Monday, March 28, 2011

Is Arkansas Governor the Stepping Stone to the Presidency?

Mike Huckabee. A Simple Government. New York: The Penguin Group, 2011.

The author abhors personal attacks. He compliments Bill Clinton for campaigning for all of Huckabee’s opponents without ever personally attacking him.

Huckabee notes the issues are complex, but he believes the solutions are simple. Appling justice, integrity, and freedom to our political governance should guide government towards proper actions.

He seeks more morality, family values, and more intact nuclear families, He notes families that converse and eat meals together have children that get better grades at school and are less likely to use alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.

The author is very concerned that 75% of African American births are out of wedlock. He also notes some states with abortions per pregnancies at 33% in New York, 30% in New Jersey, 24% in Connecticut, 9% in Arkansas, 6% in Utah, and 6% in Mississippi. He is opposed to abortion and favors abstinence education.

Huckabee argues our country was meant to have a Federal government that protets borders and allowed liberty and travel.

The stimulus plan made the Federal government the main source of funds to states and local governments during the first three months of 2009. Programs were created but the Federal government funds are now gone. State and local governments have to choose between ending the programs or paying for them with their own funds.

Union versus nonunion public employees find union public employees with 30% greater salaries and with 70% more benefits costs. Huckabee believes these costs too much,

60% of Federal spending goes to Social Security, health care, and the military, with each being about one fifth of the Federal budget. Safety net programs are 14%, retirement benefits are 7%, interest on debt is 6%, education is 3%, research on science and health 2%, and nondefense foreign aid is 1%.

In 1970, one third of the Federal budget was mandatory spending. Today, about two thirds of it is mandatory spending.

Social Security set the retirement at age 65 when the life span for men was in their late 50s and for women in their early 60s. While it is too late to change benefits, Huckabee argues it is appropriate to ask younger people to expect a higher retirement age and fewer benefits.

Medicare has $38 trillion of unfunded liabilities. Huckabee recommends allowing private insurance to be available instead of going on Medicare and to increase eligibility for Medicare.

Almost half of everyone pays no Federal income taxes. 1% of the top payers of taxes pay as much taxes at the lowest 95% of taxpayers pay.

Huckabee recommends reducing the capital gains tax on investments of five years or more.

The effective corporate tax rate including tax breaks, is 35%. This is the highest tax rate of the 33 countries in the Organization for Economic Opportunity and Development where their average effective tax rate is 19.5%. Huckabee argues decreasing our tax rate will increase international investments.

Huckabee favors a national sales tax that would replace taxes on income, corporate, Social Security, Medicare, capital gains, self employment, estates, and gifts. He also favors a prebate that provides the sales taxes to the poverty level to ensure no one falls below the poverty level.

Huckabee calls for allowing health insurance to be sold in different states.

When Massachusetts adopted a statewide health care policy, health care increased from 16Tof the state’s budget in 1990 to 35% of the state’s budget in 2010. Massachusetts insures a family at an average cost of $20,000 while the private sector costs average $13,000.

The Federal health care plan intends to establish a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparable Effectiveness. Huckabee warns this organization could ration health care.

Huckabee supports charter schools. He supports personalized learning where a student completing an extracurricular activity could get credit for that activity.

Huckabee supports nuclear energy. He believes it is safe.

Huckabee charges that corruption in the Interior Department led them to net oversee oil drilling that led to a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He also faults industry for not having a remote controlled shutoff switch, as Canada requires. There was also a lack of advance planning for such a disaster as there were not enough containment and absorption booms.

A lack of planning and action led to a lack of insulation being placed in structures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 1,000 Americans died plus billions of costs due to fuel hauling accidents caused by this lack of insulation.

Natural gas is seen by Huckabee as providing enough energy to give us time to move towards long term energy self sufficiency. He sees clean coal, where the U.S. has 30% of the world supply, as a future resource/

Huckabee sees immigration as a complex problem. He believes in securing the borders and preventing illegal immigration as a first step.

Huckabee warns that we have weaknesses that terrorists could exploit, such as nuclear power plant cooling systems and cyberattacks.

20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or depression. Veterans services have failed to meet needs.

Huckabee supports a foreign policy that lets enemies know we are able to fight.


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