Mike Huckabee: A Simple Government: Book Review. Chapter 4: If You Drain The Lake All the Fish Will Die. (We need a simple and fair tax system. Something smell fishy to You? [Yes, You Huckabee.])
MR. TAX EXPERT
Huckabee in this twelve page chapter addresses the tax system and offers solutions to perceived inequities. Some of those inequities he perceives are Payroll Taxes, Income Tax, Estate Taxes, Corporate Taxes and Capital Gains Taxes. Huckabee himself is not an economist or a specialist in taxation and so he alludes to many foundations and think tanks for authority and support. Most of these foundations and think tanks were established under the present taxation system to avoid Estate Taxes and create a memorial for the deceased as a public benefactor at the expense of the public.
He states that corporate taxes are too high in comparison to other industrialized countries. (Corporations are taxed beginning at 15% and up to 35% on taxable income of $335,000.00 or higher. However it is a well known fact the large corporations often pay no corporate taxes. GE is one example but there are many others. Frequently profits made abroad are sequestered there to avoid U.S. taxes and corporations have sophisticated lawyers and accountants to advise them on how to avoid taxes as do the wealthy.)
Also the wealthy and corporations have lobbyists and politicians to advocate changes in the tax code to benefit their clients. An example of this is the Bush tax cuts which were extended after the 2010 Congressional elections which allowed Republicans, many who were also members of the Tea Party, to control the House of Representatives. Thus at a time we are running large deficits tax breaks have been extended to those whose income is over $250,000.00.
Huckabee’s original field of expertise is in Christian Ministry and it’s obvious that his Christian teaching have not spilled over in to the area of economics and taxation. He would do away with Social Security, Medicare and other social welfare programs administered by the Federal Government that benefit the type of people that compose the members of his church.
He argues the discredited Supply Side economic doctrine that if taxes are lowered particularly on the wealthy ultimately it will generate more taxable income by stimulating the economy. Thus lowering taxes on the wealthy would create jobs for the less wealthy. This argument was put forward by Reagan economist Art Laffer. However in practice it did not turn out to be true. The wealthy have less need to spend or invest their money than the poor or middle class and lowering their taxes had less effect than lowering taxes on the middle class who of necessity do spend the extra income creating jobs
In the case of the Estate Tax which was eliminated by the Bush tax cuts in 2010 this was changed to tax estates over 5 million and in the case of couples 10 million dollars. The top rate is 35%. This falls on less than 2% of estates. In the case of farms and small businesses special provisions apply to them to prevent liquidation to pay taxes. Why Huckabee is against estate taxes is irrational. Lack of taxation only keeps large amounts of the Nation’s wealth in the hands of those who didn’t earn it and frequently don’t use it productively. Thus creating an elite supported by unearned wealth instead of accomplishment.
Repealing the Estate Tax would cost the government approximately 34 billion in revenue.
In this chapter Huckabee declares his support for a plan called the Fair Tax. This a national sales tax that would do away with Corporate taxes, Payroll taxes, Estate Taxes, Income Taxes, Capital Gains taxes etc. Allegedly this would do away with the need for the Internal Revenues Service. One wonders who would collect the tax and make sure it reflected an accurate figure. It sounds like a field day for tax cheats. Economists are split on the efficacy of this system. There allegedly would be a prebate for those living below the poverty line of the amount they would likely pay under this system.
The vast portion of this tax would be paid by the middle class just as they pay the most under the present system. Thus the wealthy who spend less on a percentage basis would untimely benefit. Instead of a “Fair Tax” this in reality would constitute a tax shift away from the wealthy to the middle class and ultimately create a greater divide between rich and poor thus creating politically instability.
At the end of this chapter, Huckabee asks “something smell fishy to you?” Perhaps he just smells himself.