Why is Carter Crushing on Huntsman?

May 5th, 2011 at 1:37 pm | 8 Comments |

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President Carter’s reported affinity for Ambassador Jon Huntsman must have something to do with their shared passion for large families (Carter has 4 kids; Huntsman 7).  It certainly has nothing to do with shared politics.  Consider just the following three issues:

Economics: President Carter’s economic policies took money from the private sector and gave it to the government, find a purportedly more efficient operator.  Not only did he stick it to “rich businessmen and their $50 martini lunches,” but he instituted a Social Security payroll tax on the middle class.  When energy became scarce, Carter responded by raising taxes on oil companies.  The result of these tax policies?  Double-digit inflation, high interest rates, double-digit unemployment, and 1.6 billion fewer barrels of oil – thereby leading to even higher gas prices and long lines at the gas station.

In contrast to Carter’s tax-happy ways, Huntsman, while governor of Utah, enacted a $225 million tax cut which included a flat tax on income.  As result of what The Deseret News called the largest tax cut in Utah’s history, Huntsman won the 2007 Taxpayer Advocate Award from the Utah Tax Payers Association.  Huntsman is also credited for improving government efficiency, bringing new talent to the state, and fostering business development, all of which led the American Legislative Exchange Council to call Utah the top state for expected economic recovery, and the Pew Center to say “Utah has been a clear leader in sound government based on smart planning and effective performance management that emphasizes long-term results.”

Health care: President Carter is one of the longest standing proponents of a national health care system.  In an interview with 60 Minutes, Carter accused liberal leader Ted Kennedy of not doing enough to quickly pass a national healthcare system.  Had it been up to Carter, the country wouldn’t have needed Obamacare; it would have had Cartercare by 1979.

Ambassador Huntsman prefers individual autonomy in health care decisions, not governmental mandates.  As Governor, Huntsman signed into law a health care system that allows Utahns to take defined contributions from their employers and buy coverage on their own.  This increased consumer choice and fostered free-market competition in the health care marketplace. The Heritage Foundation called it the “blueprint for consumer focused health care reform.”

Along with increased health care choice under Huntsman’s watch, Utah enjoyed reduced costs thanks to Huntsman’s reformation of the state’s medical malpractice system.  The governor’s effort limited the ability of plaintiffs’ attorneys – favorites of Carter and former Democratic candidate John Edwards – to sue hospitals for hundreds of millions of dollars based on dubious lawsuits.

Israel: President Carter published the book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid that compared Israel to oppressive South African.  Enough said.

In May 2009, Huntsman led a trade delegation trip to Israel in an effort to expand “strategic relations” between the two countries.  When he got back, Huntsman lauded Israel’s dynamic economy and said, “I was most touched by the people in Israel.  They feel a certain kinship with the United States.  There’s a great sense of friendship, a great sense of partnership.”  Huntsman, unlike Carter, appreciates that Israel must take certain measures to preserve the liberal democratic oasis that it has created in the Middle East.

The list goes on and on. They disagree on everything from foreign policy, to guns, to the role of government. Suffice it to say that while the two men might get along, President Carter and Ambassador Huntsman sit at far different places of the American political spectrum.


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8 Comments so far ↓

  • DFL

    Probably Huntsman returned Carter’s phone calls when Hunstman was ambassador to China. Little things like that work wonders. Bill Clinton earned strange new respect from Richard Nixon because Clinton would call Nixon every once in a while and ask Nixon for advice, something George HW Bush or Ronald Reagan rarely did.

  • balconesfault

    Not only did he stick it to “rich businessmen and their $50 martini lunches,” but he instituted a Social Security payroll tax on the middle class.

    Is the author confusing Carter and Reagan?

    After all – it was under Reagan that the tax code was amended in 1986 to significantly limit tax deductions for business entertainment and lunches …

    And it was under Reagan that the Social Security program modifications were passed that significantly increased the SS tax rates for the middle class.

    How is it that someone this abjectly ignorant can be given a headline column in this forum? Seriously?

  • valkayec

    Golly, I hardly know where to begin or what to say. So, let’s look at the sources sited:

    - Deseret News: Official newspaper of the Mormon Church. Not exactly what we normally think of as a newspaper such as the Washington Post, New York Times, L.A. Times, Chicago Sun Times, or Detroit Free Press.

    - American Legislative Exchange Council: aka ALEC, known for writing state legislation proformas, such as Wisconsin’s bill to eliminate state workers’ collective bargaining and the 2010 anti-immigrant law that was passed and signed by the governor in Arizona. According to Source Watch: It has been reported that companies “like Enron, Amoco, Chevron, Shell, Texaco, Coors, Koch Industries, Nationwide Insurance, Pfizer, National Energy Group, Philip Morris, and R. J. Reynolds pay for essentially all of ALEC’s expenses.”[7] Corporate membership fees are reported to range between $5,000 and $50,000 with additional fees of $1,500 to $5,000 a year to participate in ALEC’s various task forces. However, corporations spend more than that. For example, Exxon has donated far more than a million including funding set aside for specific projects like “global climate change” and “energy and climate.”[8][9]The total from Koch stands at $408,000 according to Greenpeace.[10]

    -Utah Tax Payers Association: A highly funded 501(c)3 of a far right nature, advocating for low taxes. Google searches reveals it is much like Norquist’s group. It’s leaders, in addition, are allied with ALEC.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    Oh my God, what a truly childish article. This child doesn’t understand you can respect and admire a person even if you do not agree with their politics. It would have been nice if the article had something to say about that or what it is about Huntsmen that leads many Democrats to view him favorably (Obama had him in a critical foreign policy role)
    Instead we get a “Carter was a bad president, nyah nyah” with forced analogies and simple minded analysis. If this writer thinks he is being an advocate for Huntsmen might I suggest he STFU because he ain’t helping.

  • booch221

    Really, this looks more like Fox News propaganda than the Frum Forum…

  • Frumplestiltskin

    booch221, for the first time in my life I think you are being unfair to Fox, not even they are this amateurish.

    I like Huntsmen, he speaks Mandarin as do I, we both lived in China, are the same age, etc. so I identify with him. I think the topic has tremendous potential. Richer though produced basura. This writer has to be a college student. I don’t even think it is up to Community college English 101 standards.

  • shelturn

    President Carter runs a democracy project in China that promotes and helps to orchestrate democratic processes at the village level. Perhaps he has encountered Huntsman in his endeavors in this area?

  • shediac

    Stephen Richer and the far right’s problem with Carter is that he didn’t start any wars, didn’t get the CIA to smuggle drugs, didn’t launch covert operations and didn’t launch massive spending for the military industrial complex. Damn Carter!