Post every federal expenditure on Internet without 24 hours
We should demand transparency and accountability from our government. I would propose that every time the federal government makes any expenditure, it posts it on the Internet within 24 hours, so you can find out exactly where every dollar
of the budget goes, down to how much it costs to mow the courthouse lawn in your home town. Wouldn’t that shock some people, to find out exactly how our tax money comes in, and how it goes out.
Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference
, Feb 7, 2008
My four guiding principles on infrastructure can be summed up simply: Stimulus, Safety, Security, and Sustainability.
Stimulus: I support the short-term economic stimulus package, but we must also look to the next century, not just to the next
Safety: Infrastructure-based economic development is not just about giving our economy a shot in the arm--it is also about protecting and preserving what we have already developed.
Allowing these weaknesses to continue provides openings for the terrorists to exploit.
Sustainability: I have always been a conservationist. Stewardship of the air and land and soil is very important to me. I will follow the principle
I learned from the Boy Scouts: Always leave the land better than when you found it. I am proud of my record in Arkansas, building constructive consensus on key issues. I look forward to bringing the same leadership to America.
Source: Campaign website, www.mikehuckabee.com, “Issues”
, Feb 3, 2008
Infrastructure in this country has been neglected
We’ve got a crumbling infrastructure. I don’t have to tell people that their traffic is clogged. Every billion dollars we spend on highway construction results in 47,500 jobs. The average American is sitting in traffic 38 hours a year. That’s a full work
week, not on vacation, not spent with their kids, stuck in traffic, just sitting there behind the wheel, pointing fingers, usually one at a time, at other motorists and very upset with what’s going on around them in this traffic. The point is we are
burning a lot of fuel up in the air, polluting the environment. We’re wasting time. Parents never get home to their kids’ soccer games and recitals. We have bridges falling down on people in the US. Infrastructure in this country has been neglected,
whether it’s our airports, our bridges, and our roads, and I don’t think there’s a governor in this state that wouldn’t tell you that you’ll create more jobs and you’ll build it with American workers, American concrete and American steel. That’s stimulus
Every $1B spent on infrastructure creates 47,500 jobs
Q: You’ve said you’ve got some serious problems with the Bush economic stimulus package.
A: The problem I have is that taxpayers will spend their $150 billion in rebates to buy imports from China. So whose economy is being stimulated? What I suggested
was, we have a nation whose infrastructure is crumbling. Our roads, bridges, airports clogged up. Texas A&M did a study, found that the average American in an urban setting loses 38 hours a year--that’s a full work week--stuck in traffic because of
clogged traffic patterns. Now, $150 billion would expand the interstate by two lanes, I-95, from Bangor, Maine, to Miami. There are places all over America where our infrastructure is choked. Every billion dollars we spend on infrastructure creates
47,500 jobs. And we do it with American labor, American cement, American steel. That’s why I’m saying that that’s a real long-term stimulus package. But it does more than just stimulate the economy, it actually stimulates jobs for Americans for a change.
$150B for highway infrastructure is better stimulus package
If we’re going to spend $150 billion [as in Bush’s economic stimulus package], I’d like to suggest that maybe we add two lanes of highway from Bangor all the way to Miami on I-95. A third of the United States population lives within 100 miles of that.
This nation’s infrastructure is falling apart. And if we built those lanes of highways--with American labor, American steel, American concrete--I believe it would do more to stimulate the economy.
And the reason
I say that is because when we were going through a recession in my state, we were in the middle of a billion-dollar highway construction program that brought about 40,000 jobs and brought a billion dollars of capital into the economy.
That’s a long- term stimulus package that I think would have more impact on the American long-term future. And it would keep social capital from being wasted, fuel wasted. A lot of people sit around in traffic every day, and we’ve done nothing about it.
Improved AR roads, via voter-approved tax increase
Q: What about Mitt Romney’s claims on your tax policies?
A: He made claims about things like tax increases, but he failed to mention that they were voted on by the people & approved by the people for roads. And I left my roads in great shape, took them
from the worst in the country to what Truckers Magazine said were the most improved. He left his roads in a mess, with huge problems in the infrastructure. He claimed that he didn’t raise taxes, but, in fact, he did raise taxes by half a billion dollars.
