Thursday, May 28, 2009

What can we expect under a Mike Huckabee Presidency?

It's a cool January day in our nations capitol. Snow had fallen earlier, leaving just a dusting for the throng of people gathered. There's not the record amount of people we saw last go around, but they are still out in high numbers and showing their support. Most have been waiting for this day for a long time. This day marks hope and a future for the republican party. The date is January 20th, 2012, and Mike Huckabee is ready for the biggest day of his life. Chief Justice John Roberts isn't worried about his last go at this thing and executes flawlessly. Mike Huckabee has just been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. 

His Fiscal Policy

Some ultra-conservatives are worried the Mike Huckabee isn't who he says he is as far as taxes go. He's been labeled by some as a "fiscal-moderate" and only a true conservative on the social issues. He did cut taxes 90+ times as Governor of Arkansas, but, as his critics say "most were very small" and can't outweigh the 21 times when he added significant tax hikes. I won't be the first to say this, but this doesn't even begin to tell the story of what actually happened. As any knowledgeable person knows: taxes are necessary. It is unfortunate, yes, but we simply must help the government pay for certain things. Overall, Mike did a great job of cutting taxes. There were some situations that were out of his control. For starters: he entered his tenure with a 200 million dollar deficit. Some taxes were also out of his control, as Arkansas Health Care Association President Jim Cooper put it: "the private nursing home tax was necessary in order to avert future huge tax increases as a result of years of mismanagement." Mike Huckabee was dubbed a "friend of the taxpayer" by the Americans for Tax Reform for his cut in statewide spending. Mike also signed the first broad based tax cut in Arkansas history. The Arkansas Democrat Gazette gives Mike credit for the biggest tax cut in Arkansas History. No doubt about it-- he's a tax-cuttin' republican from head to toe. 

If you're not familiar with the Fair Tax, get used to it. I strongly encourage you to read Mike's book "Do the Right Thing." If you don't have time for the whole thing, at least read Chapter 10, "The Fairness and Force of the Fair tax". Here's a small taste of what you can expect, from 

What is the FairTax plan?

The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax  administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.

The FairTax:

  • Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks
  • Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions
  • Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
  • Allows American products to compete fairly
  • Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
  • Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
  • Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
  • Abolishes the IRS
That's just a small summary. The plan was created when a group of economic scholars from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Boston College, among others, came together to try and create a new tax code, but weren't planning on it being quite so radical. There are no doubt many critics of the FairTax. In fact, in a 2008 Republican Primary debate, Mitt Romney took a shot at Huckabee by downplaying the FairTax, saying he's not sure it's as good as it sounds. Mike responded, "Actually, it's even better and more effective than I had time to describe." I could throw out statistic after statistic of positive consequences from the FairTax, but I don't have the time myself to do so. If you haven't already, I encourage you (after you are through reading of course!) to check out and familiarize yourself with the FairTax. 

Mike has a successful tenure as Governor of Arkansas to boast as  his resume. Remember the 200 million dollar deficit I alluded to earlier? When Mike left office, that had turned into an 850 million dollar surplus. During his tenure as Governor, welfare enrollment decline by nearly half. During his last year in office, the states economy grew 4.4%, easily beating the national average. Mike knows how to manage the economy, and knows that excessive spending isn't the answer. 

Social Policy 

Mike, as far as social issues go, is about as conservative as it gets. Being a former Baptist Minister, Mike feels very strongly about Social Issues, as I'm sure you know by now. His push for the "Sanctity of Life" is one of his bigger platforms. One of his more famous responses during debate came after Wolf Blitzer asked Mike if he believed in Evolution. Mike responded:

"I believe there is a God who was active in the creation process. Now, how did he do it, and when did he do it, and how long did he take? I don't honestly know, and I don't think knowing that would make me a better or a worse president ... if anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it – I don't know how far they will march that back...And in the words of Martin Luther "Here I stand, I can do no other. And I will not take that back."

Mike's response became one of the more famous responses of any debate and has millions of hits on YouTube. Mike, though very capable of being President, is not at all shy of his Christian beliefs. Even liberal democrats respect him for that, and respected that answer. Mike noted in his book that other candidates on stage leaned over and said, "I believe exactly the same thing." 

Mike is, of course, opposed to abortion and stem cell research. Both of these highlight Mike's push for the "Sanctity of Life." As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, he is also opposed to Gun Control. Mike is also strongly opposed to Homosexual Marriage. He believes that marriage is an institution and not to be mettled with. If you allow homosexual marriage, why not polygamy? After he is elected President, Mike immediately begins to push for legislation in favor of his own views and strongly supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Mike is the social conservative's dream come true and probably is in line with over 90% of the evangelical Christians in this country. 

Other Issues 

If you've been a Huckabee follower for a long time, you probably know about his past history with health issues. He used to be extremely overweight and had many health problems. As it stands now, he might be one of the most in shape politicians on the planet. Oh, Barack Obama plays basketball? Mike Huckabee runs marathons. He even penned a book called "Quit Digging your grave with a knife and fork" geared toward healthy eating. Barack Obama might advocate a government overhaul, which would include paying for morbidly obese people when they become ill and help with heart disease. You might say Mike's system is a tad more effective, as he wants to end heart disease and stop people from becoming morbidly obese. Hard to beat that from a health or an economic standpoint. AARP acknowledged Mike as a "Health Crusader." He also signed a law which mandates annual Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements for all public school children. The results were reported to parents and information was passed out, as well as encouraged in the schools, on how to eat right and be active. You could say Mike has the best healthcare system in the world-- prevent the sickness. 

Immigration is an issue that has got "lost in translation" during this time of our bad economy, but still an issue that needs addressing.(Quick side note: this is another positive attribute of the FairTax. No underground economy. Illegals could not evade taxes because they would be forced to purchase items.) Although he does not support an end to birthright citizenship, he does advocate building a 700 mile border fence and policing, but not militarize, the border. He supports increases in visas for highly skilled and highly educated applicants. This would be a highly effective form of immigration control. 

Mike did an excellent job as Governor of Arkansas. I would expect no less as President of the United States. In 2005, Time Magazine name Mike as one of the 5 Best Governors in the Nation and noted: "Huckabee has approached his states' troubles with energy and innovation." Mike Huckabee can bring that to the office of the President. He can be that shining light in dark times. He can roll up his sleeves and get things done. He can re-unite a party...and a nation. That's why on that cold, January day, I will have hope and joy for the future of this nation. I believe in this nation. It doesn't matter if you're democrat or republican. So you and Mike disagree on abortion? Or gay marriage? Who cares? Heck, even I disagree with some of Mike's policies. But I'm voting for him because I believe in him. I believe in what he's done, what he's doing and what he will do. 


  1. Good article. It gives a well-written, concise introduction to Huckabee.