Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need From Washington (And A Trillion That We Don't!) By Mike Huckabee

A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need From Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't!)

A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need From Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't!)
By Mike Huckabee

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Unabridged, 7 CDs, 8 hours

Read by the author

"We need a simple government. Don't get me wrong; I know that many of the nation's problems are highly complex. But I also know that the governing principles that can solve them, if we work together, are simple."

Armed with little money but a lot of common sense, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee surprised the nation by coming in second during the 2008 Republican presidential primaries. He connected with millions of voters by calling for a smaller, simpler government that would get out of the way when appropriate. (Unfortunately, there weren't quite enough of those voters to prevent the election of Barack Obama.)

Since then, President Obama's message has morphed from "hope and change" to "tax and spend" and "borrow and spend" and "over-regulate and spend." The stimulus failed to stop the recession, the deficit exploded to unimaginable heights, and the Democrats jammed through Congress a financial "reform" bill that didn't really reform anything and a healthcare monstrosity that gave the government more power over our personal lives than ever.

Meanwhile, Huckabee has continued to be the voice of common sense conservatism, through his television talk show, his radio commentaries, and his lectures around the country. Now he's written a book that sums up the twelve things we really need from Washington to get the country back on the right track.

These twelve essential truths will have you nodding in agreement, whether you're a Republican, an Independent, or even an open-minded Democrat. They can help us put aside our differences, tone down the partisan rancor, and return to the simple principles of the Founding Fathers: liberty, justice, personal freedom, and civic virtue. And they can help us tackle even the most seemingly complicated of today's problems. For instance:

* You can't spend what you don't have; you can't borrow what you can't pay back. Families, businesses, towns, cities, and states all have to balance their budgets or face dire consequences. Why shouldn't the federal government be held to the same standard? And if that means making some hard choices now, it's a far better alternative than saddling our kids and grandkids.

* The further you drift from shore, the more likely you are to be lost at sea. The Founders expected the federal government to be subordinate to state and local governments. How can politicians in DC know the best way to help farmers in Iowa, autoworkers in Michigan, or teachers in California? They can't. So every problem should be solved at the most local level capable of solving it.

* Bullies in the playground only understand one thing. There's a time and place for diplomacy, but we can't protect the country just by negotiating with our enemies. We need a strong national defense and a counterterrorism policy that focuses on effectiveness, not political correctness.

* The most important form of government is the family. In the long run, the only way to ensure prosperity, safety, and equal opportunity is to make sure we raise our children to be ethical and productive citizens. No bureaucracy can replace parents in that essential role, so we have to do everything possible to help parents do their job.

A Simple Government will inspire any American looking forward to a better future.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #445588 in Books
  • Published on: 2011-03-03
  • Format: Bargain Price
  • Number of items: 6
  • Binding: Audio CD
Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
In his ninth book, Huckabee, former Republican governor of Arkansas, declares that "the foundation of American power has always been and must continue to be...the American family," and proceeds in a style that oscillates between glib and pithy to make the challenges facing our nation both less complex and seemingly more difficult to address. Though the choir will be on board from page one, Huckabee offers black-and-white solutions for complicated, gray-hued problems. Family is the force that gives him meaning and it's the Band-aid with which he suggests we fix our social ills, from poverty to abortion: "It is clear to me that these two epidemics—out-of-wedlock births and on-demand abortions—are sapping America's moral strength," he says. When it comes to gay parenthood, Huckabee acknowledges that homosexuals "love their children as deeply as heterosexuals do," but posits that "love alone cannot...provide what children need" and leans on conventional gender constructs to teach children ("most of whom are heterosexual") how men and women relate. Nothing surprising from the conservative camp. (Feb.)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

75 of 102 people found the following review helpful.
5Foreign Policy Focus in Simple Government
By David Shedlock
Governor Mike Huckabee's Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) will be released on George Washington's birthday, February 22nd.

Of twelve chapters, one is devoted exclusively to border security and immigration policy. There Huckabee uses statistic after statistic to show that Barack Obama has reduced border security and reminds us that the president stopped building the fence. But it isn't just illegal immigration that Huckabee tackles. In fact, it is immigration policy that elicits Huckabee to use a quote from George Washington. We as a nation have the right and duty to encourage only the kind of immigrants that will benefit us, and quotes Washington saying that we don't need to encourage immigration "except of useful mechanics and some particular descriptions of men or professions". Throughout the book it is clear that Huckabee is his own man. The fact that we should only allow certain kinds of immigrants, isn't politically correct, but it is Huckabee's position.

As I show in this review, Huckabee doesn't shy away from controversy and we get some policy ideas we hadn't heard before. It is clear from the beginning, Huckabee is not playing politics as usual.

