Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mike Huckabee On Fox News Sunday

These interviewers bring up the same issues every time. Chris Wallace has already interviewed Huckabee twice. But, here comes the same o’ stuff: “The Club for Growth… “ Surely, you are all on the Internet enough to know of the Club for Growth’s campaign against Mike Huckabee, that’s been going on since he announced.

Hey, I’m a fiscal conservative and so is Mike Huckabee. We don’t advocate spending, even in a state, which is more than necessary and serves only to tamp economic vitality. The only problem here relative to economic vitality is the fact that economic vitality is not The Club for Growth’s concern. That is clear from the nature of their campaign and the identity and affiliation of their largest contributors.

For example, The Club for Growth criticizes Mike Huckabee because while he was governor of Arkansas, fuel taxes were raised to rebuild a dilapidated highway system. And, the state Supreme Court ordered that something be done about education funding. Huckabee was not satisfied merely to increase education funding, but imposed standards whereby improvements would be measured, and measured improvements happened. Anyone who is concerned about economic vitality knows that you won’t optimize it with a lousy highway system or a lousy education system, Supreme Court rulings or not.

No, The Club for Growth’s campaign is a mercenary one, first instigated by the fact that one of its largest contributors is an old adversary of Huckabee’s. And more recently we have seen that another of its largest contributors is a Mitt Romneyite. Besides the obvious Romney interest in Iowa, multi multi millionaire investment capitalist Romney is the favorite of the high-roller class. There’s nothing wrong with that. But most of these folks have tax preparers and lobbyists who work full-time to shield assets from the income tax, which is why the most wealthy carry a smaller percentage of tax burden, relative to us po’ folks who don’t earn 7 figures. Therefore, these people don’t like The Fair Tax that Huckabee promotes. With the Fair Tax, we would file for and pay no income taxes, no capital gains, no corporate taxes, no inheritance taxes…nothing. Rather, taxes would only be assessed at the point of purchase of any new product. Imagine the tax on John Edwards’ 25,000 square foot home, and on every other daily luxury that are routinely “written off.” Eeek!

There’s a wealth of ignorance afloat on this matter, which I suppose is no great surprise among a people that has only considered what advantages it can angle on April 15, which Huckabee says he’d like to see as just another pretty spring day. The last time I heard Huckabee challenged on The Fair Tax, it was with the supposition that only the poor and the wealthy would benefit, not the vast middle class. Horsepucky! Have you ever noticed how no matter how many tens of thousands of dollars you earn, you manage to spend more at every level? It doesn’t change, no matter how many millions you make. And more spending would be taxed more.

Under The Fair Tax, if you want to shelter your money from taxes, YOU SAVE AND INVEST IT! : An essential art that many Americans have long forgotten. We may only buy what we need, but the more we make, the more we NEED! Speaking of helping the middle class, what do you think it will do for middle-class opportunity to haul back into the country, the trillions of dollars worth of industry and commerce that has fled offshore to avoid America’s onerous taxation of business?

From where I sit today, I just hope that most people will do their own investigating on the Internet, rather than swallowing these 3rd-party words whole. It’s all there, and Huckabee has nothing to hide. I was disappointed today to even hear from George F. Will on ABC’s "This Week" say dismissive things about Huckabee. When the question came up about whether the criticism would hurt Huckabee with conservatives, Will only said that conservatives wouldn’t like it when they hear that he favored giving scholarships to the children of illegal aliens or that he wants to have a 23% (there was emphasis on the number) national sales tax.

Now, George Will is an extraordinarily bright and educated man and writer. I started watching Will’s writing as a teenager. He’s not a shallow reactionary sentimental conservative. He knows and understands the rest of the story in these cases. Shouldn’t even the mention of a 23% sales tax (Yes, it’s high. That’s how much tax America already pays in income, imbedded business and other taxes) also mention that entails the complete elimination of other federal taxes, never mind specifying the breadth of social benefit that poses? And, Huckabee opposed the withholding of a specific scholarship from applicants who were the children of illegal aliens who had qualified in Arkansas school systems. Huckabee says that children shouldn’t be punished for the earlier crimes of parents, and asked if we want a permanent low-wage potential tax taker or an educated and productive tax payer? Yes, if your most urgent priority is to punish illegal aliens even via their children, or you prefer your big-dollar tax evasions, perhaps Huckabee isn’t your guy. But, avail yourself of the facts, not just the questions.

And George Will knows better, so one is left to speculate about what animated his comments. Based on many years of familiarity with Will’s writings, my first speculation might be that Will, the son of educators who earned graduate degrees at Oxford and Princeton and taught in Universities before passing nearly 35 years as a Washington DC-based writer and commentator, does not exactly identify with the Southern evangelical. George Will has written columns about the vulgarity of the mass-abortion culture. But, I’ve also seen and read his dismissal of people who don’t hew to a contemporary pop naturalist dogma. Will’s too smart to be concerned about Huckabee’s conservative credentials, especially relative to the other candidates in the field. The idea is laughable. And Will isn’t a “round ‘em up and deport ‘em all (and their families, too)” or a fan of a manipulable income tax system. Maybe, it’s just a simple provincial, “he’s not my kind of people.”

As Huckabee has said, it makes it a lot easier on him that he just says what he believes and doesn’t have to remember what he said before or what an advisor told him to say. But, I’m certain Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson will make him have to say it over, and over, and over…


Ian said...

