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On Oct. 28, the Republican presidential debate will be held at the University of Colorado’s own Coors Events Center. The debate will focus on the economic proposals of the participating candidates. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee makes his name by viewing many issues through a moral lens. When it comes to the economy, Huckabee is all about balance and fairness. Here’s a breakdown on his plans:
Implementing a fair tax
Huckabee refers to the IRS as a “criminal enterprise” and hopes to abolish the organization altogether. By doing so, he plans to establish a flat sales tax, a proposal that’s caused much controversy among skeptical economists. This tax would eliminate income, corporate and capital gains — all federal taxes. Some tax experts say the plan could work if the sales tax were 23 percent, whereas some say it would need to be above 30 percent. Either way, it risks placing a disproportionate burden on middle-income Americans; the plan would offer some cushioning for the poor, but upper-income Americans would be paying less of their share.
Push for fair trade
Falling in line with his desire for a more fair country, Huckabee expresses support for free trade (lessening trade barriers with other countries) as long as it’s not taking away from American jobs. He said that Americans are losing jobs because of “unlevel, unfair trading arena that must be fixed,” in his book Do the Right Thing.
Control spending and balance the budget
Huckabee supports reigning in government spending and balancing the budget — as governor of Arkansas, he brought a surplus to the state budget. He did this in part, however, by raising taxes in several ways, a method that may not be popular with more conservative voters.
Strong defender of entitlement programs
Huckabee opposes plans to raise the required age for collecting Social Security, as candidates like Ben Carson have proposed — Huckabee argues he could pay to sustain the plan with the surplus his tax plan would bring. He also criticizes any plans to alter Medicare benefits; Jeb Bush recently suggested “phasing out” Medicare as a whole and moving to a new plan.