Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Michelle Bachman Breaks Anti-Tax Pledge, Vows to Raise Taxes on 47% of Americans

Bad News Ms. Bachmann, No One Seemed to Notice or Care

Those who read this Forum regularly know that The Dismal Political Economist often talks about Grover Norquist.  The reason for this is that even though he is unknown to the vast majority of Americans Mr. Norquist more than any other single individual is capable of causing the defeat of an incumbent Republican.  Thus we have a very influential person with respect to our Government that most Americans have never heard of.  This is not good in a society where the key to good voter decisions is full information.

The core of Mr. Norquist’s position and power is that he has obtained pledges from almost all Republicans and some Democrats that they will not vote to raise taxes under any circumstances and under any conditions. If an office holder violates the pledge Mr. Norquist will use his considerable influence to defeat that office holder either in a primary or general election.

His website,

lists the Pledge and it has been signed by among others, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R, Mn) who is running for the Republican Presidential nomination and who received favorable reviews on her performance in Monday’s Republican Candidate debate.

This is not unexpected (her signing the Pledge, not her favorable reviews).  What is unexpected is that in her interview in the Wall Street Journal Ms. Bachmann said that she would raise taxes for the approximately 47% of American who currently do not pay income taxes.  Here is her tax policy.

Her main goal is to get tax rates down with a broad-based income tax that everyone pays and that "gets rid of all the deductions." A system in which 47% of Americans don't pay any tax is ruinous for a democracy, she says, "because there is no tie to the government benefits that people demand. I think everyone should have to pay something

So Ms. Bachmann wants to raise taxes for 47% of Americans.  Now in the past whenever an office holder has even hinted that he or she would violate the pledge, Mr. Norquist has reacted angrily and threatened retaliation, usually in a primary.  The reaction to Ms. Bachmann’s renunciation of the pledge, nothing.

Ms.  Bachmann, this is not good news.  It means no one is listening to you, no one takes you seriously and no one really believes what you say or believes that you believe what you say or even believes that you know what you are saying.

Sorry to be the one to have to tell you that.

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