February 25, 2008

60 IN '08:

Huckabee for Senate -- for Real: From taxes to spending, he is decidedly more pro-growth than Mark Pryor (Phil Kerpen, 2/25/08, National Review)

On a wide range of policy issues, from tax hikes to union-card-check legislation, the balance in the U.S. Senate could shift in the 2008 election, with big-government-leaning senators in both parties nearing the magical number of 60 needed to pass controversial measures. The core policy objectives of the Huckabee presidential run would be buried if that happened.

The March 10 filing deadline in Arkansas for the U.S. Senate race is fast approaching. There is presently no Republican in the race, with only Green party candidate Rebekah Kennedy challenging incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor. Political handicappers are already calling this race an easy reelect for Pryor. And if Huckabee’s not interested, the GOP is unlikely to find a credible candidate.

That’s bad news for pro-growth conservatives.

Mark Pryor’s moderate-Democrat image is largely undeserved. I learned this first hand when I spent 2006 focused on the effort to repeal the federal death tax. After encouraging talks on the issue with Pryor’s staff, I thought his support for repeal was assured when he posted this message on his official Senate website: “I support the permanent repeal of an estate tax that harms small businesses and family farms.” He then went to the Senate floor, broke with Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, and obliged Senate majority leader Harry Reid to vote against repeal.

Huckabee, in contrast, has been a staunch supporter of death-tax repeal throughout his campaign. But his low-tax agenda goes further. He has campaigned on the fundamental tax reform known as the FairTax, a bold proposal to repeal not just the death tax, but also the income tax, the payroll tax, and every other tax presently levied by the federal government, replacing all these with a national retail sales tax. The plan is considered a long shot to ever become the law of the land. But it is a starting point for a meaningful discussion of fundamental tax reform that has, unfortunately, been moribund since the report of President Bush’s tax-reform panel landed with a thud.

By emphasizing the FairTax’s territoriality — our current system double taxes our exports and un-taxes imports, which is one reason why manufacturing has clamored for, and received, a weak and weakening dollar — a Senator Huckabee could help pave the way to a border-adjustable tax system that would place American manufacturers on a level playing field with the rest of the world without the persistent need to devalue the currency.

With a top of the ticket that features John McCain vs, Barack Obama, the Huck could easily pull an upset here and solidify his claim for next in line.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 25, 2008 12:40 PM

True but there is no indication Huckabee is going to shift to the senate race in time. He probably figures he still has a shot at VP or doesn't want to forestall any chance at 2012.

Posted by: AWW at February 25, 2008 3:28 PM