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85 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foreign Policy Focus in Simple Government
Governor Mike Huckabee's Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) will be released on George Washington's birthday, February 22nd.

Of twelve chapters, one is devoted exclusively to border security and immigration policy. There Huckabee uses statistic after statistic to show that Barack Obama has reduced...
Published on February 24, 2011 by David Shedlock

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay book
This book is Mike Huckabee's version of what the government should be like. In each chapter, he briefly describes one aspect of what the government should or shouldn't do. The majority of his ideas are nothing new or groundbreaking.

The basic concept is the federal government should do what the constitution says it should do, namely unify the states and protect...
Published on June 29, 2011 by W. Matthews


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85 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Foreign Policy Focus in Simple Government, February 24, 2011
This review is from: A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) (Hardcover)
Governor Mike Huckabee's Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) will be released on George Washington's birthday, February 22nd.

Of twelve chapters, one is devoted exclusively to border security and immigration policy. There Huckabee uses statistic after statistic to show that Barack Obama has reduced border security and reminds us that the president stopped building the fence. But it isn't just illegal immigration that Huckabee tackles. In fact, it is immigration policy that elicits Huckabee to use a quote from George Washington. We as a nation have the right and duty to encourage only the kind of immigrants that will benefit us, and quotes Washington saying that we don't need to encourage immigration "except of useful mechanics and some particular descriptions of men or professions". Throughout the book it is clear that Huckabee is his own man. The fact that we should only allow certain kinds of immigrants, isn't politically correct, but it is Huckabee's position.

As I show in this review, Huckabee doesn't shy away from controversy and we get some policy ideas we hadn't heard before. It is clear from the beginning, Huckabee is not playing politics as usual.

The very first chapter answers the charge that social conservatives are inimical to smaller government, forcing some into thinking they have to become libertarians to be consistent. Not so. He shows that focusing on social issues will reduce the reach of government because "the so-called dad deficit added more than $300 billion to the national deficit in 2010 because of welfare payments to moms." This is his pastor's call to point out that without morality no amount of government can rescue us from our problems. Government can't fix what ails us, though if often contributes to that sickness. Known for memorable zingers, his best line in that chapter is "beware the government bearing gifts, because every one of them comes with strings attached. Over time those strings grow into heavy chains".

Chapter two discusses local government and state government, and Huckabee makes the case that the closer to home the government, the more accountable it can be held.

n the first quarter of 2009, for the first time in our history, the federal government became the largest source of revenue for state and local governments. Almost prescient about the current happenings in Wisconsin, Huckabee reminds his readers how President Obama basically blackmailed Arnold Schwarzenegger by threatening to take away stimulus money from California unless he gave into demands of the public employee's union SEIU. When states grow dependent on federal aid, all kinds of bad things happen: the federal response to the BP oil spill in the gulf is given as a prime example.

He takes a shot at getting more government involvement in health care and says that while states have the right to experiment: "We were to learn from RomneyCare, not Xerox it into federal law"

There is not a lot new in the health care chapter that he has not said already. He believes the bigger problem is poor health and not health care. Third payer parties in health treatment are the reason costs are so high for treatment. Huckabee wants a return to the original purpose of insurance: covering catastrophic illnesses.

The lion's share is devoted to foreign policy, diplomacy, and the fight against terrorism. He also answers the charge that he is a liberal who is too chummy with Obama.

Since foreign policy took such a back seat during the 2008 election cycle, Governor Huckabee's approach to it is not as well known, and he therefore devotes three chapters to it in the book. In the first of these chapters on the bullies of terrorism, he castigates Obama for downplaying both the whole notion of terrorism in general and Islamic fascism in particular. In particular, the Obama administration has refused to tie the shootings of our soldiers (and an unborn child) at Fort Hood to terrorism. Also, it seems the bureaucracies that slow down our efforts still exist and the focus is only on terrorism "over there".

Huckabee believes we've forgotten the lessons of both 1993 (the first World Trace Center bombings) and September 11th. The most moving part of the book (can a policy book be moving!) was when Huckabee draws on the memory of 9/11 hero Rick Rescorla. Years of preparedness between 1993 and 2001 helped Rescorla rescue hundreds of Morgan Stanley workers from the World Trade Center. It is that kind of foresightedness and diligence we need as a nation.

