An Honest Look at Jon Huntsman

By:  Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.
12/01/2011
       
An Honest Look at Jon Huntsman

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has just barely been able to have his voice heard in the Republican Party’s presidential primary race, so low are his polling numbers. Yet, still, he is a candidate that, not unlike every other such candidate, proudly proclaims his commitment to liberty and, hence, “limited government.”

But is Huntsman really who he claims to be?

This is the question with which we must concern ourselves. As we will see, just a brief look at Huntsman’s utterances and deeds discloses in no time that, in his case, appearance is eons apart from reality.

To Huntsman’s credit, as Governor of Utah he presided over tax cuts — sales taxes especially — and a simplification of the overall tax code. For this, the Cato Institute lavished praise upon him. Yet lest we hastily exploit this fact as proof of his commitment to smaller government, we would be well served to note that the very same libertarian-friendly think tank criticized Huntsman for having “completely dropped the ball on spending, with per capita spending increasing at about 10 percent annually during his tenure.”

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has just barely been able to have his voice heard in the Republican Party’s presidential primary race, so low are his polling numbers. Yet, still, he is a candidate that, not unlike every other such candidate, proudly proclaims his commitment to liberty and, hence, “limited government.”

But is Huntsman really who he claims to be?

This is the question with which we must concern ourselves. As we will see, just a brief look at Huntsman’s utterances and deeds discloses in no time that, in his case, appearance is eons apart from reality.

To Huntsman’s credit, as Governor of Utah he presided over tax cuts — sales taxes especially — and a simplification of the overall tax code. For this, the Cato Institute lavished praise upon him. Yet lest we hastily exploit this fact as proof of his commitment to smaller government, we would be well served to note that the very same libertarian-friendly think tank criticized Huntsman for having “completely dropped the ball on spending, with per capita spending increasing at about 10 percent annually during his tenure.”

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Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. (photo)

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