On Monday, November 26th, journalist Robert Novak’s article “Huckabee: the False Conservative” was published. The article painted Mike Huckabee according to the stereotype: as a socially conservative but fiscally liberal Republican. Some intelligent political observers, such as my good friend Philip, agreed with Novak’s tired and uninformed criticism.
Does Robert Novak have it right? Does Fred Thompson? (He accused Huckabee of being a “pro-life liberal”) Is Mike Huckabee a false conservative? In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”
Novak claims that serious Republicans know that Huckabee “is a high tax protectionist advocate of big government”. I consider myself a serious Republican and know no such thing. As a former resident of Arkansas during Governor Huckabee’s tenure I know that he pushed through the Arkansas Legislature the first major, broad-based tax cuts in state history – a $90 million tax relief package for Arkansas families. He also doubled the standard deduction to $2,000 for single taxpayers and $4,000 for those who are married. Some taxes he eliminated entirely: the marriage penalty, bracket creep caused by inflation, income tax on poor families, and capital gains on home sales. To encourage investment, he cut capital gains for both individuals and businesses. To help people better themselves, he provided tax credits for employee training and education. In total, he cut taxes and fees nearly 100 times during his ten-and-a-half years as Governor, saving the people of Arkansas almost $380 million.