Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Huckabee's Fair Deal

Today, the Huckabee campaign release the Fair Deal For All Americans plan. Here's my analysis by taking his key points and commenting on them. As you may see, I am not all "rah-rah" about this plan; it needs more fleshing out, and some things I don't really care for.

#1 Family: Focus on Middle Class Families: More Income, Better Jobs, More Secure Homeownership.

- Our economy is weakening and families are hurting; Jobs are being lost, many to offshore companies.

Yes, manufacturing jobs are being lost. This is partially due to our stricter labor laws and due to our labor unions demanding large benefit packages. Our dollar is weakening, and confidence is worsening, both here at home and around the world. So far so good.

- Too many American families face the real prospect of losing their homes as a result of the ongoing subprime mortgage situation. The federal government needs to immediately begin a second round of negotiations with subprime lenders with an eye toward expansion of the "Hope Now" program. We should strive to find ways to preserve American home ownership.

I don't necessarily agree with this. It's called "personal responsibility," and the government does not need to bail out large banks who made bad choices in lending to sub-primers. I know we did this with the savings and loans in the 1980's, but again, it's not the role of the government to step in and do this.

- I will cut burdensome red tape that drives up the cost of products and keeps employers from hiring more workers or raising wages. We want bosses signing pay checks, not filling out government forms.


- In Arkansas, I signed a bill that would reduce frivolous lawsuits which drive up costs of products and medical care. We need more doctors not fewer; we need more new products, not fewer.


- I believe in free trade, but I also believe in fair trade. We will expect our trading partners to live up to their obligations-everyone must play by fair rules. If you want access to the world's largest economy, don't send us your lead toys or your poisoned pet food. We will not outsource our safety.

This is good as well, but it will be hard to do so and the next statement...

- We will also open new markets for American products.

Yeah, new markets without "free trade"? Tough to do.

- And there is more: I will preserve and expand President Bush's tax cuts, which are set to expire in 2010; I will ensure higher-education becomes attainable for more American families by making all tuition deductible.

Yes, this is good as well. These tax cuts helped to spur the economy, and should be kept in place. Deductability of higher education? Not sure about this one...have to think about it.

#2 Fed: Work with the Federal Reserve for a Pro-Growth, Low Inflation Economy

- The greatest source of short-term stimulus is the Federal Reserve. I believe that it's time for the Federal Reserve to adopt a pro-growth, low-inflation policy.

How so? Lower the interest rates again? Discourage savings? Get people further into debt? More explanation, please.

- But at the same time, we must always be fiscally prudent. I will make sure that unnecessary spending is under control in Washington. Republicans have lost their reputation for fiscal discipline. As Governor, I had to balance the budget by law every year. I will have my veto pen out in Washington.

These are good comments, but I think he'll need to prove it to many. Having a veto pen is good, but you can only pass what the Congress sends you, and if they send you crap, well...

- Monetary policy must be aggressive enough to stave off recession, but always mindful of inflation and its tax on our economy.

Again, how do you intend to do this?

#3 Fight: Create Jobs as We Build Up Our Defenses and Build Up Our Infrastructure

- I have pledged to increase defense spending to six percent of GDP as President. That's roughly a $200 billion increase. That's a lot of money, but we need it because the security threats to America today are enormous. We need this increase so that we can be safe and secure. However, this spending will also create jobs for vital strategic industries and, in addition, provide spinoffs to the civilian sector.

OK, this may prove that you are a pro-defense guy. Make sure that the money being spent is not wasted, and is truely used for "defense", not picking fights with other countries.

- America must always be the Arsenal of Democracy. We will build new planes, new armed vehicles, new robotic land and air vehicles, and new ships all RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA.

- After years of war, our heroic warriors are strained to the limit and our equipment is worn out by repeated deployments. I will recruit and train thousands of new troops and bring our National Guard and Reserves back home. We must quickly expand our Army and Marine Corps to help continue our fight against the agents of terror.

How? Pay them more? Give them more benefits? Details, please.

- We need a national mission to return our critical infrastructure to readiness for the 21st century. We don't need earmarks and bridges to nowhere when we have critical needs. We can't have our interstate highway bridges falling down, our levees breaking, or our water systems collapsing under our streets. As Arkansas Governor, I took our state highways from the worst to the most improved in five years. As your president, I will work with the Congress and we will rebuild our great nation.

