Government Bytes


Profiles in Liberty: Ian Johnson

by Dan Barrett / /



NTUF interns experience the benefits of both an open office environment and being able to see their work used in NTUF’s publications. Rarely do interns have the chance to meet and interact with the President and Vice President of the organizations at which they work, but NTUF interns do! Our communications interns work under the direction of the Executive Vice President, and their work can be viewed on the Government Bytes Blog. The research interns’ work of scoring bills is used in the weekly Taxpayer’s Tab and is compiled into the annual BillTally report, which helps put the most reliable information into taxpayers’ hands.

NTUF Research Intern Ian Johnson

Ian Johnson, who grew up in Wesley Chapel, Florida, is one of NTUF’s research interns this summer.  Before attending college, Ian served on a two year mission with his church in eastern Georgia.  He is now a senior at the Idaho campus of Brigham Young University, where he is majoring in Economics.  Ian enjoys traveling, and has recently spent time abroad in Ireland and Germany with his twin brother. 

Why did you choose to work at NTUF?

IJ: I choose to work here because I wanted experience working with legislation, and I thought that the knowledge I could gain about how taxpayers’ money is spent would be very interesting.  I’m taking this opportunity to learn everything I can about policy and current events.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

IJ: I love to play guitar and listen to music!  I often get together with my brother, who plays the drums, and we’ll play different music for an afternoon or evening.  I’m also often found playing soccer with friends, and I love getting together with friends and family and exploring the area or road-tripping.  

What has been your favorite part of living and working in the DC area?

IJ: I have loved being in this area where so much interesting work is done.  It’s neat that I’ve been able to see a little more of how life works in Washington, D.C. and have been able to be a part of it myself.

Do you have a personal hero?

IJ: I’ve always admired my grandfather.  He lived through the Great Depression and served in Europe during World War 2.  While in Europe, he helped to liberate the Nordhausen concentration camp.  He had such an honest character, and many of his friends mentioned how hard-working he was.  Most notable, however, was his joyful spirit.  He could always be counted on to find the silver lining and cheer up others around him. My grandmother was bedridden for 40 years, and I remember my grandfather taking care of her selflessly; this is the kind of heart and dedication which I hope to one day be known for as well. 

How did you first become interested in politics?

IJ: My interest in politics stems from my family’s involvement in the military.  Both my father and my older brother served in the military; their involvement helped me to see and start to understand what is happening elsewhere in the world.  This led me to follow current events closely.  I’ve always been interested in the study of human nature, and I’ve slowly discovered over the years that much of the study of politics is related to that. 

What has been the most interesting thing you’ve learned while at NTUF?

IJ: How to navigate through and understand legislative language.  I’ve always wanted to understand what gets passed in Congress, and I’ve been able to do that more, now, through the experience I’ve gained at NTUF.

What obstacles do you feel like you’ve overcome so far at your internship?

IJ: The most daunting thing I’ve had to overcome has been the move out to Washington, D.C.  This is my first internship, and applying for a job, knowing full well that you’ve never worked in the area before, and that the entire adventure will be completely new is scary.  But, just jumping in is the best thing to do!

What bill have you found most interesting so far?

IJ: I found a bill on sugar subsidies interesting.  The bill was slated to repeal sugar price support and production adjustment programs, and allow the money spent on these subsidies to be saved.  This bill was particularly interesting to me because I have often learned about subsidies in economics classes, and it was great to be able to do research into how much is spent on subsidies, and to which sectors of the economy this money is sent.

Stay tuned for an interview with Paul Bartow next week.  Missed our last interview?  Check out our conversation with Communications Intern Jihun Han.

Interested in learning about the other interns working at the Foundation this summer?  Want to find out what you can do to help the NTUF interns?  Check out this post.

Thanks to Catherine Fitzhugh for developing the Profiles in Liberty series and interviewing our interns.