Just minutes ago on his website, Mike Huckabee announced his FAIR DEAL for all Americans:
I know that the American people are hurting. Traveling this country, I hear their stories; I know that Main Street, as well as Wall Street, is threatened by a weakening economy. But we are all in this together.
We are coming off the weakest holiday shopping season in five years, with consumer spending slowing, housing starts fell in December to their lowest annualized rate since 1993, and foreclosures on subprime mortgages might reach two million by the end of next year. Washington needs to do more to help American families as they struggle to stay in their homes and put food on the table.
Two factors affect Americans’ spending. First, they have to have money in their pockets to spend. Consumer spending is expected to grow only 1.6% this quarter, compared to 2.6% in the last quarter of 2007. Second, they have to have the confidence to spend it. When people feel good about their prospects, our economy expands; when people feel anxious, our economy contracts. Washington needs to immediately address both concerns. That’s why I am putting forward a long-term plan, as well as a short-term plan, so that we can boost confidence RIGHT NOW, while adding to our national strength for the 21st century. The American want to work, and they want to work hard. They want to compete, and to compete hard. They want to win.
Now is the time to unleash the economic power of the United States of America. We need a new generation of leadership to take us forward into the 21st century.
There are many ideas under discussion in Washington right now, and I hope that our incumbent officials will take responsible action. But as I travel through the Heartland, I just have one urgent message to Washington: Hurry Up!
Here are the five principles that would guide my economic policymaking on behalf of all Americans.
#1 Family: Focus on Middle Class Families: More Income, Better Jobs, More Secure Homeownership.
- Our economy is weakening and families are hurting; Jobs are being lost, many to offshore companies.
- In Arkansas, I cut taxes on working families, I eliminated the marriage penalty, cut taxes on savings.
- Too many American families face the real prospect of losing their homes as a result of the ongoing subprime mortgage situation. The federal government needs to immediately begin a second round of negotiations with subprime lenders with an eye toward expansion of the “Hope Now” program. We should strive to find ways to preserve American home ownership.
- I will cut burdensome red tape that drives up the cost of products and keeps employers from hiring more workers or raising wages. We want bosses signing pay checks, not filling out government forms.
- In Arkansas, I signed a bill that would reduced frivolous lawsuits which drive up costs of products and medical care. We need more doctors not fewer, we more new products, not fewer.
- I believe in free trade, but I also believe in fair trade. We will expect our trading partners to live up to their obligations—everyone must play by fair rules. If you want access to the world’s largest economy, don’t send us your lead toys or your poisoned pet food. We will not outsource our safety.
- Also, we open new markets for American products.
- And there is more: I will preserve and expand President Bush’s tax cuts, which are set to expire in 2010; and I will ensure higher-education becomes attainable for more American families by making all tuition deductible.
#2 Fed: Work with the Federal Reserve for a Pro-Growth, Low Inflation Economy
- The greatest source of short-term stimulus is the Federal Reserve. I believe that it’s time for the Federal Reserve to adapt a pro-growth, low-inflation policy.
- But at the same time, we must always be fiscally prudent. I will make sure that unnecessary spending is under control in Washington. Republicans have lost their reputation for fiscal discipline. As Governor, I had to balance the budget by law every year. I will have my veto pen out in Washington.
- Monetary policy must be aggressive enough to stave off recession, but always mindful of inflation and its tax on our economy.
#3 Fight: Create Jobs as We Build Up Our Defenses and Build Up Our Infrastructure
- As President I have pledged to increase defense spending to six percent of GDP. That’s roughly a $200 billion increase. A lot of money, but we need it, because the security threats to America today are enormous. We need such a big increase so that we can be safe and secure, but such spending also creates jobs for vital strategic industries and, in addition, provides many spinoffs to the civilian sector.
- America must always be the Arsenal of Democracy. We will build new planes, new armed vehicles, new robotic land and air vehicles, new ships all RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA.
- After years of war, our heroic warriors are strained to the limit and our equipment worn out by repeated deployments. I will recruit and train thousands of new troops and bring our National Guard and Reserves back home. We must quickly expand our Army and Marine Corps to help continue our fight against the agents of terror.
- Much of our country’s roads, bridges, water systems, sewer systems were built generations ago. Our Country is now over 300 million and still growing.
- We need a national mission to return our critical infrastructure to readiness for the 21st century. We don’t need earmarks and bridges to nowhere when we have critical needs.
- We can’t have our interstate highway bridges falling down; our levees breaking; or our water systems collapsing under our streets.
- As Arkansas Governor, I took our state highways from the worst to the most improved in five years. As your president, I will work with the Congress and we will rebuild our great nation.
- We will build a homeland security fence along the US-Mexico border, and we will build it with American Labor and American Materials.
#4 Fuel: Invest in Energy Independence: A Great Nation Must Be Able to Fuel Itself, as Defend Itself
- Every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Coast Guardsman and Marine will earn a Veteran’s Bill of Rights. They, along with their families, have sacrificed so much in defense of our Nation. We will not turn our backs on them or their families. One way we can support our service men and women in their overseas missions is with implementation of a sound energy policy back here at home.
- With oil prices touching near $100 a barrel and prices at the pump pushing past $3.00 per gallon across the nation, we must remember that these rapidly rising fuel prices put a great strain on the budgets of American families.
- Every time we fill our cars up, we fill up the pockets of Middle Eastern countries. That is going to end. We will have national energy security policy and we will end our dependence on Middle Eastern oil within ten years of my inauguration.
- We are going to unleash the American ingenuity and we are going to conserve, explore and invent our way to independence in energy. Right in Little Rock, AR is the North American headquarters for the largest manufacturer of windmill blades in the world. We will do that all over America and right here in Michigan.
#5 FAIR: Move Toward FAIR TAXation
- My short-term economic policies will move us toward our long-term economic goal: Simply put, America’s federal tax system is broken. What we have now is a system that is failing American families and businesses. Our tax system burdens low and middle-income families, robbing them of the chance for upward mobility.
- Our tax system encourages outsourcing of American production overseas and the dismantling of our industrial base. It wastes hundreds of billions in useless tax preparation, paperwork and confrontation. It pits industry against industry, class against class.
- My FairTax proposal allows American workers to keep their entire paycheck, allows American businesses to compete on a level-playing field with their foreign competitors, and brings jobs and investment that are currently parked off-shore back to the United States.
- However, I recognize that passage of the FairTax will not happen overnight. In the meantime, I will eliminate the Death Tax, and seek to reduce counterproductively high personal and corporate marginal tax rates.