(…and while your at it, at the bottom is a new AP article out today:
Find more information – please visit Mike at: mikehuckabee.com
A Voter’s guide…
1. With ten-and-a-half years of experience running state government, Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas has more relevant executive experience than any candidate in the race – either Republican or Democrat.
2. Recognized and tapped by his peers for leadership, the National Governor’s Association selected Governor Huckabee as it’s Chairman.
3. TIME Magazine honored him as one of the five best Governors in America.
4. Governor Huckabee is a fiscal conservative who cut taxes almost 100 times in the state of Arkansas, including the state’s first broad-based tax cuts, and turned a $200 million deficit into an $850 million surplus.
1. TAXES/ECONOMY –Governor Huckabee supports The FairTax because it will restore the “Made in America” label, making American goods 12-25% more competitive, boosting economic growth, increasing our exports, and securing American jobs. It also prevents criminals or illegal aliens from avoiding taxes, and makes the taxes we all pay 100% transparent.
2. GOVERNMENT SPENDING – Governor Huckabee is committed to reducing government spending. One way he’ll do this is by reducing the cost of welfare. Governor Huckabee will work with states to reduce welfare roles through programs like the one he implemented in Arkansas, which reduced welfare roles by 50%.
3. HEALTH CARE –Governor Huckabee will implement a consumer-based healthcare system that emphasizes preventative medicine and wellness. Because 70% of our $2 trillion dollar healthcare costs is spent treating chronic, preventable diseases, this approach will make healthcare more affordable for everybody while keeping us healthier.
4. FAMILY VALUES –Governor Huckabee supports a federal constitutional amendment to protect the right to life. He Successfully fought for Arknasas’ marriage amendment and strongly supports a similar, federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
5. IMMIGRATION –Governor Huckabee will secure the border (with physical barriers, electronic surveillance, and more border-patrol personnel and detention facilities). He will also end sanctuary cities and increase penalties on, and enforcement against, employers who hire illegal immigrants. Governor Huckabee will make sure the border patrol has adequate funding to end our “catch and release” system so that everyone caught trying to enter illegally, overstaying their visa, or committing a crime will be held until they’re tried, convicted, and deported. Gov. Huckabee has also signed the Numbers USA “No Amnesty” Pledge.
6. WAR ON TERROR AND IRAQ – Governor Huckabee knows it takes a large, well-equipped military to ensure our national defense and to deter conventional military confrontations. He also knows we need large, well-equipped intelligence and Special Forces operations for our national offense – so we can effectively find and eliminate terrorist threats at home or abroad. Governor Huckabee will be a Commander in Chief who knows that IF WE HAVE TO FIGHT A WAR, our President has to fight it the way our GENERALS tell him it can be won, not the way we want it to be won.
7. ENERGY INDEPENDENCE –Governor Huckabee will implement a program to end the import of foreign oil in the next ten years by increasing domestic oil production in the short term, and then replacing oil-based energy infrastructure with alternative and renewable energies.
8. CLEMENCIES – Arkansas Governors grant clemency, but the parole board grants parole. Wayne DuMond’s parole was granted by the board and NOT Governor Huckabee.
9. TAXES –When Governor Huckabee left office, the tax rates remained exactly the same as when he first came into office. Governor Huckabee returned almost $400 million to Arkansas taxpayers, and he also DOUBLED the standard deduction for individuals and married couples, DOUBLED the childcare tax credit, and eliminated the marriage penalty. He also repealed capital gains taxes for home sales, lowered the capital gains rate by 25%, expanded the homestead exemption, and set up tax-free savings accounts for medical care and college tuition. Gov. Huckabee has also signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge not to raise taxes.
