WHO AM I? I am Gov. Gary Johnnson, Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative, and the two-term Governor of New Mexico from 1994 - 2003. Here is proof that this is me: https://twitter.com/GovGaryJohnson I've been referred to as the 'most fiscally conservative Governor' in the country, and vetoed so many bills during my tenure that I earned the nickname "Governor Veto." I bring a distinctly business-like mentality to governing, and believe that decisions should be made based on cost-benefit analysis rather than strict ideology. Like many Americans, I am fiscally conservative and socially tolerant. I'm also an avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist. I have currently reached the highest peak on five of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest and, most recently, Aconcagua in South America. FOR MORE INFORMATION You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr.

Comments: 1379 • Responses: 31  • Date: 

cyborgcommando0291 karma

Hi Gov. Johnson!

What is your opinion of Bitcoin, the fairly new decentralized crypto-currency that is currently gaining lots of popularity in online circles like Reddit?

GovGaryJohnson497 karma

I am not as well-versed on Bitcoin as I should be -- I am familiar with it, but not in great detail. I promise to learn more before our next Reddit.

GovGaryJohnson200 karma

THANK YOU all for joining me today, and apologies for not getting to a great many of your questions. I tried. Again, thanks for your interest, and I will see you again here on Reddit very soon!

jpcrecom176 karma

What is your opinion of the Tea Party? My understanding is that it was something that started from libertarian roots (mainly out of the Republican party) to fight government waste and overspending, and kind of was overtaken by social conservatives to become almost the antithesis of libertarianism (i.e., social conservatism along with a different kind of fiscal liberalism – tax cuts coupled with big military spending)

GovGaryJohnson237 karma

I completely agree with your analysis of what happened with much of the Tea Party, recognizing not all Tea Party groups are the same.

mini_painter_mark131 karma

Mr. Johnson,

Thanks for doing this. My question is this. What is your take on what seems to be increased militarization of the DHS, including the purchase of large amounts of ammunition as well as armored personnel carriers?

GovGaryJohnson267 karma

It is very disconcerting. More and more guns in the hands of federal govt agencies is not a good thing.

shadow315124 karma

I just wanted to thank you for doing so many Google Hangouts, Reddit AMAs, etc and staying in touch.

GovGaryJohnson166 karma

Thank you. It is essential to use all the tools available to stay in touch. I hope they are helpful, and plan to keep it up!

abcxyz3000123 karma

What's your BIGGEST disappointment in Obama?

GovGaryJohnson459 karma

What he says and what he does are two different things. Wars, spending, drug reform, gay rights.

JolietJerry101 karma

What changes need to be implemented in the strategy of third party candidates before 2016 so that the public is more aware of them and their views?

GovGaryJohnson201 karma

The #1 ingredient for awareness is funding, and clearly, third party candidates have not figured that out.

InvisiblePineapple96 karma

You're one of the few big-name libertarians who vocally supports equality before the law at the federal level; Rand Paul supports "traditional marriage", and Ron Paul thought it was okay for Texas to outlaw sodomy. Would you agree that there's a schism between socially tolerant libertarians who really want the government out of the bedroom at all levels of government and states'-rights libertarians who think it's okay to regulate people's personal lives as long as the federal government's not doing it, and if so how can that gap be bridged to create a more inclusive liberty movement?

Also, is this a hint of things to come?

Finally, thank you for running last year. I'm a high school junior, and seeing you stand up for liberty and the inclusion of third parties is part of what inspired me to decide that I want to get into politics and make a difference.

GovGaryJohnson197 karma

I am in the camp who believes marriage equality is a constitutional right; thus, it cannot and should not be deferred to the states.

TrueBlonde94 karma

What is your opinion on the student loan crisis? Is it a bubble? Should the government intervene to stop it?

GovGaryJohnson271 karma

It is a bubble, and it is government-caused. also the primary reason for high tuition costs is guaranteed student loans.

NUMBERS235789 karma

Previously on reddit you said you'd cut 43% of the federal budget. The budget is 22% Social security, 23% Medicare and Medicaid, 19% defense, 17% other discretionary 13% other mandatory, 6% interest. How much would you cut from what?

GovGaryJohnson111 karma

Today, we are printing and borrowing roughly 30 cents of every dollar spent. That is the amount we need to cut to balance the budget. Medicare and Medicaid are the large drivers of the deficit, and they need to be cut sufficiently to achieve a balanced budget, along with the military and other discretionary accounts.

Rg3sus87 karma

Governor, what are your thoughts on the states' pushes for more gun control over the past several months (NY, CO, MD, etc)? How far do you believe the second amendment allows the states, not the federal government, to go with regards to gun control?

GovGaryJohnson366 karma

Bottom line is that greater gun control results in more criminals having guns and law-abiding citizens having fewer.

jcg382 karma

How would you handle the current situation with North Korea?

GovGaryJohnson183 karma

Diplomacy full speed ahead, bringing pressure to bear from all sides. I would certainly bring China to the table. They have much to lose from N. Korea's bad behavior.

pwzane80 karma

Do you plan on running for office in the future?

GovGaryJohnson240 karma

I plan on remaining a spokesperson for our issues as long as I am relevant.

jpcrecom72 karma

With so many states starting to move further down the path of marijuana of various levels of legality, how long do you think it will be before the federal government finally caves and makes it legal federally?

