Richardson = Liberarian Democrat?

The libertarian Reason Magazine contained an article in its August/September print edition (available here online), that questions presidential candidate Bill Richardson’s “libertarian” bona-fides.
Richardson calls himself “a market-oriented Democrat” and, as the anti-tax Club for Growth said recently of Richardson, he’s “A different kind of Democrat, hopefully.” Even David Boaz of the libertarian Cato Institute says of Richardson, “He really might appeal to the libertarian vote. I’ve heard a number of governors pegged as ‘libertarian Democrat,’ and usually when I look into their records, it doesn’t hold up. But Richardson comes close.”
But not all are convinced of Richardson’s “libertarian-ness. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, for one, when asked about Richardson said, “I don’t think Bill Richardson has got much to offer libertarians. He plays up the fact that he cuts taxes when, if you add up all the fees he’s approved, there’s been a net tax increase. It’s an indictment of Cato and the Club for Growth that they’d consider him a tax cutter.” How much of an indictment? “It makes me a little less impressed by the good grades Cato gave me.”
With all of the back and forth on tax cuts, the Reason piece fails to mention spending, but I recently aired that issue in a Wall Street Journal article.
I think my last line sums it up best whether the topic is the relative libertarian-ness of Richardson or their fiscal conservativism Richardson is certainly better than Obama, Clinton, and Edwards, but that doesn’t mean he’s actively “good,” just less “bad.” Unfortunately, in presidential politics these days, it seems like small government types are too often left with voting for the lesser of evils (with the exception of Ron Paul, of course).

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