So, what's the plan to do this? Tax more? Money is already appropriated to fix/upgrade/build roads, so how do we do this "more"?

- We will build a homeland security fence along the US-Mexico border, and we will build it with American Labor and American Materials.

Good deal.

#4 Fuel: Invest in Energy Independence -- A Great Nation Must Be Able to Fuel Itself, and Defend Itself

- Every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Coast Guardsman and Marine will earn a Veteran's Bill of Rights. They, along with their families, have sacrificed so much in defense of our Nation. We will not turn our backs on them or their families. One way we can support our servicemen and women in their overseas missions is with implementation of a sound energy policy back here at home.

I'm not sure what this has to with Energy Independence, but yes, I would agree with a Vet's Bill of Rights. We need to honor and support those who have given for their country. If this means we pull out of areas that we currently patrol to make sure oil flows freely, I'd be OK with that if we produced enough on our end to make up the difference.

- With oil prices touching near $100 a barrel and prices at the pump pushing past $3.00 per gallon across the nation, we must remember that these rapidly rising fuel prices put a great strain on the budgets of American families. Every time we fill our cars up, we fill up the pockets of Middle Eastern countries. That is going to end. We will have national energy security policy and we will end our dependence on Middle Eastern oil within ten years of my inauguration.

Sounds good, but how are we going to do this? Biofuels? Offshore drilling? We'll need a LOT of energy replacement to fill in the gap left by overseas energy.

- We are going to unleash the American ingenuity and we are going to conserve, explore and invent our way to independence in energy. Right in Little Rock, Arkansas is the North American headquarters for the largest manufacturer of windmill blades in the world. We will do that all over America and right here in Michigan.

#5 FAIR: Move Toward FAIR TAXation

- My short-term economic policies will move us toward our long-term economic goal: Simply put, America's federal tax system is broken. What we have now is a system that is failing American families and businesses. Our tax system burdens low and middle-income families, robbing them of the chance for upward mobility.

- Our tax system encourages outsourcing of American production overseas and the dismantling of our industrial base. It wastes hundreds of billions in useless tax preparation, paperwork and confrontation. It pits industry against industry, class against class.

I'll agree that we do waste billions in tax prep and compliance.

- My FairTax proposal allows American workers to keep their entire paycheck, allows American businesses to compete on a level-playing field with their foreign competitors, and brings jobs and investment that are currently parked off-shore back to the United States.

- However, I recognize that passage of the FairTax will not happen overnight. In the meantime, I will eliminate the Death Tax, and seek to reduce counterproductively high personal and corporate marginal tax rates.

Start on the tax rates first, because this is probably all you'll end up with. The Fair Tax is a good idea, but I don't think it will fly. Reform from within.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notice not one word about reducing the size of the Federal Government or getting the government out of our lives.

Hucksterbee is a socialist nannyist scold so I'm not surprised. All one needs to do is examine his record as governor. His call for a nationwide federal smoking ban, his desire to actually ban cigarettes, his constant nanny tenancies, his support of taxing the internet, his growth of government and taxation in Arkansas, the list is endless.

If you want to know what is wrong with the Republican party one need go no further than Michelle Hucksterbee. (or 911, Captain Underoos, The Actor, Captain McQueeg...)

2:59 AM, January 16, 2008  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Anony 2:59: You're quite the wordsmith - Did you come up with "Chimpy McHitlerburton" as well?

7:17 AM, January 16, 2008  
Anonymous Dorf said...

The Actor? Yeah, no actor ever gets elected president, let alone win 49 out of 50 states... Oh yeah, never mind. :-)

8:32 AM, January 16, 2008  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

Gunzy, I'd love to get your feedback on a little piece I wrote regarding my reservations about Huckabee.


I posted it early yesterday morning, and you can scroll down the main page to read it. I gave you a link to the whole website, instead of a targeted link to that particular article, since the co-bloggers put up a whole pants-load of Huck posts yesterday.

If you've got time, I'd love to have you reply on the thread where I'm asking Huckabee supporters why they've made that choice. We've had a few people give reasons for not despising Huck, but so far, nobody's showing any passion for the man.

10:20 AM, January 16, 2008  

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