Mike Huckabee on Budget & Economy
Republican AR Governor
A: Maybe Mitt Romney’s highway department didn’t do what the other highway departments across America do, and that is, they have these projects already ready. The engineering is done. The eminent domain is already done. Environmental impact studies have been done. The only thing that we lack--you ask any governor--is funding. If we had the funding, we’ve got projects we’re ready to pull the trigger on tomorrow
A: I don’t think we are. And the real issue, though, let’s not blame President Bush for all of this. We’ve got a Congress who sat around on their hands and done nothing but spend a lot of money and they’re spending, leaving us $9 trillion in debt that we’re passing on to our grandchildren. I don’t blame the president solely for that. But are we better off? Well, new home starts are down 40%. That’s going to have a cascading impact on everybody who is in the building trades. And all over our economy, with unemployment up to 5% across the nation, that means there are a lot of families today that don’t have a paycheck. And I think what Americans are looking for is somebody to be straight with them and tell them that, no, it’s not better and it’s not going to get better unless we have some serious leadership in Washington that says that we’re going to have policies that touch the people not just at the top, but the people at the bottom.
A: Well, if we end up with the rebates, we’re going to borrow the $150 billion from China. When we turn it into rebates, most people are going to go out and buy some consumables like a pair of shoes that they probably don’t even need, but they’re going to buy them, and they’re most likely an import from China. My point is, whose economy are we stimulating when we do that? The Heritage Foundation did a pretty interesting study on past rebates & found it does not really stimulate the economy in the way that we hope it will. If you really want an economic stimulus package, look at what infrastructure investment does.
A: Well, not only not as impressed with the record in the private sector, but also think that it’s more important to be able to run the public sector to run a government, which I did longer than anyone running for president, Democrat or Republican. And I steered a state through good times and bad times. We went through a recession. I saw our state go from a $200 million deficit to an $850 million surplus. I also presided over the largest job creation in the history of my state as well as a per capita income increase of 50 percent during my tenure. That’s the kind of record people want you to be able to bring to the table when you’re president. So I would contend that I’ve got probably the best preparation to lead this country during a time like this.
We often hear about trickle-down economics. Well, there’s a sense in which there is a trickle-up effect of a recession. It starts and hits hardest at the people who are just making it from paycheck to paycheck. It takes a while for it to get to Wall Street, but it hits Main Street pretty hard, and it hits them early.
I was understanding that, seeing it, & predicting it. People were laughing at me then. Now they have to admit I was right. And I think that that’s the kind of president we need, is someone who’s in touch with all sectors of the American public, not just the people at the top.
We’re neglecting our infrastructure. If you look at what’s happening to--the fact that our sewer systems, water systems, roads, they were built 50, 60, sometimes 80 and 100 years ago, and they simply are not able to keep up with the growth.
And as a result, we’re not just having trouble today, but look at the problems that we’re passing on to the next generation on top of a $9 trillion national debt. Now we’re going to give them an infrastructure that is falling apart and the cost of rebuilding that and fixing it is four times the money we’re putting into it to actually keep up with it.
A: In talking about the stimulus package, one of the concerns that I have is that we’ll probably end up borrowing this $150 billion from th Chinese. And when we get those rebate checks, most people are going to go out and buy stuff that’s been imported from China. I have to wonder whose economy is going to be stimulated the most by the package. And I’m grateful that something is being done.
A: Sometimes it’s not so much doing things so that people sacrifice; it’s doing them differently. Let me give you an example. A lot of the federal budget goes to health care. We need to do what most American companies are finding works in reducing health care cost. That’s moving from the intervention-based health care model to a prevention-based. Our current model is upside-down. We wait until people are catastrophically ill and then we spend the most expensive ways of trying to cure incurable diseases. If we would put the focus on prevention, we would find, like American business is finding, that there really is savings if you kill the snake rather than just treat the snakebites, which is the way our current system is built.
A: The first thing that I would get rid of would be the Internal Revenue Service. Secondly, I agree we need to revamp [the Department of] Homeland Security. It’s a mess, and we have a real problem with the way that it’s currently structured.
When I left office in early 2007, Arkansas had nearly $850 million in state surplus, which I urged should go back to the people in the form of either a tax rebate or tax cut.
I believe that our massive deficit is not due to Americans’ being under-taxed, but due to the federal government’s over-spending. Achieving and maintaining a balanced federal budget is an important and worthy goal necessary to our long-term economic well-being. To achieve a balanced federal budget, I believe the President should have the line-item veto.
|2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Budget & Economy:||Mike Huckabee on other issues:|
2011 Special Elections:
Running for Mayor:
Running for Governor:
Running for Senate:
in 112th Congress:
in 112th Congress:
in 111th Congress:
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle