Mike Huckabee – “Do the Right Thing” Book Review

I just finished reading Governor Mike Huckabee’s latest book, “Do the Right Thing,” and man am I pissed. Why didn’t I learn more about this guy before the Presidential election last November?

In “Do the Right Thing” Governor Huckabee tells the story of the amazing campaign to make him the Republican candidate for the 44th Presidency of the United States. I don’t refer to it as “his campaign” because, as he readily acknowledges, it was not just his. It was a campaign carried out by a small army of passionate volunteers, small donors, and dedicated staff members. In the end Mike Huckabee won eight States, more than four million votes, and was the only candidate left standing before conceding the nomination to John McCain. And, the beauty of the Huckabee campaign is that they accomplished so much while spending pennies compared to the dollars the other major candidates were spending. The story of the campaign is in itself a lesson on how government should be run.

In the first half of the book Governor Huckabee recounts many stories from the campaign trail, from the lady who insisted he accept her wedding ring as a contribution because she had nothing else to give and believed the campaign was that important, to the truck driver who overcame fear of public speaking to stand up before a crowded auditorium and tell why he supported Mike Huckabee. He tells of his upbringing in Hope, Arkansas. He tells what he believes and why, and how he came to believe it. And, he shows that he understands the problems we face as a people and as a nation. Then, in the second half of the book he offers some common sense solutions to some of those problems.

Mike Huckabee supports the FairTax. I’ve been a FairTax supporter since I first learned of it about three years ago. I have to admit that when he first came out in favor of the FairTax I thought it was just a campaign ploy. I thought he was just a candidate trying to attach himself to a growing grass roots movement. But, after reading this book I can see that he truly does understand the benefits and implementation of the FairTax plan. It’s not just lip service. And, more importantly he is actually willing to scrap the IRS and start over with an entirely new system. As he puts it, “a twist of the screwdriver or a tap of the hammer,” is not going to fix our tax system. Nothing is. Our tax system is broken and it’s time for a totally new structure.

Mike Huckabee recognizes the difference between a health care system and a disease care system. In a disease care system, our current system, people receive medical care when they’re sick and doctors receive payment for treating sick people. In a health care system people receive benefits for staying healthy and doctors get paid for helping them stay healthy. We need to move from a disease treatment system to a disease preventive system. Or, as he quotes a doctor friend of his, “We need to quit treating snakebites and start killing some snakes.”

Finally, and I think most importantly, Mike Huckabee recognizes that real change can not be realized in the course of a four year term. True change takes years, possibly generations, and true leaders of vision do not limit themselves to the changes they can make and get credit for during their term in office.

It’s these logical, common sense solutions and the apparent integrity of the man that make me wish I’d learned more about him before the election. I wholeheartedly recommend that you get this book. Read it thoroughly, and listen not just to what Mike Huckabee says but to what comes through in how he says it.

I’m going to be watching him closely over the next few years, and I encourage you to do the same, but for now I gotta say, “I like Mike!”

American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity

American Solutions for Winning the Future is a unique non-partisan organization designed to rise above traditional gridlocked partisanship to provide real, significant solutions to the most important issues facing our country.

The massive spending bill making its way through Congress is not a real solution. It’s doing for the sake of doing, and not for the sake of reasonable result. Through good old fashioned “people first” thinking American Solutions is offering a clear and decisive alternative that creates jobs and rewards work, saving, and investment.

Here are the twelve critical points of the American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity. If after reading these points you want to endorse the American Solutions alternative, or join in the discussion regarding the plan, visit American Solutions for winning the future and help spread the word.

