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Huckabee, the only whole-hearted, red-blooded, card-carrying economic conservative February 20, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in conservative, economy, income tax, John McCain, liberals, Mike Huckabee, news, political economy, politics, presidential election, Republicans, research, taxes.
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As reported by Fox News, Huckabee said, “I’m more into miracles than math…. Miracles, I understand. Math is a little harder. People have said, well, you’ve got to have anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of all the rest of the delegates. That’s assuming no other delegates leave the people they’ve supported so far. … But as we all know, a candidate can say one word, do one thing, have one particular moment that can end his whole career so, you know, I’m not saying I’m just driving behind (McCain) at the NASCAR race waiting for him to lose a tire. But crazier things have happened.”

Any genuinely religious American understands something about Huckabee that liberals cannot. Huckabee believes God still works providential miracles. No doubt he is praying a lot, working a lot–that is the campaign trial, and expecting a lot. That is what people of faith do.

Although a Christian, I suspect Huckabee would represent the moral and religious interest of all people of religion. That was the vision of the Christian people who founded our nation and wrote our Constitutions.

If conservatives support McCain and he wins, I think they will later regret it. McCain’s rise to prominence is the result the good old boy network of the elites like Bush. As revealed by Joel Skousen, McCain is the insiders’ boy. His sudden rise to front runner status also came from the liberal Republicans who originally supported Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani is a liberal. In A Skeptical Look at Presidential Campaigns, I showed why McCain is a liberal as well.

If McCain becomes president, he will be singing long live Bush’s foreign policies. Between sipping champaign and chanting with committed slurs ‘Hail to my buddy Clinton and his centrist liberalism,’ he may maintain what social conservative programs exist only because the elites in power demand it. Yet, what I hear when listening to McCain is Reaganesque rhetoric but hints of Nixon-Schwarzenagger liberalism. I wonder if McCain is good environmentalist too. He is certainly as opposed to pro-life and evangelical leaders like Dobson as Nixon was and Schwarzenagger.

That is why Dobson loves Mike Huckabee. He is a whole-hearted, red-blooded, card-carrying conservative. But is that the reason President Bush favors McCain?

According to the Washington Post, President Bush said, “If John is the nominee, he has got some convincing to do to convince people that he is a solid conservative, and I’ll be glad to help him if he is the nominee…. But he is a conservative. Look, he is very strong on national defense. He is tough fiscally. He believes the tax cuts ought to be permanent. He is pro-life. His principles are sound and solid, as far as I’m concerned.” (emphasis mine.)

The fact that California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed McCain is evidence enough that Bush is blowing party smoke. Schwarzenegger’s endorsement proves liberal Republicans who are pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-big government see McCain as one of their own.

Remember, Bush also told Hilary that she would win her presidential race. Is she actually a good conservative too? She seems to want everyone to believe she is as conservatively centrist as her husband was. Congressional voting records don’t lie; none of them is conservative not Hilary, Bill, or John.

Besides, it was McCain himself who said Bush’s tax cuts were the opposite of what America needed. If he were a fiscal conservative like the insiders at the Club of Growth, he would wouldn’t have been too worried or upset by the cut in the redundant welfare programs. Given his liberal sympathies, does he now oppose economic growth policies that have helped spurred corporate profits to their all time high while labor compensation have descended to their all time lows?

Bless the regulated ‘free’ market but Republicans ought to help Democrats regulate the ‘free’ market towards higher labor compensation so laborers can afford Congress’ inflation of the costs of living. And, don’t forget, liberal Democrats are in Congress too.

Okay! Enough with my free market peeve.

So how can we know Huckabee is genuine economic conservative? Some argued that Huckabee in not a fiscal conservative. Among journalists, WSJ’s John Fund accused Gov. Hackabee of being a liberal big government tax raiser. Journalist Lucas Roebuck convincingly refutes Fund’s unfounded criticism. First, he points out that Fund uses the accusations of others. Second, the taxes referred to were taxes Arkansas voters passed to increase funds needed for programs like road repair. Otherwise, Huckabee worked to reduce taxes.

