November 29th, 2007
05:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Huckabee talks taxes in The Situation Room

Watch Mike Huckabee's interview with Wolf Blitzer.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee visited The Situation Room to talk about his surging presidential campaign and Wednesday's CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate.

In this clip, Huckabee speaks with CNN's Wolf Blitzer about his tax reform proposals and recent attacks on him by GOP rivals Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Paul Thompson

    I pray he can do what this country needs....Vision, Unity and Honor.
    We're not a perfect nation, but I believe that all of us want to be a decent nation, one that we are proud to be a part of.

    It surprises me however, that from what I've seen and heard...he isn't a politician. And really we don't need another politician. I so hope he wins!

    Go Huck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    November 29, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  2. Cal Demier, Key West, Florida

    Most of the Republican Presidential candidates and one Democrat candidate support the Fairtax, not just Huckabee. Even Al Capone had accountants and he didn't pay taxes so I wouldn't worry about employment of tax accountants and lawyers. The growth of free enterprise spurred by Fairtax implementation will demand their skills. Those wishing to remain in Government can be employed investigating the finances of terrorists.

    November 29, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    To all Evangelical voters out there. QUIT LOOKING FOR YOUR COUNTRY BUMPKIN CANDIDATE!!! Ya'll might think you have the big voting block power, but the rest of the nation will not vote for another Southern Disappointment this time around. So, get over it!!! For ya'll out there in Dixieland, FYI, Hillary feels MOST threatened by Romney. If you don't want to split the vote, LIKE ROSS PEROT once did, you can prevent another Clinton from getting in. GOT IT?

    November 30, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  4. AJ, IC, IA

    Hickleby [sic] is a joke! Get somebody serious to be president and not a blabbering gopher "I've said it before and I'll keep on say'in it again, if you get kicked from behind you must be in the lead... SOUL PATROL!" Yeah like we've heard that before...

    November 30, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  5. Independent in IA

    Incontrovertable proof that this clown is exactly that....a clown.

    November 30, 2007 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  6. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Let's get some facts on the table for discussion;

    As a candidate, Huckabee calls for an end to the federal income tax and the Internal Revenue Service and the imposition of a "fair tax," which is a 23 percent sales tax on all new goods and services.

    ... which means that someone buying $10 shoes at WalMart because that's all they can afford will pay 23% tax ... while the rich guy buying a yacht will hardly feel the pinch ...

    "The tax will apply only to new goods, so we can reduce our taxes further by buying a used car or computer,"

    Sounds great! Unless you are working in a job that makes new cars and new computers. Everyone buying used except the rich and famous and before you know it, the working stiffs are out of a job.

    "Clegg says that Huckabee's plan would eliminate corporate income taxes"

    More corporate welfare: Preacher Mike sounds like the true conservative he is – shaft the working people – reward the rich and Praise God!

    Go Away, Huck!!!!!!!!!!

    November 30, 2007 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  7. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    Being a former preacher, Huckabee is naive and ignorant to think his consumption based tax would replace the current corporate and personal taxes. Reasons:

    1) His consumption based tax would hurt the poor more than the rich. While the rich could pay 23% sales tax on a bag of milk, the poor may not.

    2) His proposed consumption tax also needs the help of the administration and enforcement of IRS (which he proposes to eliminate). Who is going to audit and collect the consumption tax? There will be companies and people not reporting the sales, and thus no tax revenue to the govt.

    3) I have yet to see an industralised country in the world that does not have the corp or personal taxes.

    Do not trust Huckabee, who is just a talker, no substance.

    November 30, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Jeffrey Swerdlow, Apopka, FL

    Dear Alice,

    I would like to mention a few things that you did not in your criticism of the fair tax. For the record, let me state that I do not support Huckabee and I am also not a conservative.

    The Fairtax is, as you stated, a 23% flat tax on all new goods sold at the RETAIL level.

    What you did not mention, however, is that under the fairtax plan, you would not be paying ANY other Federal Taxes. This means that Americans would not have 20-40% of your income deducted from their paychecks every week. You did not mention that FACT.

