Tuesday, May 24, 2016

And the Non-Denial Denials Keep on coming ...

New email from Gary Johnson's presidential campaign. Excerpted:

Gov. Johnson Has Been Called a Lot of Things, But ...

A big government spender?? That's right. A writer for the conservative National Review posted an article this week attacking Gov. Johnson for his spending record as New Mexico Governor, absurdly calling him a 'big government type'. ... Without getting into mindless detail, it is clear that the writer who attacked Governor Johnson doesn't understand state budgets -- or chose to play 'fun with numbers' to paint an entirely incorrect picture. And he didn't even bother to call Gov. Johnson to talk with him about it.

As for the truth, it is highly unlikely that established, respected publications and organizations such as Reason, the Cato Institute, and even the Club for Growth wouldn't have lauded Governor Johnson’s fiscal conservatism if he had, in fact, been a 'big government type'. Big government types don't veto 750 bills and thousands of spending items, cut the size of government by more than 1,000 employees, and earn the title: 'Most fiscally conservative governor' in the nation.

Notice what's not in there? Any denial of the claims in the National Review piece.

Maybe that's because the two major claims in the piece are absolutely, irrefutably correct. They are:

  • That "[w]hen Johnson took the tiller in New Mexico in 1995, the budget stood at $4.397 billion. When he left in 2003, it had grown to $7.721 billion, an increase of 7.29 percent a year. Of the eleven governors who filed to run for president this year (two Democrats, Johnson, and eight Republicans), only one had a worse record on spending growth."
  • That "Johnson inherited a debt of $1.8 billion and left a debt of $4.6 billion, a rate of increase unmatched by the 22 governors in either party who have filed for presidential primaries in the past two decades, with the exception of Governor Tom Vilsack (D., Iowa) in 2007."
Apart from the ranking trivia -- which is quite interesting! -- this is nothing I haven't told you right here at KN@PPSTER.

As governor of New Mexico, Johnson grew government spending faster than inflation, faster than population growth, and faster than Barack Obama has grown federal spending as president of the United States.

As governor of New Mexico, Johnson more than doubled his state's debt.

Those are facts. Maybe there are good explanations for them, but they're still facts.

Johnson runs on the parts of his record that sound good, which is fine. But the other parts are fair game for discussion as well. If he wants to be the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee he needs to be able to talk about those parts too, if for no other reason than that just because we don't ask him about them, that doesn't mean Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won't ask him about them should he happen to achieve his goal of making the big-time debate stage.

PS: Yes, I noticed the double negative typo in the final paragraph quoted from Johnson's email as well. Hey, shit happens.

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