson Says Washington Fiddles while Rome Burns

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Likely Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson says Congress is "pretending" to address ways to cut government spending, but in reality, is really just quibbling over mere pennies.

"Washington is pretending to wage a budget battle royale over whether to cut spending by one percent or two percent," Johnson said.

In a statement posted on his "Our America Initiative" website Johnson says, "By any reasonable math they need to be fighting over whether to cut 40 percent or 45 percent...from a $3.8 trillion dollar budget for this year."

The former New Mexico Governor is expected to announce his run for the Republican presidential nomination on April 21st. The "Our America Initiative" is a non-profit 501 (c) (4) that allows him to speak on public issues and raise money without reporting it to the Federal Election Commission until he declares his intent to seek public office.

On the issue of the federal budget Johnson maintains that Congress and President Obama are, "Fiddling while Rome is burning. It is time for some truth and some long-overdue courage."

"The numbers don't add up, we can't pay back $14 trillion dollars in debt," Johnson said in a recent interview with Fox. "We're no good for the $100 trillion dollars in unfunded entitlement money."

A Republican often described as libertarian (a description he says he's proud of), Johnson is known for having vetoed more than 700 bills and a billion dollars in spending during his two terms as governor of New Mexico from 1994-2002.

He is calling for most government programs to be cut in proportion to the amount of federal spending which currently goes to servicing the nation's debt.

"I'm advocating a 43 percent reduction in defense. We're building roads, bridges, highways and hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan and we're borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar to do it."

And the cuts would not stop there, "I think farm subsidies out to be cut by 43 percent. I think Medicare and Medicaid should be cut by 43 percent."

Johnson is also in favor of raising the retirement age and means testing for Social Security.