Reading the morning news, I was shocked to see an article saying that James Dobson was going to endorse Mike Huckabee for President of the United States. My state of shock didn't last long as about an hour later, there was another article circulating saying that James Dobson was not in any way going to endorse Hucakabee. (Below)
That made a lot more sense to me. I don't follow Dobson much at all, aside from the occasional spot on the radio with his focus on the family program. I know he is a social conservative, but not too much else. That being said, the reason I was suprised to hear of his endorsement is I had always thought that Dr. Dobson was a conservative in the three ways that Mitt Romney talks about, namely being for a strong military, strong economy and strong families. The three legged stool of conservatism needs all three legs to stand, and by my count Governor Mike Huckabee is missing one of those legs. Or in other words, he doesn't have a stool to sit on.
What am I talking about? Well, I think Huckabee has the strong families thing down. He's a former Baptist preacher, so I'll give him that without knowing too much about his record. And, I'll give him a pass on the strong military too, as he seems to have answered the questions fairly well in the debates on this issue.
So, what leg is he missing? It's the economy, stupid. Or, as Mitt Romney put it in an interview a few days ago, "It's about growth, stupid".
Huckabee's record on economics is downright Democrat party worthy. In fact, the Club for Growth has written a stinging rebuke of his record.
Here are some of the highlights:
* Immediately upon taking office, Governor Huckabee signed a sales tax hike in 1996 to fund the Games and Fishing Commission and the Department of Parks and Tourism (Cato Policy Analysis No. 315, 09/03/98).
* He supported an internet sales tax in 2001 (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07).
* He publicly opposed the repeal of a sales tax on groceries and medicine in 2002 (Arkansas News Bureau 08/30/02).
* He signed bills raising taxes on gasoline (1999), cigarettes (2003) (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07), and a $5.25 per day bed-tax on private nursing home patients in 2001 (Arkansas New Bureau 03/01/01).
* He proposed another sales take hike in 2002 to fund education improvements (Arkansas News Bureau 12/05/02).
* He opposed a congressional measure to ban internet taxes in 2003 (Arkansas News Bureau 11/21/03).
* In 2004, he allowed a 17% sales tax increase to become law (The Gurdon Times 03/02/04).
* Under Governor Huckabee's watch, state spending increased a whopping 65.3% from 1996 to 2004, three times the rate of inflation (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07). The number of state government workers rose 20% during his tenure (Arkansas Leader 04/15/06), and the state's general obligation debt shot up by almost $1 billion, according to Americans for Tax Reform.
* Governor Huckabee is on record opposing the most important element of genuine school choice-voucher programs that allow poor students in failing public schools to attend private schools and inject much needed competition into a decrepit public education system-because of a concern about government control of parochial schools (Arkansas Times 09/22/05). He also called No Child Left Behind "the greatest education reform effort by the federal government in my lifetime," (Washington Times 03/01/05) a program that stripped schools of local control and increased federal spending on education by 48% over three years (Heritage.org 11/09/06).
So, in summary let me get this straight, Mike Huckabee has raised taxes on everything from groceries, medicine, sales tax, the internet, cigarettes, gasoline, and beds, and increased the size of government in his state by 65% and he is anti-school vouchers! And he is running on the Republican ticket?!?! Who is he getting his advise from?