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If elected, Mr. Johnson said he would “submit a balanced budget to Congress in 2014 that would include a $1.4 trillion reduction in federal spending.

“And then I am promising to advocate on the part of eliminating income tax, corporate tax and abolishing the IRS, and replacing all of it with one federal consumption tax,” he said, adding that change of that magnitude necessarily “reboots the American economy.”

“Zero corporate tax rates, in my opinion, creates tens of millions of jobs in this country,” he said. “Manufacturing jobs flock back to the United States and foreign capital investment increases dramatically.”

On health care, he believes in repealing Obama’s plan and slashing spending. “Medicare is a benefit that you and I put $30,000 into in our lifetimes while receiving back three times that,” he said. “That’s not sustainable in any way shape or form.”

He advocates an immediate 43 percent cut in defense spending, “which takes us back to 2003 levels.”

“We … have an obligation to provide ourselves with strong national defense, but I will stress that ‘defense’ is the operative word and not offense or nation-building, and I suggest that the biggest threat to our national security is that we are bankrupt.”

When it comes to the U.S.-Israel alliance, he believes there’s no good reason for Israel to preemptively bomb anyone, including Iran.

“A story that goes untold is that Israel has 300 nuclear warheads,” he said. “Any attack against Israel is going to result in the destruction of whatever country launches the attack.”

On energy, Mr. Johnson is decidedly pro-free-market, especially with regard to tapping deeper and more quickly into U.S. fossil fuel reserves. Renewables, he said, “have to be a part of things moving forward,” but they “don’t in any way come close to being able to meet the energy contained in a gallon of gasoline.”