Can Bachmann Count?

August 11th, 2011 at 7:57 am | 32 Comments |

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Will Iowa voters challenge Michele Bachmann to clarify her incoherent fiscal views? On the one hand, she adamantly opposed raising the debt ceiling and is now demanding a balanced budget this year. On the other hand, she voted for the Ryan Budget.

That plan proposed running big budget deficits for decades (even under the rosiest economic assumptions – like 2.8% unemployment rate). Its implementation would require a total increase of the debt ceiling at least several times greater than the one that just passed (against strong opposition from Bachmann). Can these two positions be reconciled? Inquiring minds want to know.

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • andydp

    Can these two positions be reconciled? Inquiring minds want to know.

    On “Planet Bachman” anything is possible. She should also answer about her willingness to ask for stimulus money, her husband’s clinic use of Medicaid funds, her family’s use of farm subsidies as outlined in the Huffington Post:

    A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Huffington Post with three separate federal agencies reveals that on at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for funds set aside through President Obama’s stimulus program, which Bachmann once labeled “fantasy economics.” Bachmann made two more of those requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, an institution that she has suggested she would eliminate if she were in the White House.

    Taken as a whole, the letters underscore what Bachmann’s critics describe as a glaring distance between her campaign oratory and her actual conduct as a lawmaker. Combined with previous revelations that Bachmann personally relied on a federally subsidized home loan while her husband’s business benefited from Medicaid payments, it appears that one of the Tea Party’s most cherished members has demonstrated that the government does, in fact, play a constructive role — at least in her life and district.

  • TerryF98

    Republicans are hypocrites. All the GOP in the house voted for the Ryan plan which will raise the debt by $5 trillion. Then they vote for a balanced budget amendment.

    Where is the sense and consistency in those two positions. Nowhere.

  • rubbernecker

    A Biblical worldview accommodates incompatible positions, so no worries, America. Just put your trust in Jesus.

    • zanerbrainer

      Maybe the problem is that we’re interpreting record literally, but it’s actually allegorical.

  • Smargalicious

    Andrew and the leftist haters–shaddap.

    We tried a half-term, Black, far left reparationist, and it didn’t work.

    Time to move on.

    • medinnus

      Prove to me that Obama is a far-Left fellow, and not a centrist.

      Prove to me that he’s a reparationist.

      Prove to me that without GOP obstructionism, his polices wouldn’t have worked.

      So far, all you’re proving is that you believe in any fantasy that will bolster your racism.

      • Smargalicious

        Prove to me that Obama is a far-Left fellow, and not a centrist.

        - Here is just one example…the National Journal’s 2007 assessement of Obama’s ideology from when he was a Senator, rating him the most liberal Senator ever

        http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/

        Prove to me that he’s a reparationist.

        - You wouldn’t understand this, but conservatives call his Obamanomics (re-distribution of wealth from 49% of the population who pay taxes to the 51% who don’t), Obamacare (forcing the working, taxpaying portion of the population to pay for uninsured non-taxpayer’s health care), and the massive Stimulus failure ($900B+) as reparations, but masked by more palatable names

        Prove to me that without GOP obstructionism, his polices wouldn’t have worked.

        - Even though this is a loaded question it answers itself: from November 2008 to November 2010, his party controlled three branches of government: WH, Senate, and House. He enacted the massive stimulus failure and and the massive social welfare healthcare program called Obamacare, which states are rejecting outright. We’re simply seeing the results of his policies now (AAA rating downgrade, massive debt and unemployment, etc.)

        • common_sense_independent

          Smarg,
          evaluations of his positions in 2007 isn’t particularly valid any longer. his actions in office are what matter. since then he has gone far more to the center than expected, and in some cases a little to the right. for instance, his willingness to consider cuts to SS and Medicare in the debt talks, his extension of the Bush tax cuts.

          http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/washington/archives/obama-as-a-centrist-really.html

          I agree health care reform is pretty left, but it also excluded the ultimate goal of the left with the exclusion of a single payer system.
          as for the stimulus it’s agreed by many economists that it did help, although didn’t prevent the unemployment rate from going over 9%. In addition, much of the stimulus you included in the $700b figure were tax cuts, not outright spending, something like $300b I believe.

          it’s not possible to pin the downgrade on the president when he put a plan out calling for $4t in deficit reduction which was rejected by the GOP. this is the exact amount that S&P claimed would have prevented the downgrade.

        • LFC

          Smargy, you’re still clinging to that old cow pie? That was trashed as a total piece of crap with a heavily flawed methodology within a week after it resurfacing during the Presidential election. Of course you probably still believe the jury is out on Obama’s birth certificate.

        • larocquj

          Smarg,

          It seems the only thing you’ve proven is that you really hate Obama.

          You’re proof that Obama is a far leftist is not proof of anything except that he had a liberal voting record as a Senator. I agree he has liberal instincts, and his politics may be left of center, but in his deeds, he is decidedly centrist. Certainly not a far-leftist.

          From your discussion of Obamanomics you make it sound like Obama was the first person to impose income taxes on the country. I can assure you, federal income taxes were around redistributing income from those who pay to those who don’t long before Obama took office. Right now, taxes as a percentage of GDP are at historically low rates. That’s not exactly the work of a redistributionist.

