Gary Johnson compares U.S. to Greece, laughs at Obama's economic plan

(CBS News) The presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party, Gary Johnson, laughed at Mr. Obama's economic proposals before he offered a dire warning that the U.S. faces a monetary collapse.

In an interview with Hotsheet, the former Republican New Mexico governor harshly criticized President Obama's statement he made on the on the economy where he called on Congress to pass additional aid for states and provide support for the construction industry.

"He talked about the U.S economy and the tools he has to allow the federal government to be flexible when it comes to states. Well, what he's talking about is printing money," said Johnson, who is a critic of federal monetary policy.

During his news conference Friday morning on the economy, the president warned against too much austerity too quickly, saying it could damage economic recovery. Johnson disagrees, saying that too much spending will lead to monetary collapse.

Johnson said the U.S. is "not immune from the mathematics of continuing to borrow and print money," adding that "we're only six years away from being in Greece's same statistical situation."

The president warned about Europe's economic challenges as the Euro Zone struggles to determine a path forward with Greece, Spain and Italy facing deep debt and high unemployment. Mr. Obama said Europe's challenges could impact the U.S.'s economic recovery. Johnson said the president is applying a double standard.

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"On one hand he's talking exactly what we need to be doing and on the other hand he's getting us further in debt which is what he says is getting the European countries in trouble," Johnson said.

Johnson, who first ran as a Republican candidate for president but dropped his failed bid after not gaining significant support, said he would propose to cut $1.4 trillion from the 2014 budget - 43 percent of the federal budget. He also called for the tax system to be based on consumption instead of income, supporting what is known as the "Fair Tax," or a 23 percent national sales tax. He said it "reboots the economy for the next 100 years."

"Because in a 0 percent corporate tax rate environment, if the private sector doesn't create tens of millions of jobs, I don't know what it's going to take to do that," he said.

As for cutting the budget, Johnson breaks dramatically from both the Republican and Democratic parties. He would cut federal programs and make drastic reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, which Democrats tend to oppose, and he would cut 43 percent from the Defense budget, which Republicans tend to oppose.

"It's almost laughable when [presumptive Republican nominee Mitt] Romney talks about balancing the federal budget but that he's going to increase spending for the military and he's going to hold Medicare in check," Johnson said.

The Libertarian Party candidate will be on the ballot in all 50 states. He's also met Federal Election Commission requirements of raising $5,000 in 20 states and can receive matching funds, a rare feat for a third party candidate.

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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