Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mike Huckabee: Morality Affects Our Economy

In the 2008 presidential race Mike Huckabee was the consistent and unashamed voice for social issues. He championed a right to life amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and strongly believed in the sanctity of marriage. In response to Mitch Daniels comments, he released a missive entitled "Morality Affects Our Economy" which explains why we must not surrender the social issues if we want to rebuild this economy. If only Huck could have convinced Republicans in 2008 that he was a fiscal conservative, we may not be in this situation.
Many of you saw the comments made by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels last
week when he said the next president “would have to call a truce on the
so-called social issues” so he or she could focus on the fiscal problems facing
the country.

As I’ve made clear, I really like Governor Daniels, and I consider him a
friend and colleague, but his comments mirror those of the GOP establishment who
view values voters dismissively as “single-minded.” The fact is that every value
voter I know is truly committed to fiscal conservatism, but many fiscal
conservatives and libertarians range from disinterest to contempt for social

I learned a lot during 13 1/2 years as a Governor and Lieutenant Governor
about why government gets big and taxes get higher and what causes and solves
the issues of poverty and crime. I detailed a lot of that in my book “Do the
Right Thing,” but here’s the simple truth: Poverty and crime are the direct
results of broken families and broken values of responsibility, work, marriage,
and respect of others
. Prisons are overflowing and government “relief”
programs get traction often because of the breakdown of our social structure. If
we don’t respect the value of each individual life whether in the womb or the
classroom or the living room, we devalue property and intangible qualities of
life. It gets expensive.

I responded to Gov. Daniel’s comments with the following blog post on
HuckPAC.com: “ . . .the issue of life and traditional marriage are not
bargaining chips nor or they political issues. They are moral issues. I didn’t
get involved in politics just to lower taxes and deficit spending though I
believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the
basic premises of our civilization

Sadly, Gov. Daniels is not alone in his way of thinking and it’s not a new
concept. During the last presidential election – many reporters, Republicans and
Democrats suggested the same moratorium on morality. The political winds began
to whisper of stopping the discussion on morality and starting the discussion on
the “important issues.”

Let me be clear – MORALITY AND THE ECONOMY are inextricably

• The collapse of morality and ethical business practices preceded the
collapse of Wall Street – unchecked greed caused the downfall;
• A decrease in morality preceded an increase in the prison population –
state budgets via taxes, increase every year to pay for prisons;
• We don’t emphasize character in our public schools, and ignorance is
expensive-- a national high school drop out rate of 1 in 3 students produces
poverty – crippling our economy in countless ways.

I’m not saying Wall Street, prisons and poverty are not the only influences
on our economy – there are countless others – nor am I saying morality solves
every economic crisis we face. But I am saying strong moral fiber would prevent
many of our nation’s economic disasters.

Should we focus on the economy and the staggering and crippling debt?
Absolutely! But I fear that talk of a “truce” means that we are making excuses
for compromise on moral issues, and there is no need to separate economic issues
from the social issues. We can and must focus on both. Now is not the time
to shift focus from moral issues we need to shift focus toward moral

Mike Huckabee

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