The very first chapter answers the charge that social conservatives are inimical to smaller government, forcing some into thinking they have to become libertarians to be consistent. Not so. He shows that focusing on social issues will reduce the reach of government because "the so-called dad deficit added more than $300 billion to the national deficit in 2010 because of welfare payments to moms." This is his pastor's call to point out that without morality no amount of government can rescue us from our problems. Government can't fix what ails us, though if often contributes to that sickness. Known for memorable zingers, his best line in that chapter is "beware the government bearing gifts, because every one of them comes with strings attached. Over time those strings grow into heavy chains".

Chapter two discusses local government and state government, and Huckabee makes the case that the closer to home the government, the more accountable it can be held.

n the first quarter of 2009, for the first time in our history, the federal government became the largest source of revenue for state and local governments. Almost prescient about the current happenings in Wisconsin, Huckabee reminds his readers how President Obama basically blackmailed Arnold Schwarzenegger by threatening to take away stimulus money from California unless he gave into demands of the public employee's union SEIU. When states grow dependent on federal aid, all kinds of bad things happen: the federal response to the BP oil spill in the gulf is given as a prime example.

He takes a shot at getting more government involvement in health care and says that while states have the right to experiment: "We were to learn from RomneyCare, not Xerox it into federal law"

There is not a lot new in the health care chapter that he has not said already. He believes the bigger problem is poor health and not health care. Third payer parties in health treatment are the reason costs are so high for treatment. Huckabee wants a return to the original purpose of insurance: covering catastrophic illnesses.

The lion's share is devoted to foreign policy, diplomacy, and the fight against terrorism. He also answers the charge that he is a liberal who is too chummy with Obama.

Since foreign policy took such a back seat during the 2008 election cycle, Governor Huckabee's approach to it is not as well known, and he therefore devotes three chapters to it in the book. In the first of these chapters on the bullies of terrorism, he castigates Obama for downplaying both the whole notion of terrorism in general and Islamic fascism in particular. In particular, the Obama administration has refused to tie the shootings of our soldiers (and an unborn child) at Fort Hood to terrorism. Also, it seems the bureaucracies that slow down our efforts still exist and the focus is only on terrorism "over there".

Huckabee believes we've forgotten the lessons of both 1993 (the first World Trace Center bombings) and September 11th. The most moving part of the book (can a policy book be moving!) was when Huckabee draws on the memory of 9/11 hero Rick Rescorla. Years of preparedness between 1993 and 2001 helped Rescorla rescue hundreds of Morgan Stanley workers from the World Trade Center. It is that kind of foresightedness and diligence we need as a nation.

In the name of political correctness we have hamstrung our military, putting our soldiers at greater risk by emphasizing "winning the hearts and minds" of the enemy rather than "killing people and breaking things?" In Iraq and Afghanistan, our men and women in uniform have spent too much time building schools and not enough time seeking out and killing Islamic extremists. Huckabee implies we need greater number of recruits in our ranks, not less, as is the current plan. We come to rely too heavily on National Guard. And he goes after Obama's foolish timeline.

Huckabee makes clear one position. One section is called Don't Ask, Don't Tell...Don't Serve" (DADTDS) and while DADT was bad, its abolition makes things worse. We should have never allowed the recruitment of homosexuals to the military in the first place. In 1993 it was not allowed until Bill Clinton brought us DADT. It destroys morale and particularly offends conservatives who serve in the military. This includes the brass, too.

Another criticism of Huckabee is that he is afraid to criticize Obama, as if they were best buds. But in Simple Government, Governor Huckabee takes him on full throttle, especially in the area of diplomacy. There is lots of bad news when it comes to Obama's "smart diplomacy." Our enemies not only don't get along with us, they mock us at every turn. Obama insults our allies, too, as Huckabee reminds us of the incident at the beginning of his administration when Obama sent back the bust of Winston Churchill that was given to us by the British. He thinks that Obama is more concerned about his own history than the history of our own great nation. Huckabee is a strong believer in American Exceptionalism which Obama rejects it out of hand. Huckabee points out that when other nations build border fences it is usually to keep people from running away, we have to build one to keep them from flooding in. There is one positive for Obama's foreign policy, though:

"Among nations that are traditionally anti-American, President Obama still enjoys high approval ratings. Why am I not surprised?"

After describing Obama's suggestion that we don't need to instill fear in the rest of the world, Huckabee asks" why not?"

"Theodore Roosevelt believed that the way to command the world's respect was to "speak softly and carry a big stick". Other presidents have chosen to speak loudly and carry a big stick. But this is the first president who believes you can command the respect of rogue nations by apologizing and throwing away the stick".

There is a lengthy discussion of Obama's rude treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his abandonment of many policies in support of Israel that date back decades. Particularly, the idea that Israel can't build settlements is disdained.

Chapter three deals with deficit spending and is entitled "You Can't Spend What You Don't Have". He argues that we should abolish the rule that say cuts to certain kinds of spending are off-limits. He suggests that all spending be considered discretionary and he is not afraid to tackle the so-called the third-rail of politics, Social Security. It was not initially intended to be used for long retirements because payments didn't kick in until after the age of life expectancy which was about 60 in 1935.