10. SECOND AMENDMENT–
• Lifetime member of the NRA, member for over 15 years
• First Governor to have concealed-carry permit
• Removed restrictions on carry permit holders
• Protected gun manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits
• Opposes reauthorization of the Assault Weapon Ban
• Opposes expansion of the unconstitutional “Brady Bill”
• Opposes waiting period for purchase of firearms
• Opposes background checks on private firearms transactions at gun shows
• Will nominate judges who interpret the constitution as the Founders intended, rather than as a “living document reflecting current political trends or opinions”
• An avid hunter and conservationist, and a member of the Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation and BASS
© 2008 The Associated Press
BOSTON — It’s part of Mitt Romney’s core narrative: Massachusetts, in the throes of a fiscal freefall, fell back on his CEO skills and turnaround wizardry to spark — in his words — “a dramatic reversal of state fortunes and a period of sustained economic expansion.”
It’s a rosy opinion of Massachusetts’ economy that few in the state share. Instead, observers say, the state’s recovery from a disastrous 2001 recession has been tepid at best, and Romney gives himself more credit than deserved on job creation and balancing the state budget.
Romney says that by the time he left office, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts was lower and the state had recovered nearly 80,000 jobs from the low point of the recession.
A fuller look reveals a state still struggling to recoup the jobs washed away in the recession, while much of the rest of the country has already sailed past pre-recession highs.
According to state unemployment numbers, the net number of jobs added during the four years Romney was in office was 24,400 — a fraction of the total of about 200,000 lost during the recession.
Although the number of new jobs steadily climbed during Romney’s four years in office — from a loss of 54,700 in his first year to a gain of 34,700 in his final year — most of the rest of the country rebounded much faster.
Massachusetts is one of just six states that hasn’t added back all the jobs lost during the recession.
“Our losses were steeper, and our gains have been slower and as an end result we are still nearly 100,000 jobs down,” said Dana Ansel, research director for the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, a nonpartisan think tank.
The state’s unemployment numbers also showed little movement during Romney’s tenure.
In December 2002, as Romney prepared to step into office, Massachusetts unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent, slightly lower than the national unemployment rate of 6 percent.
By December 2006 — Romney’s last full month in office — national unemployment had fallen to just 4.5 percent while Massachusetts unemployment numbers had inched down to 5.2 percent.
“We’ve had a very slow economic recovery and we’ve trailed most of the rest of the nation,” said Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “It’s not the turnaround he’s advertised.”
Another key Romney claim was that he was able — through a mix of spending cuts and fiscal discipline — to close a nearly $3 billion budget gap he inherited as he walked into office.
While fiscal watchdogs also pegged the budget gap at about $3 billion, they point out that Romney also inherited something else — revenues from a massive $1.1 billion package of tax increases passed by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature the year before he took office.
A spike in revenues in his first year in office helped cut that deficit nearly in half.
“He was lucky. He dodged a bullet,” said David Tuerck, executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University. “If he was in office a year earlier, he would have faced a very difficult choice.”
Another of Romney’s key, and most contested, economic claims is that he was able to close the $3 billion hole without raising taxes or increasing debt.
Critics have been quick to point out that while Romney opposed any broad-based taxes, he hiked business taxes by about $300 million by closing so-called tax “loopholes” — and would have raised even more until pressure from business leaders forced him to cut one of the proposed loophole closings in half.
He also pushed through a broad series of new and higher fees that brought in an additional $260 million during his first year.
Observers say Romney can claim some legitimate fiscal successes — vetoing spending increases, fighting against tax increases, and helping lure some businesses to Massachusetts, including a new facility being built by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
“The economy when Mitt Romney left was clearly not where any of us wanted it to be, but it was headed in the right direction,” said state Rep. Brad Jones, the Republican leader in the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts House and a supporter of Romney. “Clearly it’s accurate that the economy turned around from where it was and where it was headed.”
But many in Massachusetts, including business leaders, say they see in Romney’s legacy a history of missed opportunities.
When he was running for governor, Romney pledged to be the state’s salesman-in-chief, luring companies to the struggling state.
That role shifted as he eyed a run for president and tried to distance himself from Massachusetts’ liberal reputation.
“Unfortunately, he spent a lot of time out of state and as his preliminary campaign started he spent a lot of time badmouthing and making fun of the state,” said Brian Gilmore, executive vice president of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, which represents 7,000 businesses and employers.
“I certainly didn’t think that helped,” he said.
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