Lately I have come across a couple of great rebuttals of the tired old "Tax Hike Mike" attacks against Huckabee. The first one is from Michael Medved:
It’s also worth a few lines here to defend the Arkansan from the claim that he’s a secret “big government liberal” or, in the phrase of the Club for Growth, “Tax Hike Mike.”The other is from Joe Carter at the Evangelical Outpost:
According to figures from the non-partisan Tax Foundation, Huckabee’s term as governor (1996-2007) led to a modest increase in the overall State-Local tax burden for Arkansas: from 10.1% in the year he became governor to 11.1% the last year he served. In terms of overall tax burden (state-local-federal) Arkansas remained virtually unchanged--- from 30.3% (39th among the 50 states) to 30.5% (32nd place).
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, saw sharper increases in taxes during his single gubernatorial term (2003 to 2007) in Massachusetts. The state-local burden rose from 9.8% the year of his election to 10.5% his last year as governor. Meanwhile, the total tax burden went up from 31.2% to 33.9% -- vaulting Massachusetts from 9th place to 7th place in the nation.
For those who are interested in the truth, however, the growth of the tax burden in Arkansas under 11 years of Huckabee looks no worse (and actually a tad better) than the growth of taxes in Massachusetts under 4 years of Romney.
In my new role as the Director of Research for the Huckabee campaign, I have to respond, ad infinitum to claims that Governor Huckabee is a "fiscal liberal" and an invenerate tax hiker.
If you asked 90 percent of the people who make such a claim how much he actually increased the taxes, they'd have no clue. So let me enlighten them.
Huckabee was Governor of Arkansas from July 1996 to January 2007. During that 10 1/2 year period, taxes that affected all citizens increased by the following amounts:
* Increase in the income tax rates: 0 percent
* Increase in the sales tax: 1 cent
* Increase in the gas tax: 3 cents a gallon
* Increase in diesel fuel tax: 4 cents a gallon
Next time you encounter a "fiscal conservative" claiming that "Huckabee is bad on taxes" ask them if they know these numbers. They won't. They never do.