GovGaryJohnson156 karma

Sooner rather than later. I just heard today that the Forest Service is issuing citations for marijuana use at ski areas. I am girding myself for a confrontation, not because I am using marijuana, but because I want to see it happen. And they can't find enough money to keep the White House tours going!

zjaffee58 karma

Do you fear that the libertarian movement will go the way of the republicans and democrats in respect to the fact that big money will buy out their voices? or are Libertarians inherently different?

GovGaryJohnson143 karma

Unfortunately, that does seem to be the evolution of every party which becomes "successful". We must fight that tendency.

jpcrecom51 karma

What is your opinion of a) how the sequester came to be and b) the effects of the sequester. And how do you think it will be resolved – which party do you think is going to blink first

GovGaryJohnson102 karma

It came to be from legislation signed to get Congress and the White House off the hook, with no belief it would come to pass. It did, and frankly is less of a spending reduction that what is obviously needed.

Baxterftw46 karma

Mr. Johnson what is your opinion on expanding the NASA budget? Do you feel that space is a worth while investment?

GovGaryJohnson116 karma

Long term, investment in space is essential. Near term, we must balance the budget, and NASA must shoulder reductions like the rest of the federal government.

Jamal_the_narwhal42 karma

Hello Mr. Johnson

Thank you for your time. How would you say is the best way to get higher internet speeds to people in more rural areas?

GovGaryJohnson108 karma

First, make sure the Govt is NOT spearheading the effort. Then, demand, technology and the market with produce.

abcxyz300042 karma

What are your feelings about SCOTUS taking on gay marriage?

GovGaryJohnson105 karma

I am very glad they have taken it up, and hope for a ruling on the side of marriage equality. I have joined a brief urging them to do so.

milkyxj42 karma

Governor Johnson, what is your opinion of the Fair Tax?

GovGaryJohnson57 karma

I advocate strongly for the Fair Tax.

SmegmaSundae31 karma

Mr. Johnson, Proud to have voted for you in November and my question is, do you feel like a complete economic collapse in the United States is imminent within the next 5 years?

GovGaryJohnson68 karma

Near term, the Fed/centralized bank can probably stave off a collapse with its manipulations. Long term, a collapse is inevitable if we don't get the budget under control.

thejedislayer30 karma

Why is it that so many people seem to be pro-big government? You would think that in a country that prides itself on the individual and working to one's own ability, that we would never have the type of government we have, today? In your opinion, where did we go wrong as a nation?

GovGaryJohnson83 karma

I think the roots lie in that everyone ends up with a little piece of the pie they do not want to part with.

jpcrecom29 karma

How much does that cost to climb Everest? How does one raise the money to do so? Do you just use part of your life savings to accomplish such a goal? Do you get sponsorships? And if you do get sponsorships, what comes along with it? Also, what is your timeframe to complete the two remaining peaks of the Seven Summits?

edit: I just realized that's like a Miley Cyrus SNL type of question with too many back to back. Just you know, interested about how one manages to secure the funds to climb Everest and what goes into it.

GovGaryJohnson66 karma

It was very expensive, but it was my money. I did not have any sponsorships. I am planning to climb Carson's Pyramid this fall, leaving only the highest peak in Antarctica of the 7 Summits.

jcg329 karma

Who are your influences?

GovGaryJohnson78 karma

As I have gotten farther into politics, I have found that many "influences" are not always what I once believed. I have become very cautious about such influences.

Skyg4zer29 karma


GovGaryJohnson64 karma

The reality of a voucher system is that the feds and state govts will try to mandate curriculum. That is not good, but reality.

MSkog21 karma

Do you perceive gerrymandering as a problem? If so, what solutions would you propose, either at the federal or state level? If not, why not?

Thank you for the AMA.

GovGaryJohnson56 karma

Yes, it is a problem and promotes the status quo. As Governor, I did all I could do, which was to veto the legislature's gerrymandered plan. Unfortunately, the courts upheld their gerrymander.

robotrippin2421 karma

What are your thoughts on Glen Beck "becoming" Libertarian? Personally, I think this is great as it opens a new facet of thinkers/listeners.

GovGaryJohnson147 karma

I have spoken with Glenn several times, and I would be cautious. Not all of his statements and positions are necessarily libertarian; however, some are.

mprhusker21 karma

What are your thoughts on funding the arts in our public schools?

GovGaryJohnson67 karma

The federal government should not be funding our public schools, nor telling them what to teach. I advocate abolishing the federal Department of Education.

-R3DF0X19 karma

Hello Gov. Johnson! What's your opinion on the new Ryan budget that has been proposed?

GovGaryJohnson55 karma

I remain slain that Ryan's budgets, including today's, are regarded as the most "bold", when they are in fact not as bold as is required. Give him credit for trying.

Salacious-13 karma

Governor Johnson:

In a previous AMA, I asked you:

In your opinion, what is the biggest flaw with the Libertarian philosophy and way of thinking?

and you replied

It may have many flaws. But, I think it is the best philosophy that we have for living our lives.

I have to say that this is a complete non-answer, and I was disappointed that a politician I regarded as blunt and honest would dodge like that.

So my question for you today is: In your opinion, what is the biggest flaw with the Libertarian philosophy and way of thinking?

GovGaryJohnson61 karma

I don't see it as a flaw, but I believe the biggest problem is that too many people see libertarian philosophy as a type of Darwinism, survival of the fittest.

GoingGetsReddit12 karma

Where is your favorite place to ski in the world? What about in the United States?

GovGaryJohnson45 karma

Taos, NM! That's where I live and ski every day I can.