Tax-Raising Governors Could Lift Bush in 2004

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 28, 2003 | Go to article overview

Tax-Raising Governors Could Lift Bush in 2004


Byline: Ralph Z. Hallow, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

More than half of the nation's 28 Republican governors either have increased taxes or attempted to raise them, yet voter unhappiness with such moves could help President Bush's re-election, political analysts say.

Faced with rising state expenditures, several conservative Republican governors opted to raise taxes rather than slash spending that they say could undermine essential public services.

"Pure conservatism means lean and responsible government, not mean and irresponsible government," said Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who reluctantly raised taxes to pay for increases in government spending.

After first cutting taxes and spending, Mr. Huckabee eventually found that his state's spending obligations were rising for education, prisons and health care, the three items that make up 90 percent of Arkansas' general budget. He says this prompted him to raise taxes.

Arkansas is under a Supreme Court order to spend more on education, Mr. Huckabee says, and Medicare and Medicaid are federal entitlement programs that must be given to any qualified person who asks.

As for increasing costs for prisons, the governor doesn't get to choose how many inmates to accommodate - the prosecutors and courts do that.

But some conservative analysts such as Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, have criticized Mr. Huckabee and other Republican governors, saying they are ignoring alternatives such as scaling back spending.

Mr. Huckabee disagreed.

"What do our critics want - to rip the feeding tubes out of an 8-year-old or an elderly person on Medicaid?" he said.

"Grover needs to run for governor somewhere, win and then try to govern," Mr. Huckabee added. "He makes it sound so easy."

Mr. Norquist retorted: "He should make a phone call to Texas Governor Rick Perry, who closed a $10 billion deficit without tax hikes, or Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty who closed a $4.2 billion deficit without tax hikes. It isn't easy. It is called governing."

As a tax-boosting Republican governor, Mr. Huckabee has lots of company.

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft's tax-increase package, for example, will cost taxpayers about $2.9 billion over two years. Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn pushed through an $836 million tax increase. Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue also raised taxes.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, a conservative, tried but failed to increase taxes to close a budget deficit.

Many of the governors say that fiscal responsibility and a commitment to maintain adequate spending on popular programs such as education and health care made their decisions to increase taxes necessary.

"What did they want me to do - not put teachers in our new schools?" Mr. Guinn said of critics who wanted him to cut spending.

But conservative analysts say such tax increases actually might help Mr. Bush's re-election efforts next year. They say the president, who made tax relief a centerpiece of his administration, has an opportunity to tap into voter frustration by supporting tax-repeal initiatives on the ballot. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tax-Raising Governors Could Lift Bush in 2004
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.