There is a lot more here. See other reviews of the the book.


The book is a fairly quick read with those wanting more depth encouraged to research the ample footnotes, arranged by page in a simple format. There is plenty of news in here, and plenty of controversy. But I don't think you will find any political posturing. He simply tells us the way he sees it, in simple terms.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
5Sensible, just flat out basics.
By POnfri
It's a shame that we don't have people in goverment like this man. I don't care what political side you are on, if you are an American, period, this is a must read. I can only hope this man is given the chance to be this great nations next President. I beleave that we need to replace everyone in goverment on both sides and I hope we do just that in 2012. I hope we do so with people like Mr. Huckabee. If your looking for that perfect person with perfect ideas then your on the wrong planet.

This is one of those books that's meant for everyone to read if you can set country club politics aside.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5Mike Huckabee Presents His Political Ideas
The author abhors personal attacks. He compliments Bill Clinton for campaigning for all of Huckabee's opponents without ever personally attacking him.

Huckabee notes the issues are complex, but he believes the solutions are simple. Appling justice, integrity, and freedom to our political governance should guide government towards proper actions.

He seeks more morality, family values, and more intact nuclear families, He notes families that converse and eat meals together have children that get better grades at school and are less likely to use alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.

The author is very concerned that 75% of African American births are out of wedlock. He also notes some states with abortions per pregnancies at 33% in New York, 30% in New Jersey, 24% in Connecticut, 9% in Arkansas, 6% in Utah, and 6% in Mississippi. He is opposed to abortion and favors abstinence education.

Huckabee argues our country was meant to have a Federal government that protets borders and allowed liberty and travel.

The stimulus plan made the Federal government the main source of funds to states and local governments during the first three months of 2009. Programs were created but the Federal government funds are now gone. State and local governments have to choose between ending the programs or paying for them with their own funds.

Union versus nonunion public employees find union public employees with 30% greater salaries and with 70% more benefits costs. Huckabee believes these costs too much,

60% of Federal spending goes to Social Security, health care, and the military, with each being about one fifth of the Federal budget. Safety net programs are 14%, retirement benefits are 7%, interest on debt is 6%, education is 3%, research on science and health 2%, and nondefense foreign aid is 1%.

In 1970, one third of the Federal budget was mandatory spending. Today, about two thirds of it is mandatory spending.

Social Security set the retirement at age 65 when the life span for men was in their late 50s and for women in their early 60s. While it is too late to change benefits, Huckabee argues it is appropriate to ask younger people to expect a higher retirement age and fewer benefits.

Medicare has $38 trillion of unfunded liabilities. Huckabee recommends allowing private insurance to be available instead of going on Medicare and to increase eligibility for Medicare.

Almost half of everyone pays no Federal income taxes. 1% of the top payers of taxes pay as much taxes at the lowest 95% of taxpayers pay.

Huckabee recommends reducing the capital gains tax on investments of five years or more.

The effective corporate tax rate including tax breaks, is 35%. This is the highest tax rate of the 33 countries in the Organization for Economic Opportunity and Development where their average effective tax rate is 19.5%. Huckabee argues decreasing our tax rate will increase international investments.

Huckabee favors a national sales tax that would replace taxes on income, corporate, Social Security, Medicare, capital gains, self employment, estates, and gifts. He also favors a prebate that provides the sales taxes to the poverty level to ensure no one falls below the poverty level.

Huckabee calls for allowing health insurance to be sold in different states.

When Massachusetts adopted a statewide health care policy, health care increased from 16Tof the state's budget in 1990 to 35% of the state's budget in 2010. Massachusetts insures a family at an average cost of $20,000 while the private sector costs average $13,000.

The Federal health care plan intends to establish a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparable Effectiveness. Huckabee warns this organization could ration health care.

Huckabee supports charter schools. He supports personalized learning where a student completing an extracurricular activity could get credit for that activity.

Huckabee supports nuclear energy. He believes it is safe.

Huckabee charges that corruption in the Interior Department led them to net oversee oil drilling that led to a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He also faults industry for not having a remote controlled shutoff switch, as Canada requires. There was also a lack of advance planning for such a disaster as there were not enough containment and absorption booms.

A lack of planning and action led to a lack of insulation being placed in structures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 1,000 Americans died plus billions of costs due to fuel hauling accidents caused by this lack of insulation.

Natural gas is seen by Huckabee as providing enough energy to give us time to move towards long term energy self sufficiency. He sees clean coal, where the U.S. has 30% of the world supply, as a future resource/

Huckabee sees immigration as a complex problem. He believes in securing the borders and preventing illegal immigration as a first step.

Huckabee warns that we have weaknesses that terrorists could exploit, such as nuclear power plant cooling systems and cyberattacks.

20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or depression. Veterans services have failed to meet needs.

Huckabee supports a foreign policy that lets enemies know we are able to fight.



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