Thursday, March 8, 2007

Huckabee Signs No Tax Pledge

Mike Huckabee released the following statement which confirms that if he is elected President, he will not support the raising of income taxes at the Federal level.

Little Rock, AR – Mike Huckabee officially delivered a signed Presidential Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist during ATR’s “Wednesday Meeting” in Washington, D.C. this morning.

The former governor announced he would sign the pledge on Friday, March 2, 2007 at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

“Having already been a longtime supporter of ending the death tax and cutting 90 taxes while governor, it was not difficult to pledge not to raise the income tax rates at the federal level,” Huckabee said.

By signing the pledge, Huckabee agreed to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

“We applaud Governor Huckabee for signing the Presidential Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” Norquist said. “Governor Huckabee recognizes that the challenge is to rein in spending and reduce taxes.”

Huckabee is a fiscal conservative who passed Arkansas’ first broad-based tax cut package in state history. During his ten and a half years as Governor, he cut taxes more than 90 times, saving taxpayers almost $380 million. He doubled the child care tax credit and eliminated the marriage penalty from the tax code. He also cut welfare rolls by nearly 50 percent while balancing the state budget.

Huckabee formed a Presidential Exploratory Committee for a potential 2008 White House bid after departing office earlier this year.

ATR has sponsored the Taxpayer Protection Pledge since 1986 and offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. The document is a written promise by legislators and candidates for office that commits them to oppose any effort to increase the federal income taxes on individuals and businesses.

“I continue to encourage every Presidential candidate to show their commitment to the U.S. taxpayer by signing the pledge,” Norquist said.

Newsweek Profile on Huckabee

Newsweek have done a detailed interview with Mike Huckabee. It's the national attention that Huckabee needs at this point. It's worth a read.

March 5, 2007 - Mike Huckabee is in an unusual situation for a politician. He doesn’t have to pander to his base. A former Southern Baptist preacher, he starts his 2008 presidential bid well to the right of his party’s most serious contenders. His long-held pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-gay marriage agenda would seem to be music to the ears of conservatives unhappy with the fact that social-issue moderates like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and (at least until recently) Mitt Romney are hogging the headlines. So why isn’t the governor of Arkansas and current Republican presidential candidate, stuck around two percent in recent polls, catching fire among religious conservatives? Huckabee has a plan to fix that—and it starts with this interview. NEWSWEEK's Susannah Meadows talked with the other guy from a place called Hope about gays, hell and donuts.

You recently lost more than 100 pounds. Are the people you meet on the campaign trail more interested in talking about your weight than policy?

Huckabee: It certainly is a point of fascination. It’s one of the rare times a politician enjoys talking about losing. It also segues into talking about not only the health issue, but the fact that 80% of Americans’ health-care costs are caused by chronic disease. And most of that is due to over-eating, under-exercising, smoking.

Would you put America on a diet?

A lot of people want this to be a simple solution: more P.E., less vending machines. There is an entire cultural shift that has to take place. What has to happen is that we change from a culture of disease to a culture of health. The government can’t do it for people, but there is a role government can play. In Arkansas, we created incentives. For example, you got discounts on health insurance if you didn’t smoke. [In this country] smokers can take breaks and smoke on company time. If you want to exercise, we say you do that on your lunch hour. People who are healthy pay high premiums for those who are not. There’s no incentive in the system.

I heard fried Twinkies used to be one of your favorite foods. Do ever indulge anymore?

The food that I used to crave, the amazing thing is, I often find it repulsive. Something dripping in grease, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I would be better off eating the sack it came in.’ I don’t walk by the donut counter anymore and go into withdrawal.