Less than 3 minute read

July 1, 2019

There are a lot of people these days who think government should do everything for everyone (even illegal immigrants.) For many who are overworked and feeling burned out, that can be a very tempting offer.  After all, personal responsibility is a lot of work! 

But when you look at the staggering debt that’s threatening our grandchildren’s futures and wondering how that came to be, the answer is simple: a lack of personal responsibility.  People thinking up things they thought the government ought to do and expecting them to be paid for with somebody else’s money. Thomas Jefferson said, “The government is best that governs least,” but small, cost-efficient government requires a population that’s willing and able largely to govern themselves. 

To explain why government costs as much as it does, let me take you to a city that I’ll call “Hucktown.”  Hey, it’s my story, so I get to name the town.  In Hucktown, everyone is exactly like…well, me. (Don’t say it’s unrealistic: the entire “progressive” movement is based on trying to force everything to act, talk and think exactly the same.)  Like me, nobody in Hucktown smokes or drinks or takes drugs.  We all obey the laws and try to watch our diets and exercise.  We stay married and teach our kids to respect other people’s property and do their homework.  Everyone gets up early and usually works late (they have to: since they’re just like me, they all have at least five jobs.)    

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Because of all this, Hucktown’s government would save a lot of money.  It wouldn’t need a jail or a divorce court or drug counselors or rehab clinics or very many hospitals or police.  I can guarantee it wouldn’t need to hire anyone to scrub off graffiti.  So can you imagine how low the taxes would be in Hucktown?  That’s because when people govern themselves by practicing civility and personal responsibility, they need less outside government to force them to behave properly.  

But before you start packing up to move there, I should point out that Hucktown is imaginary (although Branson is close.)  In reality, there will always be people who impose costs on society, either because of problems they can’t help, or because they choose not to be responsible.  For these folks, we’ll always need expensive social services, hospitals, rehabs, counselors and jails.  

But what if you lived in the exact opposite of Hucktown: a place where everyone decided that it would be easier to cede responsibility for every tough decision to the government?  After all, it’s hard work to choose a medical insurance policy, or plan for retirement, or decide what kind of car to drive.  Why not let the government take all those decisions off your shoulders?

Because you pay very dearly for it, in three ways.  First, if you don’t like the decision the government makes for you, tough luck. Unlike with free enterprise, capitalism and competition, you have no place else to turn.  Second, as Ben Franklin pointed out, when you trade a little freedom for a little security, you’ll soon have neither.  And third, there’s the staggering monetary cost of having the government do all those things for all those people. 

I imagined a town where people didn’t need a lot of government, so taxes could be very low and named it “Hucktown.”  Now, you imagine a place where people expect the government to do everything for them from cradle to grave.  Then imagine how high the taxes and how big the debt would be.  My suggestion for the name of that place: “Bernietown.”

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Comments 1-25 of 30

  • Maria G. Alvarez

    07/09/2019 09:17 PM

    Dear Mr. Huckabee, from the time you were a presidential candidate in 2008 I have admired you and learned a lot from you. God bless you and your family.

  • Irene Hathaway

    07/06/2019 09:48 AM

    I would like to live in "Hucktown" . . . I'm enjoying your newsletters. Enjoyed you on your Fox TV show. Hoping your daughter is doing alright. . .

  • Brenda Womble

    07/06/2019 09:26 AM

    Love your Hucktown description as opposed to Bernieton. Makes absolute sense to me.

  • Lela Powell

    07/03/2019 01:39 AM

    I have a feeling Mr. Mueller is happy to testify before the House about Mr. Trump's
    investigation. The last time he spoke was not very favorable to Mr. Trump.

  • Ray Quigley

    07/02/2019 09:10 PM

    Reflections on the 1st Democrat Debates.

    Interesting quote (see below) from Tulsi Gabbard. Talks about the media and their reporting on her campaign.
    I wonder, remind you of anyone else?

    "I think the media has such an incredible responsibility to report news and the truth and that’s just not what we see anymore … me and my campaign have been on the receiving end of very intentional smear efforts trying to undermine our campaign coming through, you know, NBC News quoting articles that are completely baseless. I did an interview with George Stephanopoulos and he says, ‘Well, you know this article in the Daily Beast says Putin supports your campaign.’ 
    Based on what? Nothing. Really nothing."

    I think maybe we’ve heard the same concerns expressed by someone else. How about Donald Trump? Only he called it “fake news”.
    When he said that he was called a “threat to a free press!”

    Will Tulsi get the same treatment? Somehow I don’t think so. But let’s hope.

    Also, in the military and foreign policy arena, the sentiments expressed by Ms. Gabbard are much like the actual policies being pursued by President Trump.

    America First! A slogan that has been one of the signature considerations of President Donald Trump. He put the benefit to the USA at the forefront of military, trade and financial discussions and commitments? And he has encouraged other parties to do the same.
    President Trump just wants a level playing field and all parties should seek and provide the same.