  1. Payroll Tax Stimulus.  With a temporary new tax credit to offset 50% of the payroll tax, every small business would have more money, and all Americans would take home more of what they earn.
  2. Real Middle-Income Tax Relief. Reduce the marginal tax rate of 25% down to 15%, in effect establishing a flat-rate tax of 15% for close to 9 out of 10 American workers.
  3. Reduce the Business Tax Rate.  Match Ireland’s rate of 12.5% to keep more jobs in America.
  4. Homeowner’s Assistance. Provide tax credit incentives to responsible home buyers so they can keep their homes.
  5. Controlling Spending So We Can Move to a Balanced Budget.  This begins with eliminating Congressional earmarks and wasteful pork-barrel spending.
  6. No State Aid Without Protection From Fraud.  Require state governments to adopt anti-fraud and anti-theft policies before giving them more money.
  7. More American Energy Now. Explore for more American oil and gas and invest in affordable energy for the future, including clean coal, ethanol, nuclear power and renewable fuels.
  8. Abolish Taxes on Capital Gains. Match China, Singapore and many other competitors. More investment in America means more jobs in America.
  9. Protect Our Right to Vote in the Workplace. We must protect a worker’s right to decide by secret ballot whether to join a union.
  10. Replace Sarbanes-Oxley.  This failed law is crippling entrepreneurial startups.  Replace it with affordable rules that help create jobs, not destroy them.
  11. Abolish the Death Tax. Americans should work for their families, not for Washington.
  12. Invest in Energy and Transportation Infrastructure. This includes a new, expanded electric power grid and a 21st century air traffic control system that will reduce delays in air travel and save passengers, employees and airlines billions of dollars per year.

Visit American Solutions for Winning the Future and endorse this plan. Thank you.

What was I thinking?

Don’t you just hate it when you’ve been doing something a certain way almost your whole life, and then find out you’ve been doing it all wrong? Me too!

But I have to say, now that my eyes have been opened and I’m seeing the logic of doing things differently I wonder how I never saw it before. When I think of all those years, decades even, that I spent carefully and cautiously doing everything I could to spend less money than I made. When I think of all the time I wasted balancing checkbooks and tracking expenses and worrying about repaying my debts. It just makes me want to whack myself on the back of the head. All that stuff is so unnecessary. Why did I put myself through all that?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame myself, of course. I blame my parents and my high school math teacher. How dare my parents instill in me a sense of responsibility? Who needs that? And this sense of fairness, what am I supposed to do with that? And this “Golden Rule” thing? That’s got no place in my new reality. And then there’s my math teacher who taught me to budget my expenses within my income. He even tried to teach us that it was important to balance our accounts, every month. Can you imagine? For thirty-five years I’ve been doing all this stuff and then, just this morning, it hit me. I’m doing it all wrong. There is such an easier way. So, here’s the deal.

First, I’m going to need you to send me a couple of bucks. And then, because I know times are tough I’m going to send you back a quarter. Then, I’m going to take most of what’s left and spend it on stuff that I think you would like. Unfortunately, this will require a lot of effort on my part and there will be expenses but I don’t want you to worry about that. If I need more money I’ll just borrow it from someone else and we’ll worry about it later. And of course, I want this to be fair for everyone so if you have more money than your neighbor then I’ll need you to give him a couple of bucks so he can send in his fair share, too. We certainly don’t want anyone to feel shortchanged.

For your convenience we can set up a direct annual withdrawal from your bank account. How about April 15? And for simplicity sake you might want to make that an account that will be a part of your estate. Thanks in advance and have a nice day.

Facetiously yours,

Tim Couch

Stimulus Package Translation

by Tim Couch

I’ve been listening to a lot of news lately. Most of it having to do with the newly passed stimulus package. Now that I’ve had a couple of days to absorb and ponder I think a translation of sorts is in order. I think it’s time that our elected and appointed officials in Washington know what we hear when they talk about this package. So, here is a verbatim translation of a report that I heard earlier today:

“This massive stimulus package yadda, yadda, yadda billion. As well as blah, blah, blah, blah hundred million. Included in the package will be nanner, nanner, nanner millions. Which does not necessarily yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda trillion dollars. Except for wootie, wootie, wootie tax cuts there will be padink, padink, padink hundred billion or more.”

