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Jon Huntsman: An moderate alternative to Ron Paul?

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Though Jon Huntsman has a weak start in the polls, and abandoned Iowa, Huntsman has been left virtually unscathed by the storm of attack ads the other candidates have waged against themselves. With Bachmann and Gingrich winding down their Iowa campaigns in a certain air of solemness, Huntsman has moved on to New Hampshire with some strong words for Mitt Romney, suggesting Huntsman is in it for at least one more round.

Who is Jon Huntsman? Ron Paul supporters should take note, as well as Blue Republicans and independents.

Tax Reform

Jon Huntsman reports on his website, that he is for simplifying the tax code substantially, making it, “flatter, fairer, simpler and more conducive to growth.” Huntsman is particularly interested in tax reform to help small business owners by eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax. He also wants to eliminate Capital Gains tax, and all tax on dividends, to encourage more people to invest.

Deregulation

Huntsman wishes to “roll back” Obamacare, “rein in” regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency, and “improve the discipline” of existing regulatory entities like the National Labor Relations Board.

Demilitarization

Huntsman calls for Afghanistan withdraw, though does suggest “small, nimble” special forces remain in Afghanistan to prevent it from becoming “a base for Al-Qaeda.” Huntsman supports continuing to train the Afghan military and “rebuild” the Afghan government. As for Pakistan, Huntsman stands for a quid pro quo for future American assistance, provided that the Pakistanis take proactive counter-terrorism measures.

Economic Reform

Huntsman wants to end To-Big-To-Fail, to stop future bailouts. He wants to increase transparency in the derivatives market, and end Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ron Paul fans take note: Though Huntsman does not stand for ending the FED, he does wish to appoint Federal Reserve Board Governors and a Chairman who believe in “sound money.”

Is Jon Huntsman “Ron Paul Lite?” Key differences seem to be Huntsman’s stance to not end the FED and to not order a withdraw from military bases around the world. At the same time, Huntsman probably doesn’t have to worry about coming under fire for issues that Ron Paul has: such as questioning the legitimacy of the Civil Rights Act. In fact, little controversy has surfaced at all surrounding Huntsman, which may help if he can continue to survive on a shoe-string campaign budget. Even better for Huntsman, if the establishment successfully tears down public opinion of Paul and his supporters, Huntsman might be the candidate to fill the gap and recapture libertarian-leaning voters. Uniquely, Jon Huntsman might be a step for what Libertarian-leaning voters are clamoring for, and what moderates could stomach.

A full list of Huntsman’s stances can be found on his Campaign Website.

UPDATE 1/7/12: Huntsman endorses National Defense Authorization Act

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Written by Jonathan Mark

January 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm