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November 28, 2007

Dick Morris Rebuts Tax-And-Spend Charge Against Huckabee

Dick Morris has been promoting his former client Huckabee for months; my email box o'erflows with Morris love for the Huckster.

Still, in the interests of fairness, here's Dick Morris defending Huckabee's tax record:

As his political consultant in the early '90s and one who has been following Arkansas politics for 30 years, let me clue you in: Mike Huckabee is a fiscal conservative.

A recent column by Bob Novak excoriated Huckabee for a "47 percent increase in state tax burden." But during Huckabee's years in office, total state tax burden -- all 50 states combined -- rose by twice as much: 98 percent, increasing from $743 billion in 1993 to $1.47 trillion in 2005.

In Arkansas, the income tax when he took office was 1 percent for the poorest taxpayers and 7 percent for the richest, exactly where it stood when he left the statehouse 11 years later. But, in the interim, he doubled the standard deduction and the child care credit, repealed capital gains taxes for home sales, lowered the capital gains rate, expanded the homestead exemption and set up tax-free savings accounts for medical care and college tuition.

Most impressively, when he had to pass an income tax surcharge amid the drop in revenues after Sept. 11, 2001, he repealed it three years later when he didn't need it any longer.

He raised the sales tax one cent in 11 years and did that only after the courts ordered him to do so. (He also got voter approval for a one-eighth-of-one-cent hike for parks and recreation.)

I await the debunking of the debunking, if one should come. I don't know what Morris is talking about regarding the raising the state sales tax, but I do know Huckabee has claimed he was compelled by courts to raise taxes generally and was found to have been dishonest on that point.

Specifically, with his request for whatever new taxes the legistlature might want, as seen here:

But it might be true the courts specifically compelled the sales tax rise. I don't know.


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posted by Ace at 03:44 PM

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