“Fund, quoting Arkansas Business scribe Blant Hurt, [also] points out that Arkansas spending rose faster than the inflation rate and sales taxes were raised during Huckabee’s tenure. Both of these facts are true, but the 1 cent sales tax increase was the result of an Arkansas Supreme Court order in the Lake View school funding lawsuit that Huckabee fought, but lost – another fact Fund failed to mention,” according to Roebuck.

According to Dick Morris, when Huckabee took office the income tax was 1 percent for the poorest taxpayers and 7 percent for the richest and when he left the statehouse 11 years later it was still 1 percent for the poorest and 7 percent for the richest. But, in the interim, he doubled the standard deduction and the child care credit, repealed capital gains taxes for home sales, lowered the capital gains rate, expanded the homestead exemption and set up tax-free savings accounts for medical care and college tuition.

The Bushenomics Club of Growth gave Huckabee and his fiscal record as governor the most damning critique of all. It has stirred much controversy. A fairly comprehensive counter-argument was posted on the CafeMom blog. One of the problems I have with Club of Growth’s analysis is the inability to check some of their references in order to understand what their claims actually mean. For example, they claim that Arkansas sales taxes increased 37 percent while Huckabee was in office. Their source was American Tax Reform research, which is nowhere to found. Maybe the deleted from their website after Huckabee signed the pledge against raising new taxes. Whatever the case, Morris says Huckabee only raised sales taxes 1 cent, which implies that 37 percent represents only 1 cent.

Huckabee no doubt raised taxes 37 percent over an 11 year period after he had lowered them by much more. What is not mentioned is how much that meant dollars? In 1997 alone, he cut $80 million. He increased spending by 50-65 percent during the same period after he reduced spending by much more. Again, what did it mean in dollars? According to Jennifer Rubin Americans for Tax Reform applauded Huckabee for cutting $143 million in 2001 and $160 in 2002. According to the post at CafeMom, the arguments presented by the Club for Growth and Cato were selectively misleading—another word is intentional deceiving—by leaving out reasons for Huckabee’s supposedly liberal fiscal policies. For example, they failed to take into account constitutional laws requiring an annual balanced budget, court order requiring increased school funding requiring additional taxes, the repeal of certain sales taxes after three years, gas taxes for roads raised by voter preference rather than imposed, total yearly tax increases at annual inflation rates, increases in population requiring more teachers and other state employees, new programs to help the poor and uninsured poor children, and a number items conveniently ignored by those critics. According to one comparative analysis, the over-all increase of tax during Huckabee’s 11 years as the state executive was nearly half as large as all other states including Mitt Romney’s state.

My overall impression about Huckabee is that he is an innovative, responsible, and economic conservative who would find ways to improve our national economy while also improving the financial status of the poor.

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Comments»

1. coollikeme - February 20, 2008

Mike Huckabee do us a favor and drop out.

2. President Bush » Huckabee, the only whole-hearted, red-blooded, card-carrying … - February 20, 2008

[…] Daniel Downs wrote an interesting post today on Huckabee, the only whole-hearted, red-blooded, card-carrying …Here’s a quick excerptAccording to the Washington Post, President Bush said, “If John is the nominee, he has got some convincing to do to convince people that he is a solid conservative, and I’ll be glad to help him if he is the nominee… … […]

3. Taxes » Huckabee, the only whole-hearted, red-blooded, card-carrying … - February 20, 2008

[…] Daniel Downs wrote an interesting post today on Huckabee, the only whole-hearted, red-blooded, card-carrying …Here’s a quick excerptHackabee of being a liberal big government tax raiser. Journalist Lucas Roebuck convincingly refutes Fund’s unfounded criticism. First, he points out that Fund uses the accusations of others. Second, the taxes referred to were taxes … […]

4. Daniel Downs - February 20, 2008

McCain does not represent all Republicans. Mike Huckabee stay in to the end.

5. senior72 - March 14, 2008

mccain is an elderly man. he could go at any moment and put huckabee into the driver’s seat.

6. Daniel Downs - March 15, 2008

Senior is that a personal reflecting your own state of affairs? Just kidding! I agree Huckabee should be in the oval office, but other oldies-and-goldies have been president and most of them accomplished the job without kicking the bucket.


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