Mike Huckabee is an adroit public speaker. He communicates his message in life-like, cogent terms, with compelling examples like the story he told (at the Ames Straw Poll) of what his then-11-yo daughter entered into the "Comments" section of a Visitors Book after visiting the Yad Vashem holocaust museum: “Why didn't somebody do something?” Very effective.

Huckabee is all about calling his listeners to "do something," to awaken them to their own empowerment, and summon them to action in order that "Main Street," and not "Wall Street," will prevail in guarding the values and beliefs upon which the Republic was founded.

Huckabee puts his listeners at ease, and reassures them, articulating clear concepts in a natural, easy style (no doubt something well-cultivated as a pastor). He’s not as “mechanically-scripted” as Romney, nor angry or demanding, like a Ron Paul, and his large brown eyes, peering through a humble demeanor, draw a striking contrast to a unconvincing, tired-looking Thompson. One can easily imagine sitting comfortably with Mike over a cup of coffee at the Main Street Cafe.

Most importantly, perhaps, Huckabee convinces many that he is ONE with the FairTax grassroots movement. While many - like Romney, and others, who are invested in the current income tax system - seek to demagog the well-researched FairTax plan, its acceptance in the professional / academic community continues to grow. Renown economist Laurence Kotlikoff believes that failure to enact the FairTax - choosing instead to try to "flatten" what he deems to be a non-flattenable income tax system - will eventuate into an irrevocable economic meltdown because of the hidden aspects of the current system that make political accountability impossible.

Romney's recent WEAK response to FairTax questioning on “This Week with Geo. Stephanopoulos” drew a sharper contrast between Huckabee and all other presidential front-runners who will not embrace it. Huckabee understands that what's wrong with the income tax can't be fixed with "a tap of the hammer, nor a twist of the screwdriver." That his opponents cling to the destructive Tax Code, the IRS, preserving political power of granting tax favors at continued cost to - and misery of - American families, invigorates his campaign's raison d'etre.

Of the FairTax, Huckabee asserts that it's...

• SIMPLE, easy to understand
• EFFICIENT, inexpensive to comply with and doesn't cause less-than-optimal business decisions for tax minimization purposes
• FAIR, FLAT, and FAMILY FRIENDLY, loophole-free, and everyone pays their share
• LOW TAX RATE is achieved by broad base with no exclusions
• PREDICTABLE, doesn't change, so financial planning is possible
• UNINTRUSIVE, doesn't intrude into our personal affairs or limit our liberty
• VISIBLE, not hidden from the public in tax-inflated prices or otherwise
• PRODUCTIVE, rewards - rather than penalizes - work and productivity

A detailed benefits analysis of the plan (from The FairTax Book) explains Huckabee's ardent advocacy:

For individuals:
• No more tax on income - make as much as you wish
• You receive your full paycheck - no more deductions
• You pay the tax when you buy "at retail" - not "used"
• No more double taxation (e.g. like on current Capital Gains)
• Reduction of "pre-FairTaxed" retail prices by 20%-30%
• Adding back 29.9% FairTax maintains current price levels
• FairTax would constitute 23% portion of new prices
• Every household receives a monthly check, or "pre-bate"
• "Prebate" is "advance tax payback" for monthly consumption to poverty level
• FairTax's "prebate" ensures progressivity, poverty protection
Finally, citizens are knowledgeable of what their tax IS
• Elimination of "parasitic" Income Tax industry
• Those possessing illicit forms of income will ALSO pay the FairTax
• Households have more disposable income to purchase goods
• Savings is bolstered with reduction of interest rates

For businesses:
• Corporate income and payroll taxes revoked under FairTax
• Business compensated for collecting tax at "cash register"
• No more tax-related lawyers, lobbyists on company payrolls
No more embedded (hidden) income/payroll taxes in prices
• Reduced costs. Competition - not tax policy - drives prices
• Off-shore "tax haven" headquarters can now return to U.S
No more "favors" from politicians at expense of taxpayers
• Resources go to R&D and study of competition - not taxes
• Global "free (and equitable) trade" becomes possible for currently-disadvanted U.S. exports
• U.S. exports increase their share of foreign markets

For the country:
• 7% - 13% economic growth projected in the first year of the FairTax
Jobs return to the U.S.
• Foreign corporations "set up shop" in the U.S.
• Tax system trends are corrected to "enlarge the pie"
• Larger economic "pie," means thinner tax rate "slices"
• Initial 23% portion of price is pressured downward as "pie" increases
No more "closed door" tax deals by politicians and business
• FairTax sets new global standard. Other countries will follow

Passionately supporting FairTax, Huckabee understands that, if elected President, Congress will have to present the bill for his signature. His call to action goes beyond his candidacy: Main Street will have to demand that their legislators deliver the bill.

(Permission is granted to reproduce, in whole or part. - Ian)

Larry Perrault said...


Obviously a full presentation of The Fair Tax. I support its objectives and its proposed benefits whole heartedly. I began supporting a national retail sales tax over ten years ago. Today, I have one consideration that I hope (assume?) that assiduous attention would be paid to: being as certain as possible (every system will have cheating' especially the current one)that the tax is assessed on goods shipped into the country.

No, I don't lay awake at night worrying that the federal government won't have the money it needs to keep America healthy.:-)

My concern would be that American commerce does not stand at a stark disadvantage and suffer in the market for relatively expensive items. Especially in the Internet age and on physically small items, there will be offshore interest offering products at substantially lower cost.

Again, I assume the system could not be implemented without close attention. But with that consideration, I'm all for it.