Michele Bachmann: Read my lips: no taxes... at all
Michele Bachmann had a new tax plan for several seconds.
Michele Bachmann is in trouble. Her poll numbers have rolled off the cliff; she's reduced to filming campaign ads that look like dentist commercials; and lately most of the headlines containing her name also have the word "retardation" in them. She's not going to be president, ever.
Unless!--She triples the crazy and strips away all the reason that had been bogging her down before.
So at last night's Republican debate in Florida, Bachmann did just that, hurtling her campaign into the white-hot fires of madness in the hopes that she'll either burn up in an instant or be reborn from the ashes.
No compromises! she cried, and they cheered. No education! she cried, and they screamed with delight. No taxes! she said, and they went, "Huh?"
Actually, most of them just sat in stunned awe. A few audience members cheered, too, though it was hard to hear them over the sound of economists and sentient beings smashing up their television sets.
Bachmann finally got to give her crazy answer to this kid's question.
The question, as put to Bachmann by Fox's Megyn Kelly, was a reference to a query from an earlier debate, which was the most popular question as chosen by online voters.
"The answer to his question," Kelly said," is a number. Out of every dollar I earn, how much do you think that I deserve to keep?"
Bachmann's answer was a truly astounding bit of... something. What do you call a gaffe when it's clearly a planned answer?
And after the debate, I talked to that young man, and I said I wish I could have answered that question, because I want to tell you what my answer is: I think you earned every dollar. You should get to keep every dollar that you earn. That's your money. That's not the government's money.
All right then. No taxes, at all. This is a new one, even for the modern Republican Party -- really, in the annals of human civilization. Bachmann continued:
That's the whole point. Barack Obama seems to think that when we earn money, it belongs to him and we're lucky just to keep a little bit of it. I don't think that at all. I think when people make money, it's their money.
Bachmann describes Obama tax plan like he's a back-alley mugger.
Okay, again, we're getting it. Even though Obama's current tax rate is actually the exact same one as Bachmann's hugging-buddy George W. Bush, he's trying to take nearly all of your money. But President Michele Bachmann disagrees. She doesn't want any of your money. Keep all of it. Every single dollar. Don't worry about the government, they'll figure something out.
"Obviously," Bachmann continued, "we have to give money back to the government so that we can run the government."
Wait, what? So you keep all your money, you don't pay taxes, but you "have to give money back"? If Al Gore's facility with numbers was supposed to be "fuzzy math," this should likely be called "itchy math," because if you think about it for any length of time, you'll have the sudden urge to scratch at your cerebral cortex.
Bachmann found herself in a tight spot, trying to reconcile these two views -- that the government can't have any of your money, but it needs you to "give money back." Her escape hatch? Simple, and strange flattery.
We have to have a completely different mindset. And that mindset is, the American people are the genius of this economy. It certainly isn't government that's the genius.
No, Michele, it certainly isn't. Not while you're in it.
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