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Thompson Campaign Press Release - Huckabee's Tax Increases: No laughing matter

November 29, 2007

Mike Huckabee appeared tonight on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and once again tried to laugh away his record as governor of Arkansas. Huckabee should stop cracking jokes about raising taxes and start taking responsibility for his actions.

Excerpted quotes from Mike Huckabee on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, November 29, 2007

HUCK CHECK #1 : Huckabee claimed that if you dismantle the IRS and implement the Fair Tax, make "the federal government operate more efficiently...[and] get rid of a $10 billion industry." In reality, Huckabee's plan replaces one government bureaucracy with another.

  • Reality: "It is true that the Fair Tax would get rid of the agency that we now call the IRS. But, according to the bill Huckabee supports: 'There shall be in the Department of the Treasury a Sales Tax Bureau to administer the national sales tax in those States where it is required.' So, Huckabee would 'eliminate' the IRS by replacing it with a Sales Tax Bureau." ("GOP YouTube Debate Flubs,", 11/29/07)

HUCK CHECK #2 : Huckabee claimed "it's not the purpose of the federal government to see how many people we can employ." But an examination of his Administration concluded that "state government grew more during his time as governor than during Bill Clinton's." (John Brummett, "Pro-Life, Pro-Gun Liberal," Arkansas News Bureau, 11/4/07)

  • Reality: He added 8,000 state workers to the payroll. "Meanwhile, the state added about 8,000 full-time workers to its payroll during that period, according to the Bureau of Legislative Research. That's a 19 percent increase." (Daniel Nasaw, "Home Turf Not Rock Solid For Huckabee," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/4/07)
  • Reality: Increased Spending. Under Huckabee, state spending increased by over 65%, three times the rate of inflation. (Americans for Tax Reform, "Governor Huckabee's Record on Taxes," 1/7/07)

HUCK CHECK #3 : Huckabee tried to laugh off the video of him begging the Arkansas Legislature for a tax increase by saying "I was in a state of sugar stupor." He then claims that the clip was "taken out of context" and that he "was giving a put up or shut up speech to the legislature who had been saying we have a $200 million dollar deficit and we don't like any proposal the governor has to fix it. So I said ok, you don't like my proposals, here's one of yours, I'll take it." In reality, Huckabee consistently increased taxes throughout his time as Governor and turned first to raising taxes, not cutting government spending, to offset his spending habit.

  • Reality : Under Huckabee, 21 tax increases went into effect. (Daniel Nasaw, "10-Year Record On Taxes Studied," Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 10/9/07)
  • Reality : Under Huckabee, there was a net tax increase of $505 million, adjusted for inflation and economic growth. (Daniel Nasaw, "10-Year Record On Taxes Studied," Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 10/9/07)
  • Reality : The tax increase Huckabee begged for in the video was to cover general revenue spending. Instead of cutting wasteful government spending, Huckabee looked to take more from Arkansas taxpayers.
    • "The governor said he would accept any of the increases that lawmakers have proposed, including higher tobacco taxes, raising the state sales tax, and adding an income tax surcharge. How revenue is raised isn't important as long as the state meets its pressing needs, he said." (Michael Rowett, "Pass Taxes, Budget, Huckabee Exhorts," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/6/03)

Fred Thompson, Thompson Campaign Press Release - Huckabee's Tax Increases: No laughing matter Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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