Here are some facts and a hypothesis:

  • FairTax had 20-30 buses. (how can a 501(c)(4) give to a state party??)
  • Mike Huckabee had no buses.
  • The FairTax had enormous presence and good location.
  • Mike Huckabee had a bad location and little on-site staff.
  • But, Huckabee was the only candidate to endorse the FairTax.

Here’s the hypothesis: Mike Huckabee’s coalition included the FairTax, and they turned out bodies for him.

Here’s some corroborating evidence. A reader in Iowa contacted me with a story. She called up the Huckabee campaign, said she wanted to vote for Huckabee but couldn’t drive to Ames. She asked how to get there. The answer?

Governor Huckabee does not have buses.

So how do I get there? I can bring my husband too.

"Well, the FairTax bus pick up is" such and such. "That’s how I’m getting there."

What great irony. The farthest left candidate on taxes "wins" the straw poll because of his taxes coalition group. You have to admire it.

UPDATE: Iowa Independent has more facts and beat me to the punch.



Ian · August 12, 2007 at 11:42 PM

The FairTax is actually CO-SPONSORED by Tancredo and Hunter. However, no one has been more of a champion of the FairTax than Huckabee who has it “front and center” in his campaign.

Huckabee is a very adroit public speaker. He communcates his message in life-like, cogent terms, with compelling examples like the story he told (at the Ames Straw Poll) of what his then-11-yo daughter entered into the “Comments” section of a Visitors Book after visiting the Yad Vashem holocaust museum: “Couldn’t somebody do something?”


Huckabee puts listeners at ease, and reassures them through clear concepts and a natural, integrated manner of communication (no doubt something well-cultivated as a pastor). He’s not demanding, like a Ron Paul, nor is he as “well-scripted” as Romney, nor as mechanical-squinty like Brownback.

Most importantly, Huckabee convinces many that he is ONE with the FairTax grassroots movement. While many – like Romney, and others, who are invested in the current income tax system – seek to demagog the well-researched FairTax plan, its acceptance in the professional / academic community continues to grow. Failure to enact the FairTax – choosing instead to try to “flatten” a NON-FLATTENABLE income tax system – will result in an irrevocable economic meltdown!

Just take a look at the WEAK response Romney followed Huckabee with on last weekend’s “This Week with Geo. Stephanopoulos.”

Here is why the FairTax MUST replace the income tax. It’s:

• SIMPLE, easy to understand
• EFFICIENT, inexpensive to comply with and doesn’t cause less-than-optimal business decisions for tax minimization purposes
• FAIR, loophole free and everyone pays their share
• LOW TAX RATE, achieved by broad base with no exclusions
• PREDICTABLE, doesn’t change, so financial planning is possible
• UNINTRUSIVE, doesn’t intrude into our personal affairs or limit our liberty
• VISIBLE, not hidden from the public in tax-inflated prices or otherwise
• PRODUCTIVE, rewards, rather than penalizes, work and productivity

Its benefits are as follows:

• No more tax on income – make as much as you wish
• You receive your full paycheck – no more deductions
• You pay the tax when you buy “at retail” – not “used”
• No more double taxation (e.g. like on current Capital Gains)
• Reduction of “pre-FairTaxed” retail prices by 20%-30%
• Adding back 29.9% FairTax maintains current price levels
• FairTax would constitute 23% portion of new prices
• Every household receives a monthly check, or “pre-bate”
• “Prebate” is “advance payback” for monthly consumption to poverty level
• FairTax’s “prebate” ensures progressivity, poverty protection
• Finally, citizens are knowledgeable of what their tax IS
• Elimination of “parasitic” Income Tax industry
• Those possessing illicit forms of income will ALSO pay the FairTax
• Households have more disposable income to purchase goods
• Savings is bolstered with reduction of interest rates

• Corporate income and payroll taxes revoked under FairTax
• Business compensated for collecting tax at “cash register”
• No more tax-related lawyers, lobbyists on company payrolls
• No more embedded (hidden) income/payroll taxes in prices
• Reduced costs. Competition – not tax policy – drives prices
• Off-shore “tax haven” headquarters can now return to U.S
• No more “favors” from politicians at expense of taxpayers
• Resources go to R&D and study of competition – not taxes
• Marketplace distortions eliminated for fair competition
• US exports increase their share of foreign markets

