Facebook Twitter Tumblr Close Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Huckabee Repeats Discredited Claims

Mike Huckabee, an unsuccessful 2008 presidential candidate, announced he is running for president once again and, in doing so, repeated some old, discredited lines on the economy, health care and tax cuts.

The former Republican governor of Arkansas spoke for about a half hour on May 5 in his birthplace of Hope, Arkansas. Among his claims:

  • Huckabee said “93 million Americans don’t have jobs.” That’s misleading. There are 93.8 million Americans who are not in the work force, but only 6.1 million of them want a job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As we have written, the vast majority are students, stay-at-home parents, retired seniors and others who do not want to work. In fact, 37.3 million of the 93.8 million, or 40 percent, are 65 years old or older.
  • In touting his accomplishments as governor, Huckabee said “we passed 94 tax cuts.” We wrote about this multiple times when he ran for president in 2008. There were 94 tax cuts and 21 tax increases under Huckabee, resulting in a $505.1 million net increase in taxes.
  • Huckabee, who was governor from July 1996 to January 2007, also claimed “we saw family income increase by 50 percent during my tenure.” That does not account for inflation. As we just wrote, median household income rose 9.3 percent from 1995 to 2006 in inflation-adjusted dollars.
  • In criticizing Washington for failing to keep its promise to seniors, Huckabee claimed “Congress took $700 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare.” This is a Whopper we have written about multiple times. The Affordable Care Act reduces the future growth of Medicare by an estimated $716 billion over 10 years, mostly by reducing future hospital and Medicare Advantage payments. The ACA, which also increased revenues, will improve Medicare’s finances.

— Eugene Kiely