A video has been circulating that attempts to paint Huckabee as a "liberal tax and spender." Any thoughtful, intelligent viewer can tell that the video is clearly taken out of context. But if you or any of your friends need further proof, just watch this one-minute clip below for additional context, read this background news article (excerpt below), or view the entire speech here and here:
From an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette news article in October:
The 2003 and 2004 sessions are instructive because they show how Huckabee wrestled with a tumultuous economy, a Supreme Court unafraid to exercise its authority and a Legislature controlled by Democrats.
“The government’s job is to provide basic necessities such as prisons to keep us safe and good roads to drive on,” he said through a spokesman via e-mail. “As Governor, that’s what I tried to do while being responsible with the revenue and state budget.”
In January 2003, legislators faced a slowing economy and a ruling from the state Supreme Court that the state’s system of funding public education was inadequate and inequitable.
Meanwhile, an economic downturn had reduced gross general revenue — most of that comes from income and sales taxes — to $ 3. 98 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2002, down from $ 4. 01 billion the previous year.
Some legislators favored a 10 percent income-tax surcharge, others increasing taxes on tobacco products. Still others sought to use money from a budget-surplus fund typically used to pay for pet projects in lawmakers’ districts.
By April, legislators and the governor hadn’t agreed on which taxes to raise or by how much, and the regular session dissolved into partisan acrimony. Lawmakers went home without passing any major tax increases or enacting a state budget.
When legislators returned on May 5 for a special session, Huckabee urged them to increase taxes and pass budget bills to stave off cuts in crucial state services. He said he would accept any of the increases lawmakers had proposed, including higher tobacco taxes, an increase in the sales tax or an income-tax surcharge.
“We’re no longer talking about merely shaving some excess,” he told legislators from the House floor. “We’re talking about amputating valuable and vital limbs if we don’t come up with necessary funding to meet the needs of those who depend on it.”
When times were easier and state coffers flush, Huckabee pushed through one of the largest tax cuts in Arkansas history.
In 1997, the first legislative session of his tenure, the Legislature doubled the standard income-tax deduction and adjusted rates to keep Arkansans below the federal poverty line from paying. That reduced revenues by $ 90. 6 million its first year in effect.
Read the whole thing here...