• 7% – 13% economic growth projected in the first year of the FairTax
• Jobs return to the U.S.
• Foreign corporations “set up shop” in the U.S.
• Tax system trends are corrected to “enlarge the pie”
• Larger economic “pie,” means thinner tax rate “slices”
• Initial 23% portion of price is pressured downward as “pie”
• No more “closed door” tax deals by politicians and business
• FairTax sets new global standard. Other countries will follow

The time for sitting around, pontificating, is over. We have NO CHOICE but to demand Congress Scrap The Code – NOW!

llp · August 13, 2007 at 4:59 PM

I don’t want to bust the FairTax People’s bubble, but there is nothing fair about the FairTax. No Tax can be Fair because the word tax is a euphemism for extortion that refers to when the government committs extortion. If the mafia was using a “progressive” pricing system for their protection racket and switched to a flatter system, it wouldn’t make it fair because it is inherently immoral and unfair to steal from other people.

Yes, the so-called FairTax is better than the IRS, but that doesn’t mean that it is fair. The only fair fundraising system for a government is by voluntary donation and user fees (which is what the Objectivists have been promoting for years). However, Anarcho-Capitalism (in which there is a free market in the useful services that government currently provides, such as crime prevention) is even more desirable than a Randian minimal government.

DavidFL10 · August 13, 2007 at 5:03 PM

You’ve been doing such a great job analyzing, but you dropped the ball here on several counts.

“FairTax had 20-30 buses.” – I helped unload each FairTax-sponsored bus as it came in. I didn’t count, but I think there were more like 10 or 15.

“(How can a 501(c)(4) give to a state party??) ” – A non-profit organization can purchase anything from any entity it chooses.

“Mike Huckabee had no buses. ” – Correct

“The FairTax had enormous presence and good location. ” – Correct. Because we were there for all candidates to see.

“Mike Huckabee had a bad location and little on-site staff. ” – The Huckabee tent had a fairly sizable group of volunteers running it. Probably more than did.

“But, Huckabee was the only candidate to endorse the FairTax. ” – Of all the candidates there, only Brownback and Romney have come out against the FairTax. Hunter and Tancredo are cosponsors of the bill in Congress. John Cox is a strong supporter. Tommy Thompson has pledged to sign it but won’t campaign on it. Mike Huckabee has chosen to highlight the FairTax because it meshes well with his view of what taxation should be. See the most comprehensive presidential scorecard of FairTax support here:

The FairTax bus information was widely disseminated in Iowa and the offer was made to all candidates’ campaigns that anyone could ride on the FairTax busses to the event. If Huckabee chose to take advantage of that, I’d call that good stewardship.

eye · August 13, 2007 at 5:46 PM

First, I really appreciate all the comments.

About the number of buses, I have heard several reports. It is clear that FairTax claims to have delivered at least 1,000 of the people.

About the endorsements, I would point out that, to my recollection (and notes) Huckabee was the only candidate who I remembered mentioning the Fair Tax as part of his presentation. And the Fair Taxers seemed to be ready.

The point about non-profits should be clear. Tickets were donations to the state party. They are political donations to either a state PAC or a federal PAC or a mixture. Otherwise, it could not be a fundraiser. So … it would seem that there is a legitimate question. (for example, non-profits cannot give money to the RNC for training field staff)

To be clear, I am not attacking Huckabee over what he did. Not at all. Indeed, I used the word “admire.”

FairTaxFraud · August 26, 2007 at 2:55 PM

I like Huckabee. He’s got some good ideas. Unfortunately the FairTax is some very dark consequences that don’t get any press. For the real story on the FairTax see

gillberk · November 22, 2008 at 1:20 AM

The FairTax is a consumption tax in the form of a national retail sales tax on new goods and services. It is designed to replace “federal income taxes including, personal, estate, gift, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment, and corporate taxes.” The FairTax would also abolish the IRS and repeal the 16th Amendment.

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