In the name of political correctness we have hamstrung our military, putting our soldiers at greater risk by emphasizing "winning the hearts and minds" of the enemy rather than "killing people and breaking things?" In Iraq and Afghanistan, our men and women in uniform have spent too much time building schools and not enough time seeking out and killing Islamic extremists. Huckabee implies we need greater number of recruits in our ranks, not less, as is the current plan. We come to rely too heavily on National Guard. And he goes after Obama's foolish timeline.

Huckabee makes clear one position. One section is called Don't Ask, Don't Tell...Don't Serve" (DADTDS) and while DADT was bad, its abolition makes things worse. We should have never allowed the recruitment of homosexuals to the military in the first place. In 1993 it was not allowed until Bill Clinton brought us DADT. It destroys morale and particularly offends conservatives who serve in the military. This includes the brass, too.

Another criticism of Huckabee is that he is afraid to criticize Obama, as if they were best buds. But in Simple Government, Governor Huckabee takes him on full throttle, especially in the area of diplomacy. There is lots of bad news when it comes to Obama's "smart diplomacy." Our enemies not only don't get along with us, they mock us at every turn. Obama insults our allies, too, as Huckabee reminds us of the incident at the beginning of his administration when Obama sent back the bust of Winston Churchill that was given to us by the British. He thinks that Obama is more concerned about his own history than the history of our own great nation. Huckabee is a strong believer in American Exceptionalism which Obama rejects it out of hand. Huckabee points out that when other nations build border fences it is usually to keep people from running away, we have to build one to keep them from flooding in. There is one positive for Obama's foreign policy, though:

"Among nations that are traditionally anti-American, President Obama still enjoys high approval ratings. Why am I not surprised?"

After describing Obama's suggestion that we don't need to instill fear in the rest of the world, Huckabee asks" why not?"

"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".

There is a lengthy discussion of Obama's rude treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his abandonment of many policies in support of Israel that date back decades. Particularly, the idea that Israel can't build settlements is disdained.

Chapter three deals with deficit spending and is entitled "You Can't Spend What You Don't Have". He argues that we should abolish the rule that say cuts to certain kinds of spending are off-limits. He suggests that all spending be considered discretionary and he is not afraid to tackle the so-called the third-rail of politics, Social Security. It was not initially intended to be used for long retirements because payments didn't kick in until after the age of life expectancy which was about 60 in 1935.

There is a lot more here. See other reviews of the the book.

Conclusion.

The book is a fairly quick read with those wanting more depth encouraged to research the ample footnotes, arranged by page in a simple format. There is plenty of news in here, and plenty of controversy. But I don't think you will find any political posturing. He simply tells us the way he sees it, in simple terms.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensible, just flat out basics., March 27, 2011
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This review is from: A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) (Hardcover)
It's a shame that we don't have people in goverment like this man. I don't care what political side you are on, if you are an American, period, this is a must read. I can only hope this man is given the chance to be this great nations next President. I beleave that we need to replace everyone in goverment on both sides and I hope we do just that in 2012. I hope we do so with people like Mr. Huckabee. If your looking for that perfect person with perfect ideas then your on the wrong planet.

This is one of those books that's meant for everyone to read if you can set country club politics aside.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay book, June 29, 2011
By 
W. Matthews (Strongstown, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) (Hardcover)
This book is Mike Huckabee's version of what the government should be like. In each chapter, he briefly describes one aspect of what the government should or shouldn't do. The majority of his ideas are nothing new or groundbreaking.

The basic concept is the federal government should do what the constitution says it should do, namely unify the states and protect the borders.

Here are some of the ideas that he covers in various chapters:

family values
local vs federal government
control spending and limit debt
simple and fair taxation system (based up national sales tax)
responsible healthcare (meaning take care of yourself)
improve education (focus on students)
take responsibility of the environment
immigration reform
be tough on terrorism
effective military strength
strengthen our global image
focus on the values of our founding fathers

Overall, this book's timing seemed more like a preparation for the run to the whitehouse. If you are interested in Huckabee's thoughts and what his governing style could be like then check out the book. Otherwise, you can probably skip it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple Wisdom on How to Fix what ails US, April 7, 2012
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This book is filled with simple, straightforward wisdom on how to fix the issues that ails the US today. From the size of government, to the role of the federal government, to more specific issues like spending, the family, marriage, health care, foreign policy, immigration, etc., Mike Huckabee covers it all with facts to support his positions and a bit of humor thrown in.

