"HABITUAL TAX HIKER" MIKE HUCKABEE HITS NEW HAMPSHIRE
Mike Huckabee loves touting fiscal conservatism on the campaign trail. Well, we've got to hand it to the Huckster - he has a lot of guts. Huckabee talks about his thrifty habits while brazenly spending almost $500,000 in taxpayer dollars on his plane and repeatedly raising taxes for families in Arkansas. Huckabee's sales tax increase and new taxes on gas, and cigarettes have drawn the ire of real fiscal conservatives, earning him a D grade on fiscal policy from the CATO Institute and the label of a "habitual tax hiker" from the Club for Growth.
HUCKABEE: A RHETORICAL CONSERVATIVE
**Huckabee: Democrats Raise
Mike Huckabee said Republicans stood for freedom, while Democrats stood for control. "If we make more than they think we ought to make, they'll raise taxes and take care of that," he said. [The Charlotte Observer, 3/3/06]
**Huckabee Preaching to Voters
in Iowa: Claimed to Be Anti-Tax.
Speaking to the Iowa Christian Alliance, Mike Huckabee talked about his anti-tax views. "I have a feeling most of you believe that the people who work and earn money and have to pay taxes, somehow ought to get to keep more of that money than a government who didn't work for it and who will take more of it and more of it and more if it if they think they can get away with it," Huckabee said. "And it always has occurred to me that the people who earn the money probably will do a better job of spending it than the people that didn't earn it. That's why taxes don't need to go up just because they can and because somebody has a spending habit that you're supposed to be able to fix." [Remarks at Iowa Christian Coalition, 3/6/06]
VERY VERY TAXING: HUCKABEE HAS A TAX AND SPEND FEVER
**1996: Huckabee Pushed Through
Sales Tax Increases.
In 1996, Huckabee campaigned for a constitutional amendment to establish a one eighth percentage point sales tax increase for conservation programs, which voters approved. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 1/19/06]
**1999: Huckabee Said Time
to "Celebrate" after Signing Gas Tax Increase.
On July 1, 1999, a 3-cent fuel tax and a 2-cent diesel tax began to be phased in to help finance Governor Mike Huckabee's road program. "What a tremendous opportunity we have today to celebrate," Huckabee said after signing the legislation. [The Commercial Appeal, 7/1/99, The Associated Press, 4/2/99]
**2002: Huckabee Proposed
Sales Tax Nine Days after Winning Election.
According to an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Nine days after the election, barely enough time to pick up the yard signs, and already the state's newly reelected governor and former fiscal conservative Mike Huckabee, has proposed...drum roll, please...a sales tax increase!" According to the Associated Press, Huckabee "shocked" legislators with his proposal to raise the sales tax by five-eights of a percent. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 11/15/02, The Associated Press, 11/15/02]
**2003: Huckabee Signed Cigarette
Tax into Law.
In 2003, Governor Mike Huckabee signed into law a 25-cent tax on packs of cigarettes and a 7-cent tax on other tobacco products. [The Associated Press, 5/31/03]
**2004: Largest Tax Increase
in Arkansas History - $377 Million - Passed On Huckabee's Watch.
On Mike Huckabee's watch, the largest tax increase in state history, $377 million, was passed. The 7/8-cent increase took Arkansas' sales tax rate to 6 cents on the dollar, not including local taxes. [The Associated Press, 2/6/04]
**2005: Huckabee Opposed
Sales Tax Exemption.
During the 2005 session, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee made it clear he opposed sales tax exemption bills because they would hurt an already tight state budget. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 1/19/06]
THE RESULTS ARE IN: HUCKABEE HEARTS TAXES
**Huckabee A "Habitual Tax-Hiker."
According to information from Americans for Tax Reform and posted on Club for Growth's website, Mike Huckabee was a "habitual tax-hiker." He signed a 3-cent gas tax increase in 1999, called for a state sales tax hike in 2002, signed a 25-cent cigarette tax hike in 2003 and allowed a major tax hike package to pass in 2004. [Club for Growth, 2/27/06]
**Grover Norquist: Huckabee
Would Have Problems Winning Support Since He Raised Taxes.
Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist said that Huckabee "would have a serious problem" getting his support in a White House bid since he raised taxes. [The Hotline, 5/13/05]
**National Review: Huckabee
According to National Review's Tim Carney, "Huckabee is certainly not alone as a Republican governor eager to raise taxes, but his tax-and-spend fever has effects in Washington..." [National Review, 5/19/03]
**Cato Institute Gave Huckabee
A "D" Grade for Fiscal Policy.
The Cato Institute gave Mike Huckabee a "D" grade, the 3rd worst rating among non-freshman state executives in its Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors in 2004. [www.cato.org, 3/1/05]
**Director of Federal Affairs
at Club for Growth: Republicans Shouldn't Elect Tax Hiker Huckabee as President.
"I've been screaming at the top of my lungs at the Club for Growth blog about Huckabee's poor record on taxes while conservatives have been extremely nice to him...," said Andy Roth, director of federal affairs at the Club for Growth. "Just so you know, if Huckabee continues to get good press, I'm only going to get louder. Republicans shouldn't be (electing) a tax hiker as president." [hotline blog, national journal.com, 3/27/06]
**Arkansas Leader Editorial:
Huckabee A "Tax-And-Spend" Politician:
According to an editorial in the Arkansas Leader, "Regardless of his (Huckabee's) rhetoric at Memphis and elsewhere in his travels, his record as a tax-and-spend, big-government politician won't help in a party that is now captive of the far right. His personal story, unlike the prisoner-of-war John McCain's, is not compelling: a Baptist preacher who goes into politics and melts off a hundred pounds of baby fat under medical-school supervision." [Arkansas Leader, 3/15/06]
**Arkansas Leader Editorial:
Few Knew at SRLC That Huck Raised Taxes on Working Families.
While Mike Huckabee touted himself as a fiscal conservative at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, according to an editorial in the Arkansas Leader, Mike Huckabee implemented "a string of tax increases largely on Arkansas working families that far offset the little income tax cut: three sales tax increases, expansion of the sales tax to many services, an income tax surcharge, gasoline taxes, diesel taxes, cigarette and tobacco taxes and a drivers license increase. The delegates may not have known that he helped arrange the largest expansions of government-paid medical care in Arkansas history (largely paid by U.S. taxpayers), compiled a larger general-obligation debt than all previous governors combined, increased the number of government employees by 20 percent (to 52,440 in January) in only nine and a half years and conducted a liberal policy of criminal pardons and commutations." [Arkansas Leader, 3/15/06]