          As far as the working, taxpaying population being “forced” to pay for non-taxpayer health care goes, this has also been happening since long before health care reform was enacted. The difference is, the uninsured were going to emergency rooms to get their free health care. You know who pays for that free care: all of us who pay hospital bills — the hospitals pass those costs onto us as health care consumers and taxpayers. As the old saying goes: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

          I would also like to add that the health care bill he pushed was modeled after conservative Republican proposals that date back to the mid-nineties when Hillary Clinton was trying to push health care reform, and on Mitt Romney’s health care initiative in Massachusetts. If Obama was a hard core leftist/socialist, the bill would have included a single-payer option. It didn’t.

          This is not the work of a leftist. As a previous poster suggested, this is centrism, or even somewhat to the right of center.

          Finally, S&P was pretty clear about why they downgraded US debt. It’s been said many times before by others, but I’ll say it again: the US has, and always will have, the ability to pay its debts. US debts are denominated in US dollars. This is not why the S&P did what it did. The S&P downgraded the US because of the inability of policymakers to come up with practical solutions to the deficit problem in the US. Political brinksmanship and coming within hours of default were to blame.

          Within less than 24 hours of the downgrade announcement, both sides of Congress promptly were at each others throats, each trying to assign blame to the other. This is why S&P downgraded US debt.

          If you want to blame him for something, blame him for being weak and/or indecisive. But I think simply calling him a leftist is wrong.

  • Rob_654

    It is fascinating to watch people back a woman who has been on the government payroll for most of her adult life. She used to go after tax payers as a lawyer for the IRS and has been extracting her paycheck, benefits and perks from taxpayers for years now as a politician while her husband’s business extracts money from medicare and her family farm takes government subsidies.

    Do you really think that people who hate the government but back a woman with that background will have any clue about fiscal views?

  • kuri3460

    Bachmann is certainly intelligent, but her message is geared towards only one constituency, socially conservative Republicans, and if telling them exactly what they want to hear means embracing incoherent, contradictory positions, she must have concluded that the benefits of this approach outweigh the risks.

    Perhaps, perhaps not.

  • ottovbvs

    Can Bachmann Count?

    Er…no…but it doesn’t matter to her followers who can’t count either.

    • TerryF98

      With her shoes off she can count to 20.

      • Lonewolf

        With her husband’s pants off, she can count to … umm … twenty.
        Hey, don’t get me wrong – if she becomes President, I think he’d make a darn fine First Latent.

  • kimmah

    Nothing about her past behaviors would indicate she can either count or read.

  • mikewaz

    Of course these two positions can be reconciled. It’s not okay to hand Fartbongo HUSSEIN ObaMao Zedong al-Chicago a blank check because he’ll spend it all on brainwashing people into supporting his freedom-crushing, job-killing, Communist agenda, but it’s perfectly fine to give a Republican president a blank check because they’ll spend it all supporting good Christian folk who have fallen on hard times and need a helping hand so they can get back to fishing.

  • Alivegarden

    When you refuse to accept, despite the overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence which shows that tax revenues have to be increased to even come close to reducing the deficit, then you have entered the land of blind dogma. There is no point in attempting to have a rational discussion with people like Bachmann and frankly, nearly all of the modern American conservative movement because these people live in a separate fantasy land of their own making.

  • Oldskool

    But she’s bold, which is to say clueless, loud and emotional. Perfect for a party full of authoritarians.

  • TAZ

    She will never be challenged on anything even remotely controversial she said or supported.

    Whats left of the Repub base is looking for a priest / preacher, not a president.

  • busboy33

    Challenging her would make her look bad . . . and therefore it would only be proof that the challenger was part of the Leftist smear campaign propagated by the LamestreamMediaComplex.

    Much easier to just kiss her ass and pretend 2+2=green.

  • Saladdin

    Doesn’t matter if she can count or not. It’s going to be down to Romney Perry.

  • gover

    Arithmetic has a well known liberal bias.

    • LFC

      As does science. And literature other than the Bible. And economics that actually work. Pretty much reality in general.

  • Otto

    You know, every time I see a picture of Bachmann I can’t help but think of one line from the famous USS Indianapolis monologue delivered by Robert Shaw in Jaws.

    “…lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes.”

    Having just looked up the exact quote, the rest of it is even more… I dunno, appropriate? chilling?

    “And, you know, the thing about [Bachmann]… [s]he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When [s]he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living… until [s]he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’.”

  • John Q

    Raising the question (does Bachmann count?) shows you haven’t caught into the distinction between truth and truthiness.

    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truthiness )

    Bachmann is a strong proponent of the latter.

  • chephren

    “Fiscal incoherence” is a fundamental principle of Republicanism, and has been since Reagan took office.

  • gmckee1985

    Bachmann has her niche, but is no serious threat to win the nomination. In our current culture “flashy” and “exciting” candidates like Bachmann, Cain and Palin have their few minutes of fame then burn out.

  • baw1064

    Maybe she plans to pay off the national debt with five loaves and two fishes?

  • Lonewolf

    She can certainly count to five thousand.
    Chris Matthews pointed out yesterday that in the last two years, she has written President Obama at least fourteen times (about once every seven weeks), saying “Please fund this project in my district; you should do this because it will create xxx badly needed jobs.”
    The number of jobs she has asked the President to create through direct government stimulation in those 14 requests totals over five thousand.
    But wait – Ms. Bachmann claims government stimulation doesn’t create jobs!
    So clearly, she represents a magical district where her version of economics law doesn’t apply! It must be Divine Intervention!
    Hey, Smarg -there’s your proof – she was indeed Anointed By God!