When former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference gathering two years ago, he aptly asked the crowd, “Dude, where’s my candidate?” At this year’s event, he began his speech by asking, “Dude, where’s my country?”
Huckabee, who sought the presidential nomination of the Republican Party in 2008 and now has a weekend news show on FOX News, said about the current state of politics in America today: “We all find ourselves in a very unfamiliar, and even an unwelcome, place. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead, but the Union of American Socialist Republics is being born.”
Huckabee cited a recent Newsweek cover story with a headline that read, “We are all socialists now,” and explained that as a country “we have gone from being free-market conservatives to nationalizing socialists faster than the market dives after a Tim ‘Turbo-Tax’ Geithner economic proclamation; or faster than Nancy Pelosi jumping out of her chair hearing the president speak!”
Huckabee said blame for the current economic situation in the United States can’t be placed solely on the Democrats, noting that the previous Republican administration was responsible for the $700 billion bailout program to buy troubled assets.
“Sadly, the party of Ronald Reagan became the party of Chicken Little,” Huckabee lamented. “When we needed deliberation, we got desperation; when we needed prudence, we got panic. They pulled the TARP over our eyes, and now we’ve got a brand new spending bill that we just passed in congress that they didn’t have time to read or even give a name.”
Huckabee, who refers to the Troubled Asset Relief Plan [TARP] bailout legislation as the Congressional Recovery Action Plan, said the few Republicans in Congress that did oppose the TARP were congressional heroes.
“That moment was not our best moment,” Huckabee said. “It would have been our best shot at winning the White House – a chance to offer a true, authentic conservative choice rather than a big government echo with a meek, me-too way of doing things. We missed our chance.”
Huckabee would like to grow the economy and create jobs by cutting taxes for families and corporations, cutting payroll taxes, cutting capital gains taxes, and doing away with the entire current tax structure because “it penalizes productivity, which is so counterproductive to our economy. We need to shut down the IRS and pass the fair tax.”
Huckabee would like to see the free market work itself out of the current economic crisis and said “creative destruction” is part of that process.
“Deserving companies deserve to survive, and the weak ones sometimes are going to fail,” Huckabee explained. “That happens in a market place. More innovative and efficient companies will rise up to take their place. When a free market is allowed to function without [Democratic Rep.] Barney Frank putting his hand on the scale, people don’t buy homes they can’t afford because nobody will make them a loan.”
Huckabee believes the answer is not for government to step in, but rather to step back and let the market mechanisms do their thing to create jobs and return the system to equilibrium.
“We don’t need a new philosophy,” Huckabee said about conservativism today, “we just need to communicate our principles better.”
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