For an individual who supports the positions of Mike Huckabee, i.e. a conservative, this book is very helpful because it is written in a straightforward manner and provides the facts and information nececessary to critique the opposing few. Obviously, for those who oppose Mike Huckabee's positions, this book is not something that will interest them other than to understand the opposition's positions on the issues (which they probably already do) although it can help them to understand the rationale.

I'm unabashedly a conservative, but not as conservative as Mike. I found myself disagreeing with him on a couple of issues. Some examples are: (1) immigration, where I think that a compromise position is necessary (and I like the current Marco Rubio legislation that gives illegal immigrants amnesty but not voting rights - this is a fair compromise). (2) Foreign policy - we have to figure out how to stop being the world's police force what with 30,000 soldiers in South Korea and 70,000 in Europe. We just can't afford to defend these people anymore and need to get out of the "boots on the ground" thinking and emphasize air power and naval power.

I was also taken back by Mike's comment in the spending section where he suggested that the elderly above 65 should be given incentives to go back to work in essentially meaningless jobs. Mike, it's comments like these that provides the other side with the ammunition to say that the conservatives want to throw the elderly under the bus (or off the cliff as the ad a year ago showed).

Overall, I liked the book and recommend it though for conservatives, because of its folksy and straightforward approach to the issues along with a high dosage of facts - this, in spite of the fact that Mike can get preachy at times.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It sounds simple enough, April 22, 2011
This review is from: A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) (Hardcover)
Mike Huckabee believes that the art of good governing can be boiled down to just a few essential principles.

In a way, he is correct. While acknowledging that America's problems are anything but simple, they, in his view, can be solved through acknowledging several time-tested facts of life. Such things like having to deal with foreign aggressors in a direct manner, the family unit being irreplaceable by any government program, and local politicians being best equipped to deal with local issues are undeniably true. However, as situations change, must not the methodology with which they are dealt?

This all-important question, at least in my view, goes essentially unanswered by Huckabee in 'A Simple Government'. Nonetheless, he has managed to lay out an easily readable, often practical, and straightforwardly honest guide for the streamlining and effectivity of government. That is far more than I can say for many other books on politics out this year. Along with Joseph Cotto's The American Thinker: Realistic Solutions That We Need Now to Revitalize the American Dream, I would highly recommend it for anyone wanting a plausible, realistic blueprint for progress in American public policy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ought-to-be mand-a-tor-y to read Huck-a-bee., September 3, 2012
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Mike Huckabee should have been elected President in 2008. If he had been, the country would be prospering currently. I believe he is "Reagan-esc"

Just think about it, he must have been an awesome governor. A Republican elected multiple times in a state with a predominantly registered Democrat electorate! Bill Clinton was GOV. in Ark., remember?

This is an awesome person. He is honest, direct, compassionate,and concerned. Watch his show just to get an idea of how articulate and intelligent he is. Read this book to discover the truth, realities, and common sense solutions to such issues as illegal immigration, energy production, National Security,health care, national debt, etc..

Look on page 196,and see what makes me endeared to the man and his thought process. It states, " As a Christian believer, I have a deep-rooted optimism based on the fact that even if the country should fail, God's kingdom will not."

I recommend this book, as well as Mike's other books.

Dr. Stanley E. Toompas, Optometrist
and Author of "I'm the One the Other Isn't"
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Honest, August 28, 2011
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This review is from: A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) (Hardcover)
I didn't agree with everything in this book, but it was well written in a conversational tone and easy to read. I had the audio version and appreciated the author reading it himself. He brought clear passion and common sense to the table. Anyone watching politics at all would do well to read this and hear Huckabee's opinions from the man himself rather than from the biased, crazy media.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Great!, March 11, 2012
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This book is just as its title says, it not only reminds us of our need for a simple government, it also reminds us that great books can be written in a simple and easy to read format. I wish Huck was running for President right now!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, April 6, 2011
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This review is from: A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don't) (Hardcover)
The book is openly honest about our problems and offers excellent solutions! Many thanks to Governor Huckabee and I think it would be great to have him as President, he's get my vote! I've not only read the book but passed it on to a friend to read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, October 26, 2014
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Excellent Book.
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