This does not sound like someone who is willing to hold the line on taxes, nor find places in his budget-as many governors have done-where he could cut spending instead of having taxpayers foot the bills for bigger and bigger government.
Huckabee says he would like to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and replace the income tax with the so-called Fair Tax, which would impose a national sales tax on virtually everything we buy. But such a tax would be a disaster for this country, especially for low- and middle-income Americans who spend a disproportionate portion of their earnings -- in many cases all of it -- on the necessities of life.
It would wreak untold havoc on the business community, driving down retail sales and creating an underground economy that would undermine America's productive marketplace -- especially small businesses that produce most of the jobs in our country.
The Club for Growth was formed with one purpose in mind: to promote economic growth by lowering the tax rates, simplifying the tax code and providing tax incentives to expand business formation, savings, investment and economic opportunity. It has praised the tax-cut proposals of Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and other contenders for the Republican nomination.
But last week Huckabee labeled the respected tax-cutting group "The Club for Greed," a charge that sounded more like the invective spewed forth from Al Gore, Howard Dean or socialist Bernie Sanders.
The Arkansas Republican is fond of bashing corporate CEOs and their salaries, thinks a higher minimum wage won't hurt entry-level job creation, and apparently doesn't mind slapping higher sales taxes on the most vulnerable people in our economy.
The next president will face huge fiscal issues in 2009: such as rising entitlements that threaten to engulf the federal budget and what to do about President Bush's tax cuts which are due to expire in 2010, a demise that would raise taxes by trillions of dollars.
That's when we're going to need strong, principled leadership to keep a likely Democratic Congress from sending income taxes through the roof. It's something Iowa voters need to think deeply about in the days to come.
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