- He is anti-abortion. Check. GOP-welcome.
- In addition, "religious voters like his purity on same-sex marriage, creationism and so forth." Why not? Check.
- "Some say Mr. Huckabee is the tribune of the "religious left," and that strikes us as about right. He exhibits protectionist instincts, distancing himself from Nafta [sic] and saying he would insist on penalties and barriers to countries that don't support his conception of "fair trade." He delivers populist sermons against income inequality, but in favor of farm subsidies and an expanded government role in health care. He regularly knocks Wall Street, and he borrows from the Democratic playbook with digs at "the rich." " Paradox. It might help if he defined "his conception of 'fair trade,'" went a little easier on the farm-subsidies part (The Stiletto has posts about this here and here), and could strike a balance (is that possible?) between poor and rich.
- Re the "fair tax": "Their concept is to junk the federal tax code -- payroll, income, corporate, Social Security, everything -- and substitute a 23% national retail sales tax on nearly all goods and services. But...the rate is closer to 30% when it's calculated like any other sales tax, with the levy on top of the price. State sales levies would go on top of that." That might not be such a bad idea after all...tax consumption rather than earnings. Do not muzzle the ox while he is treading out the grain, anyone?
- However, there is a flip side: "The plan would require repealing the Sixteenth Amendment that allowed a federal income tax, and the chances of that happening are approximately zero. The political risk, given the nature of government, is that we'd end up with both an income tax and a national sales tax. Europe, here we come." The chance equals zero most likely because of (1) the actual U.S. budget (fiscal responsibility...) and (2) PORK. Also, who wants to be like Europe? Overrun by Islam? Socialist health care? Not to mention, a tax that high would be quite difficult to enforce.
- America is apparently unprepared: "In the American system, such a radical change as the fair tax is possible only in a crisis, and we aren't living in one now."
- The editors' view: "Mr. Huckabee nonetheless writes that "when" his reform is enacted, "it will be like waving a magic wand releasing us from pain and unfairness." That glib naivete should provide some indication of how seriously the former Governor has thought through the political and policy complications of his biggest idea -- and also explain why, until recently, Mr. Huckabee was considered an implausible candidate."
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Never quite right, right?
Today's Review and Outlook (A24) makes the claim that Huckabee is more "paradox" than "Republican." Why, whatever for?