Mike Huckabee used last week's Repulican presidential debate to again make the claim that he's a great tax-cutter. The Arkansas Leader editorial page, as ever, stands ready to correct the record.
Huckabee said that he had a consistent record of tax cutting and that he had slashed taxes in Arkansas “94 times.” His record is this: He signed one big tax cut, a 1997 income tax revision drafted and passed by the other party. He supported two other smaller tax cuts that became law.
He fought elimination of the sales tax on groceries. He raised taxes far more than he cut them. He raised them so much that treasury surpluses set records his last two years in office.
If Huckabee can fashion himself into a major candidate — the Iowa straw poll in August is his goal — his dissimulation as a world-class tax cutter will not be permitted to pass.
No one cares to set the record straight now, but you can be sure that his rivals will pin him if he becomes a threat. Huckabee’s best bet is to be honest about his values and his record.
In a state with the poorest education and weakest public services in the country, he worked practically with Democrats to get things done, even when his own party was not much help and even when they required more taxes.
If he cannot win on that record and on straight talk, he cannot win on anything. Too bad the first big debate did not help him see the light.