Hank  Adler

Conventional wisdom, the internet and his successful Sunday evening television show are feeding the fuel for a presidential run by Governor Huckabee in 2016. This could be a good thing, perhaps a very good thing. Hopefully and probably, young and old alike have realized that a bigger government is a bad thing for most Americans and a government managed exclusively by people with no experience in the private sector does not and cannot work. This is the domestic landscape that awaits every potential candidate for President of the United States in 2016. This is a domestic landscape that represents a fundamental advantage for Governor Huckabee.

The Achilles heel of a Huckabee run for the presidency is the FairTax. Governor Huckabee has been a strong supporter of the FairTax. Unfortunately for the Governor and all FairTax supporters, the realities of trying to implement the FairTax are very similar, but probably worse than implementing Obamacare. Equally unfortunate is the reality that the promises of the FairTax are about as disconnected to reality as those of President Obama with respect to Obamacare.

The lynchpin of the FairTax is the "Prebate," a plan where the Federal government would send every American family a check every month. The Prebate would actually be more difficult to successfully implement and continue to administer ostensibly forever than any element of Obamacare. The FairTax's estimates of necessary tax rates and tax collections are as overly optimistic as the President's estimates of Obamacare enrollments and its costs. Despite its seeming simplicity, the FairTax would also likely result in thousands of pages of rules and regulations, identical to Obamacare.

In our 2009 book, The FairTax Fantasy, An Honest Look at a Very, Very Bad Idea, Hugh Hewitt and I devoted several chapters to the realities of trying to put the FairTax into place, an event that would require every family in the United States to register with the government. If one were to eliminate the word FairTax from our analysis and substitute Obamacare, our predictions and concerns would make us look like Nostradamus.


Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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