You’ve seen the ads, you’ve heard the mantra. You know, in your heart, and without a doubt that Mike Huckabee is not an economic conservative.
At least, not in the way CfG’s Pat Toomey and Dick Armey want to define economic conservatism. And apparently, to hear Quinn Hillyer describe it, not the way Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, George Will, Phyllis Schlafly, Michael Reagan, Jed Babbin, Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Lopez, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, Ann Coulter, Bob Novak, Bob Dole, Laura Ingraham, David Limbaugh, Donald Lambro, Thomas Sowell, John Fund, the Wall Street Journal, Pete Wehner, David Frum, Deroy Murdock, Paul Mirengoff, John Hinderaker, Frank Gaffney, and quite a large number of bloggers want to define economic conservatism either.
In fact, to hear Fred Thompson say it, Huckabee is just a pro-life liberal.
Huckabee’s critics who charge that he is not an economic conservative with regards to his record in Arkansas are right, at least by their own shallow definition.
Here are some of the things in Huckabee’s gubernatorial record that the Club for Growth deems at odds with economic conservatism and to his discredit as a candidate for president:
-Increasing motor fuel taxes to help facilitate a voter-approved bond debt of a billion dollars to repair our crumbled interstate highways.
-Three increases in the sales tax combining to amount to 1.5 cents, to address court-ordered school reforms, meet general budget needs and enhance conservation and recreation.
-Confronted by an initiated act would have repealed sales taxes on groceries at state and local levels and not replaced the money, bankrupting cities and counties, Huckabee joined the rest of the government establishment in warning of the doom and persuading the voters to say no.
-Huckabee passively accepted some of that, backed into a bit of it and wholly embraced some. He openly resisted higher taxes at times, even typically grandstanding inanely at one point by setting up a spoofing Tax Me More Fund for people to send in their voluntary taxes.
In the end, though, state government grew by a larger percentage under him than Bill Clinton.
That’s not a bad thing. But the Club for Growth is positively salivating at the prospect of being able to tell Republicans that Huckabee is a more of a tax-and-spender than Clinton. source
Arkansas highways, deemed “worst in the nation” are better. Arkansas schools have improved. Arkansas children have health insurance. Arkansas prisons, while not up to Gitmo standards, are holding the bad guys. Huck left office with a budget surplus of close to a billion dollars, and approval ratings in the 60’s.
The quip that I often hear on the Rightosphere is that “Huckabee could have vetoed those tax increases.”
Sure. Most everyone knows by now that the Arkansas Legisture is governed by a Democrat majority. What most people do not know is that it takes only a simple majority to override a Governor’s veto – not the 2/3 majority required in most every other state. So, yes, Huckabee could have vetoed every single veto-proof spending bill that the Legislature sent him. Huckabee chose instead to govern as an economic pragmatist, and the people of Arkansas are the beneficiaries.
If Arkansas issues such as good highways, good schools, and healthy children, are a problem for Toomey and the Club for Growth, I am not surprised. Their march toward irrelevance continues unabated.
Dick Armey should know better. Quinn Hillyer has no excuse, he does know better. The remainder of the list of probably took the carefully framed CfG talking points on good faith.
But, if they did know these things, and they still disagree with the Tenth Amendment principles of responsible state governance, then they can go jump in the lake.
Filed under: club for growth, conservatism, Election 2008, Huckabee, News and politics | Tagged: Ann Coulter, Bob Dole, Bob Novak, Charles Krauthammer, club for growth, conservatism, David Frum, David Limbaugh, Deroy Murdock, Donald Lambro, Election 2008, Frank Gaffney, Fred Barnes, George Will, Huckabee, Jed Babbin, John Fund, John Hinderaker, Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Lopez, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Michael Reagan, News and politics, Pat Toomey, Paul Mirengoff, Peggy Noonan, Pete Wehner, Phyllis Schlafly, Quinn Hillyer, Rich Lowry, Rush Limbaugh, the Wall Street Journal, Thomas Sowell | 53 Comments »