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Mike Huckabee is all about the fair tax in Orlando

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The so-called “fair tax” is a concept that’s been around for about 15 years. It would replace all federal taxes with a simple consumption tax on all retail sales.

Mike Huckabee spent most of his 34 minutes on the stage at the Disney Resort and Hotel on Tuesday spouting this concept, saying that it’s the single biggest factor that will allow the U.S. economy to thrive.

A Florida resident himself (he now resides in Santa Rosa Beach in the Panhandle), he sounded a bit like Rick Scott in boasting how successful Florida has been in recent years. “Eight hundred and three people a day move into the state of Florida,” he said proudly.

During a question and answer session with the crowd, radio talk show host Neal Boortz, who has championed the fair tax, asked Huckabee how’d he be able to pass it through Congress.

The former Arkansas governor said there are currently 75 sponsors for the bill in the House, not nearly enough to get it passed. He said he would be a “strong advocate to explain it and articulate it for the American people.”

“I’m not the chemist, just the pharmacist,” he said about his enthusiasm for the fair tax, which he says would eliminate the I.R.S.

Huckabee says he would support legalizing the importation of drugs from Canada, decrying the fact that a pill costs $2 in Canada and $10 in Florida.

In a question and answer exchange with reporters after his appearance, Huckabee remained on the same page with the majority of his GOP presidential candidates when it comes to immigration, saying he favors securing the border as “Step 1,” before doing Step 2, which he didn’t articulate. “I think that’s an achievable goal,” he said.

When asked if he would seriously compete in Florida against Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, he said it was too early to reveal his campaign tactics. “I have the intentions of competing everywhere, as of right now.”

When asked about campaign finance, he said the campaigns should be “the depositories” of all campaign funds, not Super PACS. “Prohibit nothing. Disclose everything,” he said was his philosophy. He called the current system “disingenuous.”

He also repeated the same line that he said when he announced his candidacy in Hope, Ark., that nobody who currently has a job in politics (like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul) should be running for president.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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