Huckabee’s Plan to Limit Government

Following up on the last post about my review of Mike Huckabee’s new book, I just wanted to highlight one section from his book regarding his concept of “limited government” that didn’t make it into the review because I couldn’t figure out how to work it in.

Huckabee, being a conservative, is a big fan of limiting the size of government and thereby lowering taxes but he also realizes that you can’t just start slashing taxes if we have societal problems like crime that the government needs taxpayer dollars to deal with. 

Thus, in Huck’s view, the key to limiting the size of government is to get people to be better citizens, thereby reducing the need for government programs and funds to deal with the ne’er-do-wells, and thus reducing the overall size of government. As he says:

If we really are serious about wanting less government, lower taxes, and more limited government, it doesn’t start with lowering taxes – it starts with raising better kids who will contribute to society rather than financially drain the rest of us.

That makes a certain amount of sense, but one wonders exactly how we are supposed to go about doing that.  It turns out that even Huckabee apparently doesn’t know because on the very next page of his book he relates this piece of information:

When I became governor [of Arkansas] in 1996. we had fewer than eight thousand inmates in the care of the Department of Corrections. By the time I left office ten and a half years later, we had more than fourteen thousand and the costs for operating the DOC were more than $220 million.

So Huckabee has apparently figured out that the key to limiting the size of government is to start “raising better kids,” yet, in his decade in office, he saw the prison population in his state nearly double.

I don’t know about you, but that sort of record doesn’t make me particularly eager to give Huckabee an opportunity to try and implement his vague “make people better” agenda on a national scale.