In a recent article titled “Mike Huckabee is a Fiscal Conservative,” Dick Morris has provided a brief but effective rebuttal to the criticism that Huckabee is weak on issues of fiscal conservatism.
An excerpt: “A recent column by Bob Novak excoriated Huckabee for a “47 percent increase in state tax burden.” But during Huckabee’s years in office, total state tax burden — all 50 states combined — rose by twice as much: 98 percent, increasing from $743 billion in 1993 to $1.47 trillion in 2005.
In Arkansas, the income tax when he took office was 1 percent for the poorest taxpayers and 7 percent for the richest, exactly where it stood when he left the statehouse 11 years later. But, in the interim, he doubled the standard deduction and the child care credit, repealed capital gains taxes for home sales, lowered the capital gains rate, expanded the homestead exemption and set up tax-free savings accounts for medical care and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.
Most impressively, when he had to pass an income tax surcharge amid the drop in revenues after Sept. 11, 2001, he repealed it three years later when he didn’t need it any longer.
He raised the sales tax one cent in 11 years and did that only after the courts ordered him to do so. (He also got voter approval for a one-eighth-of-one-cent hike for parks and recreation.)
He wants to repeal the income tax, abolish the IRS and institute a “fair tax” based on consumption, and opposes any tax increase for Social Security.”
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed that Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney’s campaigns have both been crowing that Huckabee is just another tax-and-spend liberal who took glee in hiking the taxes of Arkansans up to their armpits. Now you know that isn’t true. And in just the last couple of days Romney’s people have begun chanting in unison that a vote for Huckabee is a vote for Hillary, because Romney is the only Republican who can beat Hillary. But that’s just the desperate cry for help of a campaign that has realized that they can’t win on merit. It’s a scare tactic, and it’s doomed to fail.