Thursday, May 28, 2015

Huckabee's 18 Pledges

I thought it was 16 but I must have miscounted the last time. Wilson had 14 points, God had ten commandments and Huckabee has 18 pledges.

OK, here we go. Let's remember that this is a man that thinks he should be President of the United States.

Not everything he says I disagree with but the problem is simply stating that you will do something without any indication as to HOW you expect to go about it only addresses the first part of the question. We can talk whether or not this is a good objective or a bad objective but even the best of intentions can become a big problem with a lousy implementation.

I will adhere to the Constitution of the United States. 
Actually you would be taking an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution. The problem here is agreeing on what the Constitution means. I don't think most Americans would be willing to accept your interpretation Huck. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't.

The next three pledges are related so I'm going to talk about them together.

I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes. 

I will advocate for a complete overhaul of our tax system. This means passing the FairTax and abolishing the IRS. 

I will support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. 

Just about every reputable organization that has looked at the US budget situation agrees that a combination of new taxes and spending cuts is necessary.

The basic argument is who gets cut and who gets additional taxes?

To say you're going to balance the budget but at the same time declare no new taxes is wishful thinking. But, show me the math and I can perhaps be convinced.

I've looked at the Fair Tax and I'm pretty sure it's anything but fair and would most likely lead to a tremendous revenue shortfall.

The basic idea of the Fair Tax is to replace both payroll and income taxes with a consumption tax and something called a prebate. A prebate is sort of a necessities allowance that everyone receives to cover the consumption tax on necessities. Including people making billions of dollars which strikes me as more than a little ridiculous.

Also tuition, interest payments, local taxes and savings and investments are tax free. This implies to me that capital gains taxes are gone. Corporate income taxes are also eliminated. The consumption tax is set to 23% based upon a typical 15% income tax bracket, 6.2% in Social Security Tax and 1.4% in Medicare taxes. The 23% is INCLUSIVE so that makes it similar to a 30% sales tax.

Here are the immediate problems I see with the Fair Tax. One caveat is there may in fact be resolutions to some of these questions. I just may not be aware of them.

- What happens to the 6.2% Social Security and 1.4% Medicare employer matching funds? As far as I can see they're gone with nothing to replace them.

- The 0.9% additional Medicare tax on high earners (over $250k filing jointly) also appears to have disappeared. What's replacing that?

- I did a check on their Fair Tax Calculator and I would be entitled to about a $460 prebate per month. All of this money comes off the top. What's replacing it?

- What revenue stream replaces corporate income taxes and capital gains taxes?

- If you make less than $44,000 and are on Social Security, at least 50% of your Social Security is not currently taxed. But under the Fair Tax, if you spend it, it's taxed. I see no allowance for Social Security in the prebate calculator.

- Here's some simple math. If your tax bracket is 15% then you end up paying more tax because you don't pay 15% on everything. The first $18,000 is taxed at 10% for those filing jointly. If your tax bracket is higher than 15% then you're definitely getting a tax reduction. If you invest a lot of your salary, like most rich folks do, then you're getting a huge tax cut.

In general, if you spend almost all of your salary you pay the tax on everything. if you don't spend it, or spend it outside the US, then you're not taxed on it. Guess who spends most or all of their salary and guess who spends not all or most of their salary?

The bottom line is the math screams to me that this is a scheme for getting the poor and the middle class to further subsidize the rich.

I will now, and will for the duration of my presidency, promote and sign all measures leading to Obamacare’s defunding, deauthorization, and repeal. 
What is it that Republicans have against (a) getting people health care and (b) slowing the growth of health care costs? The ACA can be improved but it's a good start.

I will oppose amnesty and government benefits for illegal immigrants who violated our laws, repeal President Obama's unconstitutional executive orders, and secure our borders. 
This issue is more complicated than it looks and I would like to see real bipartisan immigration reform. This sort of statement doesn't accomplish anything. I have a serious problem with young adults brought here by their parents as children and living most of their lives as Americans being booted out of the country because of something their parents did wrong. That's not justice.

I will stand for the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception until the grave. Taking this unequivocal stand includes fighting to defund Planned Parenthood. 
Politicians seriously need to get their noses out of people's private health issues. Only about 3% of Planned Parenthood services are abortion services. 80% help reduce unplanned pregnancies which actually REDUCES abortions. If you "defund Planned Parenthood" the number of abortions might actually skyrocket.

I will stand for the Institution of Marriage and vigorously oppose any redefinition. 
Blah, blah, blah. It's time to come to grips with the simple fact that this ship has probably sailed. If the SCOTUS rules for marriage equality in June it will be long gone.

