Huckabee pitches FairTax as key to stronger ag, manufacturing economy

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is sticking with those themes that helped propel him to an Iowa caucus victory back in 2008.On the campaign trail in Eastern Iowa on Monday, Huckabee championed his FairTax -- essentially a national sales tax that would replace the income tax. And like he did eight years ago when he won more votes in the GOP caucuses than any previous winner, Huckabee is making a full 99-county tour of the state, discussing issues with crowds large and small.

He visited the Veterans Home in Marshalltown, toured the Restonic Mattress factory in Toledo and spoke at an Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition house party in Swisher. In between, he sat down with about 10 people at the Van Horne Community Center to talk about the necessity for American to be able to feed, fuel and arm itself.

Americans take cheap food for granted and don’t appreciate the importance of a strong agricultural economy, Huckabee said.

“If we start importing our food we are exporting our freedom,” he said. “Whoever feeds us owns us. It’s that simple.”

Being able to produce the energy needed is critical, too, Huckabee said in calling for the development of all forms of energy including coals, gas, wind, solar, nuclear and renewable biofuels.

America ought to be No. 1 exporter of energy because “if we’re exporting energy we’re not importing the slavery to ourselves by being owned by some other country,” Huckabee said.

“Why should we ever let the Saudis get rich making money off of us?” he said. “I’d like to see millions of American jobs … to see the prosperity for America’s people.”

It’s in the United States’ national security interests to be an energy exporter, he added, because “if we supply energy markets, Russia, the Iranians, the Saudis won’t be. They won’t have the money they right now have in order to build the weapons of aggression … to finance terrorism.”

The manufacturing sector needs to be rebuilt, not only because jobs are needed, but to maintain the capacity to arm the military.

“If someone else is supplying bullets, bombs, tanks, planes, trains, trucks and ammunition, then whoever is supplying that, owns us,” Huckabee said. “So I don’t think we should let anyone out-manufacture us.”

That can be achieved if his plan for the FairTax is implemented, Huckabee said, explaining that it would put manufacturers, like Restonic, a more level playing field with overseas competition. He said 22 percent of the cost of a Restonic mattress is taxes that aren’t levied on imported mattresses.
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