Rep. Michele Bachmann was on a tear: In one of her most fiery stump speeches to date, the tea party leader told a South Carolina audience that the tax code was a “weapon of mass destruction,” that President Obama is “babying” terrorists, that the rich pay too much in taxes, that social issues like marriage and abortion cannot be put on the “back burner,” and that Fox News’ Glenn Beck can solve America’s budget deficit.
“We are looking at a time of bubbles,” Bachmann said, referring to the housing and tech bubbles. She said that Americans are witnessing a “government bubble.”
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“If Obama is allowed to continue what I call his ‘reign of error’ for another second term, we will be at $21 trillion in debt,” she said. “We are talking Greece territory in the greatest country in the world. We are talking Greece.”
She added, “When you add it all up — I’m a former federal tax lawyer — when you add up the tax burden on today’s kids — and I believe this is a low estimate — they are looking at in their peak years, at having 70 percent of their income to pay their tax bill.”
That’s a claim that Bachmann made at CPAC earlier this month when she claimed an even higher number — 75 percent, and according to the Washington Post, it simply isn’t true.
“The bottom line, when you ‘get out your calculator’ and add all this up: total taxes of about 25 percent, rather than the 75 percent in Bachmann’s telling,” wrote the Washington Post, which used tax experts to assist in its calculations of federal, state and local taxes. “We presented this math to Bachmann’s spokesman and are still waiting for a response.”
Bachmann blasted entitlement spending and urged reform in Social Security. “The problem is our health care welfare spending which is out of control,” she said. “The good news is we can solve this problem. It needs to be a market based approach.”
She offered up a somewhat non-traditional solution: “We need to simply tell people the facts, like Glenn Beck, with that chalkboard, that man can explain anything. I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this.”
Bachmann also said there’s a business bubble because the U.S. has the “highest corporate income tax rate in the world.”
She also said that the rich pay the most in taxes. “Don’t let people tell you that those dirty rich people don’t pay their taxes: The top 1 percent pay 40 percent of all income taxes, the top 5 percent pay 60 percent, the top 10 percent pay 80 percent,” she said. “So we need a radically new system.”
In addition to the government bubble and the business bubble, Bachmann spoke of the education bubble, decrying $44 billion in Pell grants for low-income students.
She also talked about the “family bubble.”
“The family is on a bubble right now. The rate of cohabitating couples in one year increased 13 percent,” she said. “The family is the ultimate first form and first unit in government and society.”
She added, “The bureaucrats now hate our values; there’s a war on marriage, a war on family, a war on fertility all while funding and promoting abortion.”
Yet another bubble Bachmann sees is the “national security bubble,” and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the ban on gay and lesbian servicemembers repealed by the U.S. Senate in December, is one of those things that is creating the bubble.
“President Obama is applying a politically correct standard to the United States military that cannot be tolerated in our country,” she said, adding that Obama is babying jihadists.
She also called on Wisconsin school boards to consider firing the teachers who called in sick to protest a bill that eliminate some collective bargaining for state employees.
“I want to give a shout out to Scott Walker up in Wisconsin,” she said to hearty applause. She derided teachers for “calling in sick on work time, showing up to protest and they bring the kids they are supposed to be teaching.”
Bachmann concluded, “So it is our time and it’s about 2012 and I’m in, and so I ask you tonight, are you in for 2012?”