Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The man behind the rhetoric - Mike Huckabee


I often hear conservatives tout for a Huckabee presidency because they say he is socially conservative, but it takes more than that to be president. Behind Huckabee’s great oratory skills lies a liberal agenda that will impede economic growth.

A good orator doesn’t necessarily mean a good president. Reagan was a good orator, and he was a good president, but Hitler was a good orator, and we know what he became.

Dr Phil states, “Past Behavior is indicative of future behavior” and Huckabee’s past behavior is not a pretty picture.”

The following is from Club for Growth.

Huckabee on Taxes

While Governor Huckabee deserves credit for his modest tax cuts at the beginning of his tenure, several Arkansas papers have documented the fallacy of Huckabee’s “94 tax cuts” line. Overall, Huckabee’s substantial tax hikes far surpassed his modest tax cuts, with the average tax burden increasing by a whopping 47% over his tenure

Immediately upon taking office, Governor Huckabee signed a sales tax hike in 1996
to fund the Games and Fishing Commission and the Department of Parks and
Tourism.
1. He supported an internet sales tax in 2001.
2. He publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002.
3. He signed bills raising taxes on gasoline (1999), cigarettes (2003), and a $5.25 per day bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001.
4. He proposed another sales take hike in 2002 to fund education improvements.
5. He opposed a congressional measure to ban internet taxes in 2003.
6. In 2004, he allowed a 17% sales tax increase to become law.

By the end of his ten-year tenure, Governor Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher
sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes
according to Americans for Tax Reform, garnering a lifetime grade of D from the
Cato Institute. While he is on record supporting making the Bush tax cuts
permanent, he joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies “toward the people at the top end of the economic scale,” even though
objective evidence demonstrates that the Bush tax cuts have actually shifted the tax
burden to higher income taxpayers

Finally, Governor Huckabee opposed further tax cuts at a 2005 gathering of Iowa
conservatives. On January 28, 2007, Governor Huckabee refused to pledge not to raise taxes if elected President, first on “Meet the Press” and then at the National Review Conservative Summit. The evidence suggests that his commitment to protecting taxpayers evidenced in his early gubernatorial years may be a thing of the past.

Spending – Huckabee is trying to outspend Bush

Under Governor Huckabee’s watch, state spending increased a whopping 65.3% from
1996 to 2004, three times the rate of inflation. The number of state government
workers rose 20% during his tenure, and the state’s general obligation debt shot up by
almost $1 billion, according to Americans for Tax Reform.40 The massive increase in
government spending is due in part to the number of new programs and expansion of
already existing programs initiated by Governor Huckabee, including ARKids First, a
multimillion-dollar government program to provide health coverage for thousands of
Arkansas’ children.

Huckabee is the only Republican presidential candidate to refuse to endorse
President Bush’s veto of a vastly expanded and expensive SCHIP program

Free Trade – Protectionist policies have always proved detrimental to a free market.

As Governor Huckabee fleshes out his thoughts on trade, his seemingly positive
record has taken a sharp turn for the worse. While he has not articulated a full-fledged trade policy, he has adopted protectionist rhetoric and suggested his opposition to the recent trade agreement between the United States and South Korea, (the largest free trade agreement since NAFTA that would eliminate over 90% of tariffs currently plaguing U.S. exports to South Korea).Instead of talking about the well-documented economic benefits of free trade, Huckabee
has taken to talking about “fair trade,” while focusing on what he believes to be the
negative consequences of free trade. Make no mistake about it: These are not the words of a free trader.

Entitlements

Governor Huckabee’s support for the 2003 Republican initiated
Medicare prescription drug plan, a huge unfunded liability shouldered by
taxpayers across America.

Regulation

1. Raised the minimum wage in April 2006 from $5.15 to $6.25 an hour and
encouraged Congress to take the same initiative on a national level, a proposal that President Bush and most congressional GOP members oppose
2.Sought to take revenue from his tax hike proposal to be used on economic
development projects in 2002
3 Threatened to investigate price-gouging after 9/11 if gasoline prices went up too high
4 Ordered regulatory agencies in Arkansas to investigate price-gouging in the nursing home industry
5 Signed a bill into law that would prevent companies from raising their prices a
mere 10% ahead of a natural disaster; services like roof repair and tree removal
were targeted

School Choice

Huckabee’s education proposals put greater emphasis on
government intervention in the education system instead of calling for greater choice and competition. According to the Sioux City Journal, “Huckabee said he would make arts and music education tested curriculum and provide federal funds to do so.”

Governor Huckabee’s record on pro-growth, free-market policies is a mixed bag, with pro-growth positions on trade and tort reform, mixed positions on school choice, political speech, and entitlement reform, and profoundly anti-growth positions on taxes, spending,and government regulation.

2 comments:

Rybu said...

Be careful of lumping in gas tax hikes with the rest of your list. Gas tax is a USER fee. Being involved in transportation planning I always like to point out the subtle yet important difference.

Unless their are alternatives for fully funding the nations crumbling transportation infrastructure the cost has to be incurred somewhere. With more fuel efficient vehicles and gas "taxes" often not being indexed based on the price has caused a huge funding gap.

OK I'll get off my transportation kick.

Joseph said...

wow, great post. very informative on huckabee. a lot of those faults you mentioned were things that i thought i had finally found the right guy for, such as opening up the free market.

 
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