Saturday, October 15, 2011

Michele Bachmann in Sioux City

Michele Bachmann was in Sioux City, Iowa, the other day, spewing more crazy things. Man, she's just the best, isn't she? She doesn't have the slightest chance at the nomination, but she's willing to do what it takes for comedians everywhere.

Who says Republicans don't have a jobs plan?

I was born and raised in a small town near Sioux City (in Nebraska, though), so I took particular note of this. In honor of that, here are a few of her craziest statements that day (excerpts from the Des Moines Register):
Bachmann argued that taxes are too high, and called for a return to the tax policies of the 1980s.

“We had an economic miracle in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan,” Bachmann said. “I want to bring  those positive solutions into the tax code.”

Later, Bachmann clarified that she supported bringing back policies like those enacted in the Economic Recovery Tax Act, of 1981, known as ERTA, which slashed income, corporate, investment and estate taxes.

But Reagan-era rates of income taxation for both the top and bottom tax brackets were actually higher than current rates, even after the 1981 cuts.

Following ERTA, taxpayers in the highest income bracket were taxed at 50 percent — while today the highest rate is 35 percent. Taxpayers in the lowest bracket, meanwhile, paid income taxes at rates ranging from 11 to 15 percent between 1981 and 1989; today they pay 10 percent, according to data from the National Taxpayers Union.

Funny, huh? Republicans have been screaming "class warfare" because Barack Obama wanted to raise the top bracket back up from 35% to 39%. Can you imagine the screaming if Obama wanted to raise the rate to where Reagan lowered it? Heh, heh.

(Note that no one actually pays 35% of their income in taxes. After all, capital gains are taxed at a maximum of only 15%. After deductions and capital gains rates and everything else, billionaires frequently pay a lower rate than you do - which is the whole point of the Buffett Rule.)

Then there are these two crazy comments:
Turning to what she called excessive federal regulations, Bachmann called for the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. departments of education and energy, all of which she said levied regulations that stifled business growth. ...

She described visiting the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge — the pristine nature reserve that has been a flashpoint for arguments over U.S. energy policy for years — and dipping her toes in the Arctic Ocean. The visit, she said, convinced her that energy should be harvested from the site. [my emphasis]

But the absolute craziest Bachmann quote?
“In the United States we should be demanding both from Libya and from Iraq that they take their oil revenues and they use that money to pay the United States back for the treasure and the toil that we spent to liberate those countries,” she said, to applause.

Heh, heh. And note how the morons applauded. Republicans are still bummed that something as fun as war - watching it, of course, not fighting in it - might actually cost something. Republican leaders promised us that the Iraq War would pay for itself, so how could you pass up a deal like that?

After all, there's no draft, so Republicans didn't have to worry about risking their own lives in it. President Bush avoided the Vietnam War like the plague, but it's a lot different when you get to prance around in a flight suit, playing "Commander-in-Chief." And the war was going to be free, too. A FREE WAR!  Jesus, how could anyone pass that up?

As it turned out, adding trillions of dollars to our nation's budget deficit isn't exactly the same thing as "free." But for Republicans at the time, it was pretty close. I mean, it's still a free lunch if someone else pays for it, right?

But Republicans today - most of them the same people who supported the war back then - don't want to pay for it, either. Or anything else, for that matter. But they still dream the dream of free war. Yeah, we invaded a completely innocent country for no reason, we destroyed their infrastructure, and they ended up with hundreds of thousands of people dead. So they should pay us for that wonderful, wonderful event...

After all, didn't they have televisions? They could watch our missiles exploding, just like we did, right? Wasn't that great fun? Entertainment isn't free, you know. Well, it should be free to us, because we're the ones who put on the show. But why should it be free for them, just because they didn't ask for it or anything?

As far as Libya goes, well, if someone contracted out the U.S. military for that, if we were merely acting as paid mercenaries, that someone should probably pay us the amount we both agreed to. But I've seen no contract, myself. We helped the rebels for our own reasons. You can like it or not, but I was just glad we weren't dumb enough to invade another country - again.

Compare this lunacy with the Marshall Plan after World War II. Back then, we Americans paid billions of dollars to help rebuild the economies of our enemies - and turned them into our staunchest allies. We'd learned the lesson from World War I, when the allies went after "reparations" and just ensured an even worse war later. And yeah, doing this caused our own economy to boom, too!

But we don't learn anything from history these days, do we? Heck, we don't seem to learn anything from anything. We've clearly forgotten all that we learned years and years ago. We forgot everything we learned in the Great Depression. We forgot everything we learned after World War I and II. We forgot what life was like without Social Security and Medicare and government regulations.

Well, historians are "elitists," right? And so are scientists and economists and anyone with education, experience, and expertise. In America these days - at least in the Republican Party - we just believe what we want to believe. That saves wear and tear on the little gray cells.

That might not be the dumbest thing Michele Bachmann has ever said. After all, that's setting the bar pretty darn high. But it's still pretty crazy, isn't it? Yeah, and she's running for president of the United States. If that makes you feel queasy, just think of how the rest of the world is feeling right now!

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