    And, it was not Donald Trump who put us hell bent into Afghanistan. And who was it who said “NO!” to starting a real firefight (yes, a war) with Iran when they shot down our Drone.
    It is Donald Trump, who, ignoring potential political risk insists, “it makes no sense not to talk to leaders of Russia and Syria (don’t forget China and North Korea) if we are serious about defeating the shared threats like al Qaeda and ISIS.”

    And long before Tulsi came along Donald Trump has been actively engaged in not just policy-discussions but actual pursuit of agreements to reduce the ever-increasing threat of nuclear war and development of greater nuclear capability.

    It would be wonderful, but highly unlikely, if the media and/or the Tulsi Gabbard (actually any) campaign would promote the truth about what should be the shared goals and policy objectives of all.

    We could then have a genuine positive debate about the best way to achieve our mutual goal of peace and prosperity. Not just for America but the world.
    Ray Quigley

  • Andy McManus Sr

    07/02/2019 06:05 PM

    I'm amazed at how far the moral compass in America is from when I was growing up. Even then, it was getting bad, to be honest. In the last 10 years, since emperor Obama took office, it's like all hell broke loose.... everybody wants something for nothing, no matter how much the next guy has to pay for it. Even the democratic lunatics don't give a damn about Americans' well being. "Americans must pay for their health care AND that of lawbreaking illegals". Just so wrong. I've been disabled for the last year, and it kills me that I couldn't work another 10 years like I was supposed to. I never took handouts, my whole life. People come here for the free benefits America has to offer, not to assimilate. I see people who came here for economic benefit who live better than I do, after working in construction for the last 35 years, averaging 80 hours a week. Thank you for the opportunity to vent.

  • Gwendolyn Rene' Esswein

    07/02/2019 04:05 PM

    Dear Governor Huckabee, I LOVE IT!!!!! I think you should make T-SHIRTS & SELL THEM! :) Our Partners in Prayer Wall on Facebook are having 24 hour Prayer for our Nation from 12:01 am early Tuesday Morning until 12:00PM tonight. We change Prayer Leaders/Speakers at the Top of each hour. 2 Chronicles 7:14 has been our main Bible Verse. Today on one of the Prayer Hours I requested Prayer for you & Sarah. God Bless you. Grace Rene'

  • Margi Popp

    07/02/2019 02:43 PM

    Dear Mike Huckabee, first you have a lot of wise folks who contribute in your comments section, I enjoy others points of view especially when they align with my way of thinking.
    It is a sad day when all of the ludicrous ideas the Dems are pushing. Do they really think we are that stupid? Some are for sure. We must vote Trump 2020 and our State elections and judges must be conservative. Let's give our President full majority in the House & Senate...people get out and help at the polls get involved in your precincts, they need your help, we volunteer wherever we are needed. God Bless America

  • james randolph

    07/02/2019 01:40 PM

    Hey Mike - Sorry ... Your explanation of why HUCKTOWN is wonderful is wrong..
    "...when people govern themselves by practicing civility and personal responsibility, they need less outside government to force them to behave properly. .."
    David Barton ( and I would suggest your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible (not Hollywood) is responsible for your "civility and personal responsibility". You accept HIS authority, and obey HIS commandments and laws. Without an external transcendent metric of RIGHT & WRONG, you would determine your own "truth, way, and life".
    Even HUCKTOWN, without Bible preaching and obeying churches, would not last long.

  • Hazel Lehman

    07/02/2019 01:15 PM

    Excellent point. I can't believe all the people that say they want free healthcare and free education. They don't stop and think that nothing is free. The taxes are going to have to be increased significantly in order to pay for all the free stuff. Finland has an individual tax of 51.5% and still their healthcare system failed.

  • janice gavin

    07/02/2019 11:03 AM

    excellent examples,.,

  • Dr. Larry G. Davis

    07/02/2019 08:28 AM

    Yelp, you said it exactly right. It's like the old saying I've heard a lot lately "everything works fine until you run out of other people's money". Bernie and most of the other dems wanting to be president are promising just that! They make it sound great, all this free stuff, but they don't ever explain where the money comes from to pay for it. Guess what, the working people will pay for it with more taxes!

  • Lynn Taylor

    07/02/2019 06:49 AM

    Happy 4th of July to you Governor!
    Yes, I’d like Hucktown over Bernietown!
    On another note, yet related to our great nation, is an opinion I read and hope you and your staff will as well. It was the Dr Dobson July 2019 Newsletter about his visit to the southern border. It made we want to go to Congress and address them all and say exactly what our great President Trump has been saying: “Congress could fix this in 15 minutes!”

  • William Schlumpf

    07/02/2019 06:29 AM

    What if a guy from say Brooklyn who is too lazy to work and doesn't like to get up early finds his way to hucktown? What if he cons enough of the young'ns already conned by leftist indoctrination at the University of "Higher Learning" to vote him into office by promising all kinds of free stuff he doesn't have to work for to provide? Hucktown would become Sandersville (and bankrupt) in a generation. Better build a wall around Hucktown.

