"...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
-2 Corinthians 3:17 (NASB)

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
~John Adams


Huck's army-of Bureaucrats

I received a comment on my blog from a friend of mine, Will, because I responded to one of his posts regarding presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. I thought, that, while I'm at it, I might as well point out to you why I'd be more than willing to send Huckabee to a pulpit, but not to the White House. Is Huckabee superior to other candidates? Yes. He definitely is, but I honestly am not into comprimise, and this is one guy full of it.

Huckabee has proven that he is pretty much unwavering in his social conservativism. As an ordained minister, Huckabee stands for life and morality, things that I agree with, but aren't most important for the future Mr. President. Perhaps one of the most important expectations I have for the next Mr. president is that he remain unwavering and prevent a Democratic tax and regulation surge. After pouring into the research, I see no reason to expect Huckabee will do that.

Huckabee has gained himself a grade D from the CATO Institute for his Bush-like government expansion techniques as governor of Arkansas. Michael Tanner sums up the specific points I am about to go through very nicely:
"...Huckabee doesn't just embrace big government in the form of big taxes. He truly appears to believe that if something is a good idea it should be a federal government program."

So, let's go through some of Huckabee's populist/socialist/and sometimes even communistic economic rhetoric as enumerated on his website.

  1. On education, he says 1) that No Child Left Behind Act has "value" and that 2) success of schools should be judged by "results" (basically, test scores)
My aunt has got her doctorate studying cultural differences in education, and study after study after study shows that this kind of federal control/regulation/help (if you'd rather use that word) in education (aka: No-Child-Left-Behind) "leaves behind" kids that don't comply with the one-size-fits-all standards that are imposed by the federal code. It also attacks teachers by taking away their ability to structure lessons to the unique needs of their kids, while still punishing them when students can't pass the tests. My Mom experienced the same pressure while teaching 5th grade last year. Apparently Huckabee doesn't want to remedy that by restoring federalism as the founders envisioned it; he wants to keep No Child Left Behind in his back pocket.

  1. Anther major problem that darkens Huckabee's economic conservativism is that he does not believe in free markets when it comes to Energy policy.
"The truth is, we are so pathetically behind the curve right now that federal spending for energy research and development is only 40% of what it was in 1979."

So, he apparently wants to raise that spending; forcing people to pay for research they may or may not use. Has he even read the Constitution? He apparently doesn't understand what it means when it says private property rights.

  1. More disturbing populist rhetoric on Health Care:
"As President, I will work with the private sector, Congress, health care providers, and other concerned parties to lead a complete overhaul of our health care system."

That is the very definition of socialism. Government "helping" the private market along. Oh, excuse me, that's actually closer to Nazi economic policy. Let's let the private market work, but reserve the right to take over. I look at Mr. Huckabee and I see a great man, but I sure don't see the two letters that I expect to follow the name of anyone who wants to overhaul the health care system; M.D. YOU ARE NOT AN EXPERT, GOVERNOR! DON'T PRETEND LIKE YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THE DOCTORS AND THEIR PATIENTS!

  1. Finally, he is committed to what the founders called the "greatest enemy" to liberty; continual warfare.
In 1795, James Madison stated emphatically: "of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare". War is a big government program, and while it is necessary sometimes, but should always be a temporary policy, or Americans will loose or give up liberties in the wake of the paranoia that always follows war. Huckabee, on the other hand, believes we are currently in a "world war" against terrorism as we play police of the world. Huckabee has not made a commitment to end our intervention in countries where it does more harm than good.

Huckabee's socialist programs are not just rhetorical. In fact, the Club For Growth's report on him found that because of his governorship Arkansas "...state spending increased a whopping 65.3% from 1996 to 2004, three times the rate of inflation... Overall, Huckabee's substantial tax hikes far surpassed his modest tax cuts, with the average tax burden increasing by a whopping 47% over his tenure."

The assertion Will made was that "He used his influence to block the heavy-duty stuff but not every little thing." Mike Huckabee's claim in one of the recent debates was that it was pretty good for a democratic state. Ultimately what this indicates to me is Huckabee's willingness to comprimise. In order to maintain influence, he allows for spending to increase 60%. Honestly, if he is willing to sacrifice the people's money for popularity, I'm not willing to vote for him. Huckabee has still to provide reason for me to expect him to unwaveringly reign in a democratic congress that is more than willing to spend everyone else's money. Again from the Club for Growth:

"Finally, Governor Huckabee opposed further tax cuts at a 2005 gathering of Iowa conservatives. On January 28, 2007, Governor Huckabee refused to pledge not to raise taxes if elected President, first on 'Meet the Press' and then at the National Review Conservative Summit. The evidence suggests that his commitment to protecting taxpayers evidenced in his early gubernatorial years may be a thing of the past."

HucksArmy has launched in support of Huckabee. Based upon the evidence outlined above, they might fight him into office only to find that he prefers to fight with government bureaucrats and tax agents.

[Update 1/13/08: Shaun Connell put an excellent article on his blog that deals with the subject entitled Mike Huckabee — Christian Hypocrisy It deals with more of the true character of Huckabee, so I recommend it as a supplement to this post, which focused more on his political posision.]


  1. I agree he certainly is big government on some things, sadly, most notably education, smoking, and trade policy.

    I think his criticism is overdone on taxes, where he is actually stronger than he gets credit for (as I explained).

    On energy policy, he actually doesn't support any more funding than the other GOP candidates (with the exception of Ron Paul) do.

    I'm still holding out to see if Romney can pull out ahead, or if we're stuck with Huckabee, and the latter wouldn't be quite as bad as some people might worry. Especially considering I'm more "liberal" (libertarian) on immigration.

    Still, income inequality and carbon caps--along with all his populism-- annoy me.

  2. Relatively speaking, Huckabee is a strong conservative. I just would rather compare him to an absolute standard.

    Now, I have one issue I want to address: "...I'm more 'liberal' (libertarian) on immigration." I definitely concur with you on the idiotic state of the immigration system, but wouldn't you agree that non-taxpayers shouldn't receive tax benefits? Well, Huckabee wanted to give illegals tuition brakes.

  3. I think Huckabee did great on Leno tonight. Did anyone else see it?

    His press conference was really strange, though. I like what Romney said: It's like saying 'I've had a change of heart and I'm not going to call those people names, but IF I WAS going to call them names, these are the names I would call them.' Anyway... politics is entertaining.

  4. Great post! Its good to have evidence to explain why I don't like tax hike Mike.

  5. I totally agree with you brian! This is exactly why Huckabee needs to be voted against. Keep up the good work!