Libertarian Gary Johnson Would Cut $143 Billion in Spending
Preliminary Analysis of Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson's Spending Platform Finds $143 Billion in Cuts
The Libertarian Party held its convention over the Memorial Day weekend. After a wide-ranging debate from five candidates regarding the constitutional role and function of government, Gary Johnson was elected as the Party's presidential nominee.
NTUF's preliminary review of Johnson's spending plans as detailed by the candidate during the debate and on his campaign website finds that he would cut spending by $143 billion per year. Highlights include:
- Defense: A 20 percent reduction in defense spending would save $117.6 billion.
- Entitlement Reform: Implementing means-testing in Social Security could save $6.2 billion per year, and increasing the retirement age could save $1.08 billion annually.
- Education: Johnson would eliminate the Department of Education and "return control to the states." NTUF assumes he would block grant existing funding to the states and wind-down the remaining bureaucracy over four years, saving $2.4 billion per year.
- Commerce: Johnson called to eliminate the Department of Commerce. NTUF assumes the program would be phased-out over four years, saving up to $2.6 billion annually.
- Drug Enforcement Administration: This agency would also be eliminated, saving up to $745 million a year as it is phased-out.
- Fair Tax: Johnson would replace the income tax with a national sales tax and eliminate the Internal Revenue Service. This could save up to $12.6 billion per year in spending for "refundable" credits and tax administration.
- Self-Directed Social Security: A proposal to allow heirs to receive a portion of Social Security benefits after the recipient has deceased could increase outlays, but a cost estimate is indeterminate.