    Next, the fairtax plan specifies that every American would receive a monthly tax "prebate" which would cover the tax es of basic necessities (food, clothing, medicine, etc). This number would be based on an impartial formula that is already in use by the government. You did not mention this FACT either.

    Thirdly, everything that you buy has embedded taxes currently in it. Take a loaf of bread for example. Every company that takes part in the making of the bread and the delivery of it and the selling of it are all embedding their corporate income taxes into the cost of that loaf of bread. When you tax a business, the business passes that tax along to its' customers through higher prices. In effect, the customer is paying corporate income taxes. Under the fairtax plan, this goes away, since there would no longer be any corporate income tax. As a result, the cost of the loaf of bread will go DOWN. How much will it go down? Economists estimate that the cost of embedded taxes represents approximately 22% of the cost of an item. So, if the loaf of bread is $1 today, 22 cents of that is the cost of embedded taxes being passed along to the customer. Under fairtax, the embedded taxes (22%) go away, and the 23% is added. You might be thinking that still means the loaf of bread would still be 1% more expensive, but that line of thinking does not take into account the FACT that you would not have any federal taxes taken out of your paychecks AND also that you would be receiving a prebate check each month from the federal government. In FACT, the loaf of bread would cost you LESS under fairtax than it does today. The same applies to houses, cars and the shoes you mentioned. Just another FACT you did not mention.

    Lastly, a underpinning principle of fairtax is that goods and services should only be taxed ONE TIME... at the retail level. This is what makes fairtax different than a VAT like they have in Canada and Europe. So, if you buy something used, you don't pay tax on it. That's a good thing... and another FACT you did not mention.

    I would strongly suggest that you read the fairtax book and/or visit their website at All supporters of fairtax are happy to enter into debate about this plan... unfortunately, comments like yours only spread fear and doubt instead of factual information. Fairtax is a very well-thought out plan and it does not favor the rich over the poor. In FACT, everyone wins with fairtax... except the IRS.

    Thank you for reading. If you have any questions about fairtax, please talk to any supporter.

    November 30, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Joel, Seal Harbor, Maine

    Alice, you are wonderfully misled, almost to the point of entertainment. I live in coastal Maine in a very affluent small town. Believe it or not, rich folks spend a lot of money and they spend it on new goods. They buy shoes, cloths, and food too- not to mention a good bit of higher priced items. Hinckley Yachts is not hurting for business here for their new boats. The poor spend less, the rich spend more. Why not be taxed on what we spend, not what we make. It allows the poor to save more money on top and it prevents the rich from skirting taxes with “investments” and shelters. It's not really that complicated. That's the point of it all.

    November 30, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Bob Barton, Virginia Beach VA

    I see a comment from someone who obviously has not read Fair Tax Book. You really should reserve comment until you've read the book. The concern brought up by Alice Newman is answered in the book.

    November 30, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Hey Alice, 23% tax on $10 is $2.30. 23% tax on $95,000 for a new yacht is $21,850.00. So you think it is the poor people paying the bulk of the tax? Last time I checked two dollars was less the twenty-one thousand.

    Oh and guess what, sales taxes don't apply to used goods TODAY. Surprise! And yet people still buy new cars and computers. Hmmm...

    By the way, your "corporate welfare" comes from the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. And who has control of the House and Senate? Democrats. There is a provision going through Congress as we speak to off-set the WTO ruling that tax subsidies provided to exporters of U.S. goods violates trade agreements. The House Ways and Means is offering corporations a tax break to mitigate the removal of these subsidies. Perhaps you would do well to write your democratic Congressperson and ask them why they are offering more corporate wellfare.

    Don't you just love an educated voter?

    November 30, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Joel - Raleigh, NC

    Additionally, one important part of the fairtax is that every month a flat prepaid rebate (a prebate) is sent to every registered household. This is what keeps the tax from screwing over the poor.

    November 30, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. charlie, houston TX

    Some people see Huckabee as not a politician, but honest and down to earth. Many people felt that way about Bush also. IMO Huckabee is still like many other politicians becuase he PANDERS. I will tax to take your money away. Then everyone asks me (the govt) on how to spend it. I (the govt) will promise to spend that money for your specific group and interest. He does this constantly in debates, the most recent example was to promise to fund and expand the space program to Floridians who get 5 billion from NASA annually.

