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Trouble For 'Tax Hike Mike'?

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a GOP White House hopeful, is trying to appeal to those in his party who are obsessed with reducing taxes by touting his embrace of the Fair Tax, which would replace federal income and payroll taxes with a type of national sales tax.

But as Huckabee rises in some polls, critics increasingly are focused on the other part of his tax record: his embrace of various tax hikes as governor of Arkansas. The Club for Growth, an anti-tax conservative group, has set up a site called "Tax Hike Mike" that outlines his support of measures such as raising gas taxes, which Huckabee defended as important to improving the state's roads. This week, they've added a video of Huckabee publicly advocating one of the tax increases.

The issue could be a critical one as Huckabee aims to keep rising in polls. The former governor has not only called for the Fair Tax, but also signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to raise taxes while in office, which Mitt Romney has signed but several of the other top GOP candidates have refused to embrace. Huckabee is alone among the leading GOP candidates to make the Fair Tax a big part of his campaign, while other candidates have embraced renewing tax cuts President Bush has passed while in office.

But backing tax increases has long been controversial for Republicans, and it illustrates a key difference between Huckabee and Romney. Both served as governor of states with heavily-Democratic legislatures, but Romney carefully avoided publicly backing tax raises and vetoed a tax increase in a universal health care plan he signed last year in Massachusetts.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  November 12, 2007; 1:45 PM ET
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I am on board with the Fair Tax and am grateful it is starting to get due attention......but no way I vote for Huckabee on this issue alone.

I thought Mike's attempt to help Rudy on the Bible question was condescending. I do not want a preacher of the United States. I want a president. If we go by religious values alone, Jimmy Carter beats Regan hands down. Mike appears to be a nice guy, so does Jimmy Carter. Google Huckabee and ethics or Huckabee and Jesus juice.

A Baptist minister, Huckabee singled out Holt, also a Christian. Said the governor: "I drink a different kind of Jesus juice."

I am not a Huckabee basher, but he is not presidential caliber. My first choice is Newt Gingrich (possibly someones VP?),coming in second are Romney and Tancredo.

Those who want Huckabee because they drink his kind of "Jesus juice" really need to look beyond that. Do your own real homework and do not be taken in by this guy.

Posted by: rayfinn | November 30, 2007 3:22 AM | Report abuse

If so-called "Tax Hike Mike" succeeds in passing the FairTax, we will not have to worry any more about tax hikes because they will be glaringly visible, and politicians will shun them.

The FairTax is designed to assure that the federal government receives exactly the same revenue that is currently brought in by the taxes it replaces. Once the FairTax is enacted, the hidden taxes that politicians love (such as business income taxes, payroll taxes and, yes, even income tax witholding) will be gone.

People will see exactly how much the federal government costs them every time they go to the checkout counter at the supermarket. Politicians will be loath to raise the rate when they no longer can hide the tax.

~Jim Bennett
Summit, NJ

Posted by: james | November 13, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

if you think that the Fair Tax is a "socialist" idea, you obviously have not read the whitepaper or paid attention to any of its ideas. in short, maybe you should stop making arguments against an idea until you actually know something about it. on top of it leaving more money in everyone's pockets, keeping the tax burden off the poor (because necessities are not included under the sales tax) and benefiting homeowners even more than under the current arcane tax structure, it actually gives people a CHOICE (imagine that! people with choices in the land of free...the irony...) of when and what they will pay taxes on...

check it out before running your mouth:

Posted by: jaybowne | November 13, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"Tax Hike Mike" is already taken. We've always called North Carolina Governor Mike Easley that.

Posted by: fmbill | November 13, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Socialist" sales tax??? The FairTax is, by far, the most visionary, democratic, and logical tax plan ever created. People pay taxes when they WANT to pay taxes, and a portion goes to the poor anyway! This player deserves a shot in the game. Lets make Mike H. the head coach.

Posted by: FairMark | November 13, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Thanks ih2005 for the history lesson. We really have to always look back to history to try to avoid repeating mistakes.

The tax recorn of Mike Huckabee is such a small issue in his entire offering that it's laughable that the mantra is even hung on him.

I am a Huckabee supporter. That said, I had no idea who he even was 3 months ago. He's a good man trying to do a good thing in cleaning up the office of the President which has seen so much grief over the last 16 years. Setting politics and a party lines aside, the office needs to be occupied by a person who truly wants to lead a country, not just sit behind a big desk wearing the brass ring of history.

Posted by: tonyjradco | November 13, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

At the end of the 18th Century, America proclaimed its independence from the tax slavery of Britain, and codified our soverignty, self-rule and liberty, as citizens, in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In 1913, the wealthy elite conspired with politicians to persuade an elitist president (a former president of Princeton University) to buy into a scheme to again make us slaves by signing the Federal Reserve and the Income Tax acts. The Fed would print money, at interest, and the income tax would ultimately be the vehicle to ensure its payment. It would be the bankers who would pat themselves on the back.

President Wilson would later say ( 3:42 into Russo video), "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by a system of credit. We are no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

And today many Americans are caught up in that "system of credit," much to bankers' delight, instead of working longer and harder hours. Why? Because of the increased tax bite that's taken from their paychecks. If you ask any worker about it, more than likely you'll receive a remark that expresses frustration, powerlessness, and the feeling like his, or her, voice doesn't matter because it's the politicians who are in control.

Of more urgent, and immediate, concern is the taxing of business income and payroll. Businesses attempt to recoup these costs by embedding them in their prices, which are ultimately paid by consumers. This pernicious system of hidden taxation accounts for 22 cents of every retail dollar spent by consumers. This gives Congress a "lever" to extract money from businesses, via lobbyists, to secure "tax favors" resulting in

• an increasingly complex, and expensive, tax code
• higher prices (or lesser dividends to shareholders/401Ks/public retirement funds, or lost jobs to employees - where foreign competition will not let a company raise prices)
• exports not price-competitive, globally
• company relocation to foreign countries with lower costs
• foreign products going untaxed upon entry into the U.S.

Mike Huckabee is fully committed to the idea of ridding our country of the income tax, the tax code, and theIRS. Nuff said?

Posted by: ih2005 | November 13, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

The fiscal complaints against Mike Huckabee are largely without merit and often downright mis-leading. I would challenge anyone to be fair-minded enough to go to his website and hear his side of the story. I did so and concluded that he did the right/legally required thing in nearly every instance.And if he is just a little more compassionate w/ taxpayers money than a tax-hater like me would want, I think this will help his campaign in the general election. That's a small price to pay to prevent a Hillary presidency.

Posted by: michaelLitz | November 12, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Why does Club for Growth have such a woody for Gov. Huckabee?

Posted by: cel1ery | November 12, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee recently said he would not punish the children of illegals for the sins of their parents. With 1 million children being raised by a gay parent in this country, would he award them by using the benefits of the same sex spouse (civil union) or does punishing the children of gay couples seem ok.

Posted by: jameschirico | November 12, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

First the Republicans create Roth IRA's so everyone with some sense pays a ton of tax right now to be tax free in the future, then Huckabee wants to impose a national socialist sales tax so that everyone's Roth IRA's get taxed anyway?

Posted by: andycutler | November 12, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

When this is the biggest knock against Huckabee then you know Rupublicans are in trouble. God forbid that someone be fiscally responsible anymore. No No No, keep to the Bush mantra of cutting taxes and increasing spending.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | November 12, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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