Q: As fees.
A: Yes, fees. It’s a tax. If you’re a small business person and you pay more money than you paid last year to the government, you can call it a fee, call it a tax, it’s a three letter word that means the same.
Q: But you raised taxes.
A: Well, [we used revenue to] build highways that give you economic incentives and capacities that, frankly, created the lowest unemployment numbers that our state had over had over a sustained period of time. We saw more new jobs created.
We modernized Arkansas & made state accessible online
Over the 10 1/2 years that I was a governor, Arkansas taxes increased by one penny, but our schools improved so much that the CARET Foundation said we had done more to reform education in five years than had been done in the previous 50.
We went from a road system that was deemed the worst in the country, by Truckers Magazine, to the most improved. I changed the way to get a driver’s license so that, instead of it taking seven hours, all day, it took four minutes on the Internet.
Brown University said we had done more in technology to make our state accessible online and to do more electronic services than any other state in the country.
So what we did, we modernized Arkansas. We rebuilt its education system.
The things that were done were done to make government functional. People don’t hate government. They just want it to work. And that’s what we did in my state, and that’s what I would do as president.
Air tech is Jetsons but air traffic control is Flintstones
Q: How do you fix airline travel in this country?
A: Well, as president, that would be one of the first things I’d like to do, since I’ve spent most of my year on an airline this entire time. First of all, we’ve got to have the kind of technology on
the ground that we have in the cockpit. We’ve got Jetsons-level technology that’s running the cockpit; we have the Flintstones technology on the ground that’s controlling the airplanes. And it’s ridiculous. And the second thing, we’ve got an
incredibly archaic method of the controls where you have incredible traffic coming in to key hubs. I don’t want to re-regulate the industry, but the industry’s going to have to start either getting in the program--and one thing they’ve got to stop
doing is holding the passengers hostage on airplanes for hours and hours without any way of being able to get off those planes. And part of it, I think, is let’s make sure that the consumer gets a voice in what happens. And it’s got to be a priority.
No Fairness Doctrine: no equal time if morally objectionable
Q: As a Christian radio talk-show host, I don’t want to be forced to broadcast morally objectionable material or give equal time to opponents of our faith. Would you veto any legislation that contains language of the so called “Fairness Doctrine?”
HUNTER: The liberals want to be able to cut into every conservative talk show [because they can’t get people to] turn on the dial.
Spend on our infrastructure instead of other countries’
Q: Is it time we raise the federal gas tax to start fixing up our nation’s bridges and roads?
A: It’s not necessary that we raise a tax. We’re spending billions of dollars all around the world, but it may be time that we start spending some of those
billions of dollars to deal with our own infrastructure. And it’s our bridges, our interstates, our sewer and water treatment systems. They’re crumbling. They’re old. And we have to start addressing building this country, not everybody else’s.
Cars’ navigation systems are better than air traffic control
Anybody who’s flown lately--as I do pretty regularly in the commercial system--know that we have a complete gridlock. And part of that problem is we’ve got a system of air traffic control that was designed in 1950, five years before I was born.
We’ve got better navigation systems in our rental cars than we have running the airline industry today. We need to address it. It’s not being talked about.
TV is like fire; pols must use it even though it can burn
TV is like fire. Fire can be good or it can be bad. It can burn you, but it also can warm you & cook your food. Several points are helpful in dealing with the media.
One is not to be afraid. Whether you like it or not, the media provide the vehicle
through which whatever you do or say is delivered to people. I had to accept the reality that Arkansans’ perceptions of me and what I was doing came through the media.
Second, you must diversify your contacts with various types of media. Neither have
one reporters or paper be your only contact. Do not become dependent on one medium. All are important. Now there are new technologies like the Internet.
If the medium for moving public policy is TV, then understand that TV is the field of play & learn
to run on it. It does not mean you have to give up your intellect; it means you have to be able to demonstrate that intellect in the medium the public has chosen. If you cannot do that, you probably are not going to be successful in politics today.
Q: Do you support eliminating the sales tax on food?