  • Rebecca A Freeman

    07/01/2019 08:43 PM

    This is the simple truth. I hope more people will take heed of what is a growing threat to our society. Thank you Mr. Huckabee

  • Dannie Poe

    07/01/2019 07:35 PM

    Why do we no longer hear US Constitutional Correct any more. All we seem to hear is Political Correctness. I keep hearing we must be Political Correct. I have even heard those we elected say that we must be Political Correct to be US Citizens. It is called "doing the right thing". I was under the impression that to be a US Citizen we are required to follow and comply with Rule of Law. I have heard people claim President Trump is a threat to our US Constitution and it's Rule of Law, yet I hear our politicians say we must be Political Correct. To me this is a greater threat than Trump could ever be to the United States. Believe me when I say taking the life of a child after it is born is pure EVIL AND BY MY STANDARDS IS MURDER. It troubles me that those who see it as MURDER do not speak up. Why are they all silent? If we can not defend the rights of a newborn, then how can we defend the rights of US Citizens? EVIL has captured the hearts of good people and has turned these people into people possessed by demons. God may have gave us a miracle that got Trump elected, thus giving the US a second chance to turn from EVIL, sadly I just do not see US Citizens repenting and turning back to God.

  • Barbara Miller

    07/01/2019 07:23 PM

    you are so right.i am retired and disabled ,but i would rather work.i volunteer to have something to feels good to do for people and to do for myself as much as possible.

  • Jerry Korba

    07/01/2019 06:14 PM

    Looks like Portland Oregon's Mayor may have beaten you to the Huck town sounds as he has told his Police force to stand down when the reporter was covering a gang protest was beaten and robbed if tax money is being paid for the police force not protecting its citizen charges must filed for time card fraud and theft failing to perform the duty charges filed against the supervisors and the Mayor every one connected to this violation has to be brought to trial.

  • Charles Simmons

    07/01/2019 06:10 PM

    Hearing the wishful wistfulness of the socialist democrats elicits memories of Irish potato famine ... “... perhaps the single worst catastrophe in 19th-century Europe.”

  • E. Berniece Evans

    07/01/2019 05:53 PM

    Today things are looked at differently. When my husband, who passed away when I was sixty-two, a few years ago, he had given away to his nephew my 35.5 acres to use without my permission. This is property that I inherited from my mother, includes a six acre lake. Today I have a different agreement, this is for fences around the whole perimeter for ten years use by a brother-in-law OF HIS. It appears that his family must always be involved in MY BUSINESS.

    However when this agreement ends in 2027, I will, for the very first time be paid for property used which has for many many many years actually belonged to me. Or, I can tell them to all go away and leave me to my own property.

    My husband and I had one son and two daughters. My son is a neurologist in Louisville, Kentucky who works with three hospitals there. One daughter was a diabetic, worked for
    a physician and picked up hepatitis in his office, passed away many years ago. Our other
    daughter and her family, husband and daughter, live here with me.


    Berniece Evans

  • Verneta Stebbins

    07/01/2019 04:53 PM

    I wanna' move to Hucktown! And Bernietown is the perfect name for the opposite town!!

  • betty wilson

    07/01/2019 04:48 PM

    I, too, agree with you. I am so tired of people thinking my tax money is supposed to pay for all of their little needs. My husband died when our second child was half way through her sophomore year in college. I was able to get the Pell Grant her last two years of school, but this Mother worked her full-time day job and part-time evening job to get her through school. My daughter owed nothing for college, her Mother too care of her bill. Did she appreciate it - maybe, maybe not but I will not do that for another child ever again. I am so tired of hearing these whiners who think I am supposed to take care of their children too. I am retired now and owe my children nothing. They have their college degrees paid for by their parents. Have a Happy Fourth of July

  • Gregory Weinman

    07/01/2019 04:43 PM

    Democrat social programs such as Medicare and Social Security are Ponzi schemes. Democrats envisioned them that way but sold them as schemes that paid for themselves. 3 of every 8 federal dollars is spent on the so called insurance benefits of those programs. Add in interest on the national debt and half of all federal spending is on auto pilot.
    Less than a quarter of federal government spending actually goes towards federal responsibilities authorized in the constitution. The rest goes to areas the federal government has no business accepting any responsibility for managing.
    Before AFDC and Medicaid private charities took care of the indigent. Doctors and hospitals provided services pro bono. Most of that has disappeared because the federal government took over. In fact, a doctor who accepts Medicaid patients is forbidden by law from offering pro bono services.

  • keith nuhn

    07/01/2019 04:17 PM

    Right On!

  • Abe B Cox

    07/01/2019 03:43 PM

    Hope you are going to support Trump - we need someone you talk like to try to keep the socialist libs from ruining everything. Don't think many of those strident voices have done any military time either as I feel most vets are conservative. I've personally indicated the Conservatives, Republicans and those independents who do not wish to let the country go to sh*t need to really plan to get out the vote - one thing I see the Dems really good at.