Have you ever listened to an adult trying to explain something to a child when they don’t really understand it themselves, but don’t want the child to know they don’t know what they’re talking about? That’s our government and our media. They can’t explain this stimulus package. No one can. It’s like a stimulus deity. It’s beyond comprehension. But, we’re going to do it anyway because something has to be done, damnit! So, let’s throw money at it.

Wait a minute. If we can just print a whole bunch of new money and throw it at our problems then why do we have problems? If all these ~illions are at our disposal then why is our economy stalled? Because, the problem is not one of cash; it’s one of confidence. The banks have stopped lending not because they don’t have money to lend, but because they are not confident they will get the money back. People have stopped spending because they are not confident there will be more money coming in. Throwing money at a problem of confidence is like tickling a person who’s depressed. It might make them laugh but it’s not going to cure their depression.

I agree that something has to be done. And, I accept that it’s going to be expensive. But, so far all I hear is how much it’s going to cost. I haven’t heard anything yet about the return we can expect from our investment. Where are the details of the back-end of this stimulus plan? How is all this government spending going to restore confidence and get people spending and banks lending again? Is it just a matter of poor communication, or are our officials actually trying to put together a puzzle in the dark?

What would make you feel more confident about our economy?

Blah, blah, Blago

by Tim Couch

With all the hubbub surrounding the appointment of Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate by Illinois Governor ‘Blago’ Blagojevich one question keeps coming to mind. “Why are they making this such a big deal?”

I mean what’s the big news story here, that a politician is corrupt? Of course Blago is corrupt. We all know that. We heard the tapes, but if the Illinois Attorney General has the evidence she should’ve, could’ve and would’ve brought Blago up on charges already. She hasn’t and Blago is still the Governor. So, State law gives him the right to appoint whomever he chooses. Done deal. Get over it. Move on.

Now, if the problem is with Roland Burris then that’s a whole different matter. If any person knows of any reason why Roland Burris is unfit to serve as U.S. Senator then speak now. Otherwise, leave the man alone and let’s all get to work on matters that really matter.

We have a whole world of important issues that we should be discussing and this hullabaloo surrounding Blago and Burris is serving no real purpose but to distract us from those issues. I propose that we subject this and all future newsworthy ado to a simple test.

  • Does this issue affect our National safety and security?
  • Does this issue serve to improve or diminish the American economy?
  • Does this issue serve to improve or damage the environment?
  • Does this issue affect our relations with other nations?
  • Does this issue affect our health and/or wellbeing?

If the answer to at least one of these questions is not ‘yes’ then forget about it. Save all the nonsense for the stage of American Idol. We’re letting our politicians and the media, once again, distract us from genuinely important matters. Why do we do this over, and over, and over again? Perhaps it’s not, “blah, blah, blah.” Perhaps it is “Baaaaah.”

What’s the difference?

by Tim Couch

Less than six weeks ago a majority of the registered voters in this Country sold their vote to elect a Democratic President. During the campaign the Democratic candidate said vote for me and the government will provide health care for you and your family; vote for me and the government will provide higher education for your children; vote for me and we will take wealth away from those who have earned it and spread it around to those who need it.

Now, along comes Governor Blagojevich and he offers to sell a seat in the U.S. Senate to the highest bidder. What’s the difference?

The difference is that Blagojevich was foolish enough to say it out loud, “I want to make money.”

The Democratically controlled administration made you think it was all about you.

Please, President-Elect Obama tell us…………….

by Tim Couch

The global economy is swirling the bowl. We’re engaged in War in multiple countries and in multiple formats. We’re throwing money with both fists at a problem no one seems to understand. Wildfires are raging. Cities are flooding. But please President-elect Obama won’t you tell us…………..what breed of dog are you going to get?

"I'll be your Huckleberry"
"I'll be your Huckleberry"