Romney's Economic Speech

Andrew Roth - February 07th, 2007

Club for Growth Responds to Romney’s Economic Speech

Washington &mdash As part of the Club for Growth’s ongoing analysis of presidential candidates and their economic policies, the Club for Growth commends Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for promoting a pro-growth, limited government agenda in his speech before the Detroit Economic Club today.

The Club’s President, Pat Toomey, highlighted Governor Romney’s call for permanent tax cuts, tax reform, spending discipline, regulatory relief starting with the reform of Sarbanes-Oxley, and tort reform as “solidly pro-growth.”

“Governor Romney outlined today an economic platform that is, generally speaking, very pro-growth despite the surprising limit he suggests for tax-free savings,” Toomey said. “As the governor develops the specifics of his economic policies, we hope he will boldly build upon the limited government, free-market policies he discussed today.”

“The other presidential candidates should follow Governor Romney’s lead and propose similar, if not more extensive, measures to protect American taxpayers and promote continued economic expansion.”

Club Response to the President's Budget

Andrew Roth - February 05th, 2007

Club for Growth Applauds President’s Budget, but Urges President to Do More

WASHINGTON – Club for Growth President Pat Toomey applauded President Bush’s 2008 budget for showing a greater commitment to curbing spending growth than in years past, but stressed that there is still more to be done.

“The President deserves credit for taking tangible steps towards a pro-growth budget, calling for earmark reform; a line-item veto; personal Social Security accounts; making the tax cuts permanent; and a balanced budget by 2012,” Toomey said. “At the same time, bolder steps are needed in cutting non-defense discretionary spending. President Bush’s budget calls for a 1% increase in non-defense discretionary spending, but last year’s budget remained frozen at zero percent.”

President Bush proposed slowing the rate of entitlement spending growth by $96 billion over five years, an improvement over last year’s request of $60 billion, but far short of the profound reform these entitlement programs require. “While the President’s budget calls for the creation of personal Social Security accounts by 2012,” Toomey continued, “it’s a pity this mechanism for creating wealth and saving Social Security couldn’t be implemented sooner due to Congressional intransigence.”

“In his last two years in office, President Bush has an opportunity to promote limited government and maximize economic growth. With tax revenue to the treasury increasing at a greater rate than projected by the OMB, we are already approaching the threshold of a balanced federal budget. The President should use his final two years to call for another tax cut to accelerate the tremendous economic progress that we have witnessed over the last several years.”

John Edwards Wants to Raise Your Taxes

Andrew Roth - February 05th, 2007

Edward’s America Will Pay More Taxes

Washington – The presidential election may be two years away, but it is not too early to take stock of which candidates are committed to protecting America’s taxpayers and which candidates are not. Last week, the Club for Growth took Republican candidate Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to task for his record of raising taxes and his refusal to take a no new tax pledge on Meet the Press (01/28/07). This week’s Meet the Press featured a candidate downright eager to raise America’s taxes&mdashthis time, former North Carolina Senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

Edwards’ pricey presidential platform includes universal healthcare, reduced carbon emissions in the form of increased gasoline prices, and eradicating poverty, all of which will be paid for by the American taxpayer. “Yes, we’ll have to raise taxes,” Edwards said on Meet the Press. “The only way you can pay for a healthcare plan that costs anywhere from $90 billion to $120 billion is there has to be a revenue source” (Washington Times 02/05/07).

Club for Growth President Pat Toomey denounced Edwards’ tax hike plan as a recipe for disaster. “The 2003 Bush tax cuts produced one of the broadest and strongest economic expansions in the nation’s history,” Toomey said. “It is mind-boggling that John Edwards would seek to derail that expansion for the sake of his big-government, collectivist schemes.”

“John Edwards talks about ”two Americas,’” Toomey continued, “but there is only one America and its taxpayers think they should be allowed to keep more of their hard-earned money&mdashnot less. Americans don’t want higher taxes. They said no to Mondale in 1984; they’ll say no to Edwards in 2008; and they’ll say no to any candidate&mdashRepublican or Democrat&mdashwho runs on a platform of more government and higher taxes.”

Huckabee and Taxes

Andrew Roth - February 02nd, 2007

Governor Huckabee and Taxes: The Full Story

Washington &mdash In his recent response to the Club for Growth’s presidential white paper on his gubernatorial record, Governor Huckabee touts his $80 million tax cut in 1997, but fails to explain the multiple tax hikes he signed or allowed to become law during the rest of his tenure, including a $377 million sales tax hike in 2004 (Los Angeles Times 02/07/04). By the end of his second full term, sales taxes in Arkansas were 37% higher than when Governor Huckabee took office in 1996. Motor fuel taxes and cigarette taxes were 16% and 103% higher respectively (American for Tax Reform 01/07/07). “This really isn’t very complicated,” said the Club’s President, Pat Toomey. “Taxes were higher when he left office than when he entered. On balance, that makes him a tax hiker.”

The governor also wildly exaggerates his record, claiming he cut taxes “nearly 100 times,” but the Arkansas Times demonstrates the absurdity of this claim: “By claiming to have cut taxes 94 times, Huckabee fixed a standard for what is a tax cut: every little exemption, credit, deduction or tax break of any kind. By that standard every governor [over] the past 60 years cut taxes numerous times. No session of the Legislature passes without a dozen or more such cuts” (01/30/07).

Finally, Governor Huckabee claims he supports returning Arkansas’ surplus to the people in the form of a tax cut, but he had ample opportunity in the summer of 2006 to do just that as governor and declined to take the necessary steps of calling the Legislature into session (Arkansas News Bureau 07/06/06). It is disingenuous for Governor Huckabee to take credit for supporting a tax cut only he had the power to initiate when he refused to do so.

Mike Huckabee's Record on Economic Issues

Andrew Roth - January 29th, 2007

Club for Growth Releases First Presidential White Paper
Is Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee a Pro-Growth, Economic Conservative?

WASHINGTON – The strength of our economy and the opportunities available to Americans could depend significantly on whether or not our next President supports limited-government, pro-growth, free-enterprise policies. Many candidates will say they do support these policies. For some, their records in office suggest otherwise.

At the Club for Growth, we are determined to inform the public about the real economic policy records of the major presidential candidates. We intend to accomplish this in the weeks ahead by issuing a series of papers detailing the records of the various candidates.

In light of Governor Mike Huckabee’s announcement yesterday, declaring his intentions to form a presidential exploratory committee, the Club for Growth begins its efforts by examining his record.

“Governor Huckabee says he is a fiscal conservative,” Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said, “but his ten-year economic-policy record as the governor of Arkansas is mixed, at best. His history includes numerous tax hikes, ballooning government spending, and increased regulation. To be sure, Governor Huckabee’s record displays an occasional deference to a pro-growth philosophy, but that is only a small slice of a much bigger picture. The Club for Growth feels citizens deserve a full picture of where Governor Huckabee stands on the critical economic issues of the day.”

For the full report on Huckabee, click here for the printable PDF file, or click below for the blog version.