Johnson and Wallace Battle Over Fair Tax, ISIS, and Pot
By: Elias J. Atienza
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace where he laid out his beliefs and his plans to win the presidency. Johnson is currently polling around 10 percent in the five national polls chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
“We’re optimistic we’re going to actually get into the debates,” Johnson said. “We’re spending money right now in many states, and in five states right now we’re at 16 percent. So I’m just really optimistic.”
The Commission on Presidential Debates has advised venues holding the presidential debates to prepare a third podium.
In addition this, Johnson laid out that he could win the entire presidency, though a third party candidate has never won the presidency since 1864 with Abe Lincoln.
“The object is to win outright,” Johnson said.
Johnson also laid out his support for various issues. He stated that he still supported TPP and wanted to make immigration easier by giving out more work visas and giving them a social security card.
On immigration, Johnson also endorsed a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
On regards to citizenship, there needs to be a pathway to citizenship,” Johnson said. “Look, for those in the country that are undocumented, they’re not going to jump the line. But that’s part of comprehensive immigration reform.”
Clinton also endorses a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants while Donald Trump has flip-flopped in the past week, first supporting a form of amnesty before slamming his own position yesterday.
Johnson and Wallace got into an intense exchange over Johnson’s support for the Fair Tax, which would eliminate the federal income tax and corporate tax and replace all of this with a federal consumption tax.
“Both sides of the aisle said that this would be highly regressive. That rich folk are going to make out like bandits and its going to end up hitting the poor and the middle class,” Wallace challenged.
“You’re right that the Fair Tax is regressive. The way the Fair Tax deals with that is that it issues everyone a prebate check of $200 a month that allows everybody to pay the consumption tax up to the point of poverty level,” Johnson said.
Johnson pointed out that the Fair Tax had many supporters in Congress. H.R 25, which would replace all federal taxes with a single consumption tax, has 73 supporters in the House of Representatives. In addition, 7 Senators support the measure according to Fair Tax Review.
Wallace asked Johnson about ISIS and what his plan is to deal with them. Johnson said that they would be regionally contained and they were like “sands through an hourglass.” When Wallace talked about the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Belgium, Johnson pointed out that they were ISIS-inspired attacks and not done by ISIS themselves.
This lead to another testy exchange between Johnson and Wallace.
“If we’re attacked, we’re going to attack back. But the fact that we involve ourselves in regime change has resulted in unintended consequences of making things worse and not better, and nobody is standing up to this!Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, not intentional, they go in and support the opposition in Libya and Syria. The opposition is aligned with ISIS. We arm the opposition and now those arms end up in the hands of ISIS. This is the unintended consequences of our foreign policy.”
Pivoting back to ISIS, Wallace asked why Johnson would contain ISIS and not eradicate them. Johnson said that if they eliminated ISIS there would be another “void” that another group would fill.
“We didn’t hear about ISIS until two years ago. This was Al-Qaeda until it became ISIS! Wipe out ISIS and it will be something else.” Johnson said.
Johnson laid out that he wants to “join hand with Russia” to deal with the Syrian Civil War while also maintaining that North Korea was the United States biggest challenge in the future.
Wallace then ended the interview by asking about cannabis and Johnson’s tenure as CEO of Cannabis Sativa. Wallace criticized Johnson for that, asking why “out of all the things in the world to be involved with, why sell pot?”
“In this case, marijuana products, which directly compete with legal prescription drugs on the medical front, don’t kill anybody. Not one documented death and yet these drugs compete and provide that relief. It seems to me that there needs to be research and development in this area, that can’t happen, because marijuana is currently classed as a class one narcotic,” Johnson said.
If he is elected president he would deschedule marijuana but would ultimately leave the issue of legalization up to the states. Johnson also said that he believes legalizing marijuana would lead to less substance abuse.
Watch the entire interview below.