“A Simple Government” by Mike Huckabee

There’s one simple truth that should have been highlighted in large, bold letters: “People actually want much less from their government than politicians think.”

This revelation is practically buried on page 206 in “A Simple Government: 12 Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don’t!)” (2011) by former Arkansas governor and talk show host Mike Huckabee. But it’s something that I think strongly reflects the title of this book.

Instead of a “simple” government, Huckabee offers us a “slightly more simple” government, based the founding principles in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He never questions whether our nation’s problems can or should be solved by the government. And at times, he is sarcastic and pointed, indulging in criticisms of President Barack Obama’s “insistent partisanship” and reliance on “policy wonks and Ivy League professors” (page 3).

Here are Huckabee’s 12 governing principles to solve our nation’s problems:

1. A return to family values. We need to encourage families and personal responsibility.

2. A return to local government. “The best government would be limited and local, because it would be closer and more accountable to the people being governed.”

3. Control spending and debt.You can’t spend what you don’t have; you can’t borrow what you can’t pay back.

4. A simple and fair taxation system. We should lower corporate taxes, repeal the federal income tax and replace it with a national sales tax, and end the estate tax.

5. A responsible approach to health and health care. Americans like to win! Focus on winning health, not losing weight, reducing fat, or lowering our blood pressure.

6. An education system that values all students. He advocates school choice, no tenure for teachers, merit pay, and personalized learning.

7. Take responsibility for the environment. “Conservation is patriotism,” he says glibly.

8. Immigration reform that works. “Legal immigration makes our country stronger.”

9. A strong approach to terrorism. “Vigilance is indeed the price of freedom.”

10. An effective military policy and strategy. We need to give back to our veterans and keep the National Guard home.

11. Strengthen America’s position on the world stage. “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.”

12. Faith in the future. “The uprising of the Tea Party Movement is America’s affirmation that it is functioning as it was intended to function.”

“A Simple Government” is optimistic, engaging, and reasonable. It reads like a conversational campaign brochure, but it also reveals what is important to Huckabee, in his search for common ground with Americans. Find out more at  http://www.mikehuckabee.com/a-simple-government.

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