An Open Letter to Neal Boortz

Mr. Boortz, I am writing this letter as a plea for you to reconsider your support for Mike Huckabee‘s candidacy for Republican nomination for President.

I’ve listened to you since I was fourteen years old. I remember my mom telling me when I was eight or so that I was going to like your show when I got older because I was just as opinionated, and for the most part she was right.

You single-handedly sparked my interest in classical liberalism/libertarianism and the Libertarian Party. My involvement in the Libertarian Party went as far as getting elected as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia in 2006 at the age of 25. I have since left that post, and I consider myself to be an independent, but still very much a believer in the libertarian philosophy (limited government, capitalism and the Harm Principle).

I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see your endorsement of Mike Huckabee, in an Athens newspaper. No doubt the endorsement is because of his support of the FairTax, a cause that you’ve taken up over the past few years. I have no comments to make on that issue, other than the fact that the only two reasons you are supporting Mike Huckabee is because he performed reasonably well during the GOP debates. He never really answers tough questions, choosing instead to make a joke and avoid the issue. The most obvious reason you have backed his campaign is because he supports the FairTax.

I do not intend this to be an attack on you because when it comes down to it, I respect you, but I disagree with you. I believe that you have betrayed your principles and ultimately your belief in limited government due to your support of Mike Huckabee.

There are several political commentators that have pointed out that Huckabee is a populist candidate. He is using some of the same class warfare rhetoric (the same rhetoric that John Edwards has used) in order to appeal to the emotions of individuals that simply don’t know better or they refuse to acknowledge reality…and it disappoints me when I think that you may have fallen into one of those categories of voters.

Huckabee’s record is troublesome for anyone who claims to be a fiscal conservative or a limited government conservative. As John Fund and have noted, the taxpayers of Arkansas saw their tax burden increase by 47%, an increase of more than $500 million.

He has signed into law or supported numerous tax increases ranging from an increase in the state sales tax on several occasions, gas tax, taxing nursing home beds and opposed repealing sales taxes on groceries and medicine. Spending increased by more than 65%, triple the rate of inflation. Huckabee likes to say that he left the state with budget surplus, but he also left the state with $1 billion in new debt. One Arkansas newspaper put together an editorial which shows that Huckabee is more of a tax hiker than Bill Clinton.

The Cato Institute gave Huckabee a grade of “F” in fiscal policy in 2006 (16 Democrats received higher grades), and a “D” for his entire tenure as Governor of Arkansas.

Reason magazine probably put it best, “The vision of ‘compassionate conservatism’ promised by George W. Bush was actually practiced by Huckabee, with all the flaws that entailed. He’s the GOP candidate who’d probably get along best with a big-spending Democratic Congress.”

He has been hostile to school vouchers and has even managed to pick up the endorsement of a state branch of the NEA. You’ve been hostile to teachers unions, even saying that they pose a greater threat than al-Qaeda. This is a man that called No Child Left Behind, “the greatest education reform effort by the federal government in my lifetime.”

During his campaign he has been hostile to the concept of free trade, a fundamental human right, Huckabee instead has ignored the benefits of free trade, latched onto the protectionist “fair trade” rhetoric and opposed trade agreements that may not be perfect, but have had an overall positive effect on the American economy. I find it ironic that the candidates that support the FairTax (Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and Mike Huckabee) are all anti-free trade.

His reasoning for agriculture subsidies is because it is a “national security” issue. Subsidies are misguided for a number of reasons, but the main problem with them is they drive up the cost of food, which only hurts American consumers.

He has offered no plan to reform the unfunded liabilities (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) that pose a threat to the stability of our economy. He supported the 2003 Medicare drug benefit and was the only GOP hopeful that didn’t support Bush’s veto of SCHIP.

This is a candidate that supported an increase in the minimum wage in his state, as well as an increase in the federal minimum wage. He believes that it is a biblical duty to fight global warming and supports cap-and-trade policies. Not to mention that he rails against Wall Street and the salaries of CEOs, going so far as to deem them to be “immoral.”

Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg shined some light on Huckabee’s view of government. He said, “The problem with someone like Huckabee is that he much like, in my mind, a liberal sees no dogmatic constitutional limits on the “do-goodery” of the federal government. Whatever he thinks is the right thing for the federal government to do, if he thinks there’s a good thing that can be done by the federal government, he wants the federal government to do it whether it’s constitutional or in accordance with principles of limited government. And maybe what he wants to isn’t what a cultural liberal would want to do but he still wants to use the government the same way. It’s big government conservatism.”

This is your candidate, Mr. Boortz. I haven’t even touched on his social authoritarianism and nannystatism, his comments about AIDS patients and homosexuality, his commutations, his ethics issues or the Wayne Dumond scandal. This is just limited to his fiscal record. And please don’t hand me the ramblings of a political mercenary as a response.

I know that if you happen read this, you’ll probably just brush it aside and continue your blind support for Mike Huckabee based solely on the FairTax, no matter how irresponsible and dangerous it is. It’s no different than a religious collectivist basing their vote on the issue of abortion or someone basing their vote due to their opposition of the war in Iraq. You have made yourself into a single issue voter.

It disappoints me to no end that someone who introduced me to the ideals of liberty and principle can abandon those beliefs so quickly due to his stance over one issue to support the candidacy of someone who antithesis of those values. Mike Huckabee is no fiscal conservative. He is no believer in limited government…and he is playing you for a fool.