I will defend our 2nd Amendment rights and oppose gun control legislation.
If you don't think we should be keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and people just too plan stupid to handle them, then you're not thinking this through. Gun control legislation is intended to keep guns out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them.

I will fight for the United States military to be the most feared, respected, and capable fighting force the world has ever known. 
And here I always thought it already was.

I will restore our military infrastructure after years of abuse and neglect.
I'm all for common soldiers getting paid better and having better benefits. Soldiers should not have to rely on food stamps to feed their families and they should have better housing. Beyond that, you'll have to get more specific about this one. If you're talking about White Sands Missile Range, the place could definitely use some sprucing up

I will stand with our friend and ally Israel in our shared fight against Radical Islam. 
Then you better tell Netanyahu to get his act together or you might find yourself getting very lonely in the support for Israel club.

I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capability. 
I agree with the objective but we'll have to see about the approach.

I will end the national disgrace of failing to properly care for our veterans. 
I agree 100% and note the point above about soldier salaries, benefits and housing.

I will protect Social Security and Medicare and never rob seniors of the benefits they were promised and forced to pay for. 
I agree again but seniors look like they would take a bath with the so-called Fair Tax. You're going to have to fit this in with the rest of your tax ideas. Unfortunately all of those look really bad so why do I suspect this one will be just as bad?

I will fight to kill Common Core and restore common sense. Education is a family function - not a federal function. 
Clearly you don't understand Common Core. It's not a federal function. It was put together by the states in order to try and introduces standards across the country. The federal government simply put  a monetary incentive on the table. The objective is good, standards work, but if the implementation can be better, then let's improve it. By the way, what the hell does "Education is a family function" mean?

I will support the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices. They must be committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench.
Great, just what we need. A bunch of dinosaurs like Scalia and Thomas driving us back into the 1950s.

I will fight for term limits for members of Congress and judges.
I agree with this as well but, once again, the devil is in the details.

Huckabee is basically tossing out pledges to do what he thinks the under 80 IQ Republican base wants to hear. He clearly hasn't thought a lot of this through. If he was a tad less doctrinaire I would feel more comfortable,

For example, if he said he was going to focus on balancing the budget primarily through cost cutting and tax reform, I wouldn't argue with it. But to declare a solution, no taxes, the Fair Tax and a balanced budget amendment, that are very probably mutually exclusive doesn't fill me with a whole lot of confidence.

I suppose that's why I have him all the way down at #10 in the Republican menagerie.


Seeker said...

Im not really sure what you are saying in your post, but I do know quite about Fairtax fraud.

Because I read the fine print, hilariously in their "research".

If you can find another thing quite like Fairtax fine print tricks, please let me know.

Please retweet or mention this if you find it's worthwhile.

Im lousy at blogging, but I really was a Fairtax supporter, and really did read the fine print, and really do offere 50K for one page of actual research of that 22 million in Fairtax research.

my email is if you have questions or comments.


Seeker said...

By the way, when you did your fairtax calculator, did you notice anything at all?

Dont feel bad, these guys wrote a very slick trick, when you find out the trick, you might agree.

Did you notice it did not ask you for your consumption? The ONLY thing that matters is your consumption. They did not ask one single question -- not one -- about your taxable consumption.

A few razzle dazzle questions, you THINK this must be very sophisticated.

But nothing whatsoever about your consumption.

YOu might have had 50,000 in taxable consumption, or 10K. Your state taxes and city taxes might go up 3000 or 6000 ( all city county and state taxes Fairtax "assumes" will go up, see the fine print).

You might do all kinds of things, you could even save money on Fairtax.

But the point is, they did not allow you any space for that information.

You could spend an inheritance, or whatever. You might spend very little. You might borrow to spend, whatever. They didn't ask your consumption that matters.

I finally got an answer from someone at, they would not indentify themselves, they said the calculator "is not for individual use" and was just meant "for the average person, consuming the average amount".

That's not what they told anyone, in fact, they told you to "DARE TO COMPARE". Not "DARE TO LEARN ABOUT THE AVERAGE".

They didnt let you put in anything, seriously, not one thing, that matters about your Fairtax.

But they were so razzle dazzle and made it seem so thorough, right? Hilarious.

Let me tell you a story.

WHen I found out Fairtax seemed like a complete fraud, because of the fine print tricks, they started announcing the DARE TO COMPARE CALCULATOR.

I thought, well, let's see that. Maybe I was wrong. They will have a calculator!

I can use that calculator on my own situation, on other situations, and learn more how that works. Maybe it's not a fraud, just cause the fine print is wacko.

Then I saw not one, but FOUR different fairtax calculators, all looked different, all very smooth, and none, none, asked you anything that mattered.

You fell for that. Lot of people do. Because it SEEMS like they had something.

No, they have a fraud.