Source: 2002 AR Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test
, Nov 1, 2002
Arkansas becoming a leader in e-government
I got a phone call from former Gov. Pete Wilson of California. Pete Wilson is now in a global telecommunications and technology business. He said one of the things he does is evaluate states that are moving toward e-government. He said, “Mike, we have
looked at all 50 states, and Arkansas is leading the nation in moving toward e-government. No state has quite moved forward as your state has in becoming a leader in bringing its state services on-line and using technology effectively for its taxpayers.”
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature
, Jan 9, 2001
Opposes public electronic voting; wouldn’t focus on issues
Television is a wonderful communications tool and will help to communicate issues to the voters, but it would be impossible to have an effective and fairly administered two-way communication system in which the public could vote
electronically on major issues. In addition, issues might be decided on the basis of which groups could most effectively communicate by television, not which groups really presented the most convincing and/or constitutionally sound arguments.
Source: Responses to Associated Press Questionnaire for AR Senate
, Nov 1, 1992
Level playing field for Main Street vs. Internet sales tax.
Huckabee adopted a letter to Congress from 44 Governors:
The nation’s governors have a strong and unified message to Congress: deal fairly with Main Street retailers, consumers, and local governments. In a letter sent to all members of Congress late Friday, 44 governors said:
If you care about a level playing field for Main Street retail businesses and local control of states, local governments, and schools, extend the moratorium on taxing Internet access ONLY with authorization for the states to streamline and simplify the existing sales tax system. To do otherwise perpetuates a fundamental inequity and ignores a growing problem.
The current moratorium on Internet access taxes, like those consumers pay to Internet service providers, and multiple and discriminatory taxes is scheduled to expire in October. The moratorium does not apply to sales taxes.
Currently, sales and use taxes are owed on all online transactions, but states are prohibited from requiring “remote sellers” to collect and remit those levies.
A 1992 US Supreme Court decision said states can only require sellers that have a physical presence in the same state as the consumer to collect so-called use taxes. In instances when a seller does not have a physical presence, consumers are required to calculate and remit the taxes owed to their home states at the end of the year. The problem is most people are unaware that they’re supposed to pay, and states lack an effective enforcement mechanism. Online and catalog sellers, thereby, have a significant price advantage over Main Street businesses that must collect a sales tax on all transactions.
The loophole creates serious budget problems for schools, states, and local governments. A study estimated that states could lose as much as $14 billion by 2004 if they are unable to collect existing taxes on Web-based sales. Nearly half of state revenues come from sales taxes.
Source: NGA Press Release, "Level Playing Field" 01-NGA18 on Aug 20, 2001
Permanent R&D tax incentive & more R&D funding.
Huckabee co-sponsored the Southern Governors' Association resolution:
Whereas, the federal government’s investment in research and development (R&D) has dropped from 70% of total, national R&D at the height of the “cold war” to merely 27% in 1999; and,
Whereas, federal R&D spending has dropped from 1.5% of the Gross National Product (GDP) in 1987 to only 0.6% today; and,
Whereas, industry-sponsored R&D has off-set this decline by merely growing from 1.5% of GDP in 1987 to 1.6% today; and,
Whereas, federal leadership in technology transfer is of critical importance to the development and commercialization of established intellectual property; and,
Whereas, broadband, high-speed Internet technology is an essential asset to support the New Economy and foster a climate to aid R&D efforts; and,
Whereas, the advancement of digital government can foster supportive services important to research and development including cataloging of labor, statistics and venture capital,
and further, can enhance citizen access and coordination of government information and services; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Southern Governors’ Association urges Congress and the Administration to:
Substantially increase all areas of research and development funding, and enact a permanent tax incentive for R&D and a tax election to exchange research-related benefits for a refundable tax credit;
Pass legislation to bolster federal technology transfer efforts, ensuring that a sense of urgency exists in tech transfer officers of government agencies;
Support legislation and regulations that will speed the deployment of broadband, high speed Internet networking throughout the nation; and,
Establish a federal chief information office within the Office of Management and Budget.
Source: Resolution of Southern Governor's Assn. on Federal R&D 01-SGA4 on Sep 9, 2001