    November 30, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |


    November 30, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. David - Portland, Oregon

    A. Thomas, New York, NY;
    It looks like you are the "big talker". Have you ever been Governor of a State?

    November 30, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  16. Steve Blaine Washington

    From Wikepedia internet encyelopedia

    Handling of the Wayne Dumond case
    Huckabee has also come under criticism for his handling of the case of Wayne
    Dumond, a convicted rapist who was released during Huckabee's governorship
    and who subsequently sexually assaulted and murdered a woman in
    Missouri.[77] Dumond's case had attracted national attention in the mid
    1990s from critics of President Bill Clinton who felt the former Arkansas
    Governor had been too harsh with Dumond because Dumond's victim was a
    distant Clinton relative. Even before taking office, Huckabee met with
    Dumond's wife and privately announced his intention that Dumond be set free,
    stating his unhappiness with the way Clinton had handled the case.[78]
    Dumond was castrated prior to his trial; he stated that he was attacked by
    two men in his home (though district prosecutor Gene Raff suggested it was a
    case of self-mutilation[79] and a urologist who'd studied the topic told the
    Forrest City Times-Herald that self-mutilation isn't that rare among
    psychologically disturbed sex offenders.[80]) On September 20, 1996,
    Huckabee publicly announced his intention of commuting Dumond's sentence
    based on the commutation given by Jim Guy Tucker, who had served as governor
    during Clinton's presidential run and had overseen the case.[81] There was
    strong opposition to Huckabee's plan, leaving Huckabee in a difficult
    situation politically.[77] On October 31, 1996, Huckabee met privately with
    the parole board to talk about the Dumond case. On January 16, 1997, Dumond
    was granted parole, just five months after he had been rejected. Huckabee
    released a statement saying, "I concur with the board's action and hope the
    lives of all those involved can move forward. The action of the board
    accomplishes what I sought to do in considering an earlier request for
    commutation ...In light of the action of the board, my original intent to
    commute the sentence to time served is no longer relevant."[77] His full
    disclosure of the incident is described in his book From Hope to Higher

    Dumond had been sentenced to life in prison until 1992, when Tucker reduced
    the sentence to 39 1/2 years which made Dumond eligible for parole. The
    parole was granted on the condition that another state take him. Wayne
    Dumond moved to Kansas City in 2000 and was convicted there of sexually
    assaulting and murdering a woman that lived near his home. Wayne Dumond died
    in prison in 2005.[82]

    December 1, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Karen Houston,TX

    Mike Huckabee, although a likeable guy, has a TERRIBLE economic record!!!
    Are you all aware of the many thousand of good people of Arkansas who were forced to declare bankruptcy under his watchful eye as governor? Better be wise. Super preacher, entertaining, but not a good business man. We can't afford him in this country. Love the guy, but he is not president material! Please don't vote a guy into office because he is so darn funny. You'll be laughing all the way to the poor house.

    BTW- He is super laid back on immigration issues.(Not Good) But that is another blog.

    December 2, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. Karen Houston TX

    To Steve Blane Washington

    Thank you for a thought provoking post. I was unaware of the Wayne Dumond case. It is easy to make a mistake, but I also question Governor Huckabee's judgement in other areas. I would like the Christian community of which I am a part to think more responsibility about their vote. This is not a popularity contest at a Baptist BBQ (pardon the poor humor)This is a serious issue of who is qualified to lead our country.

    God Bless and truly may the best man win.

    December 2, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. yaha

    Under the Fair Tax, every American citizen would receive a check every month to cover the costs of the sales tax up to povery levels. No matter who you are or what you do, the check would be the same amount; approximately $200/month.

    Illegal immigrants, who will be paying the national sales tax, will NOT get the check. So the Fair Tax deals with the problem of illegal immigration in a very fair but non-intrusive way. You may sneak in, but you won't get what every US citizen is entitled to, and you will still have to pay taxes.

    January 4, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |