GOP Economy: Michele Bachmann's economic plan

Republican Presidential hopeful U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on July 28, 2011.

Home State: Minnesota (Born in Iowa)

Economic platform: Michele Bachmann calls the proposals in her 11-point "American Jobs, Right Now” economic plan “simple,” and says she’ll turn the economy around in one quarter. The plan showcases her firm belief in limiting government in order to stimulate the economy. Bachmann wants curtail to the “red tape rampage” of government regulations, calling for an end to the E.P.A. (the “Jobs Killing Agency”) and scaling back of financial industry oversight.

Along with shrinking the size of government, Bachmann would lower corporate taxes and allow corporations a tax holiday on profits made abroad. She claims that the tax holiday would prompt corporations to repatriate as much as $1.2 trillion. She says that would create a stimulus even larger than Obama’s American Recovery Act, and it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a thing. Analysts at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, released a report in early October concluding that a tax holiday provides “little in the way of new investment, economic growth, or job creation.”

Another major tenet of her plan is repealing Obama’s health care overhaul, which she claims is “the No. 1 reason employers say they aren’t hiring today.” Bachmann says repealing the “socialist” legislation would boost the economy and is the first thing she’d do as president. Stricter immigration enforcement would also save American jobs, according to Bachmann, whose plans include completing a 700-mile fence along our border with Mexico.

Defense: N/A

Education: In her plan Bachmann states that, according to recent reports, America’s education ranking is 47th in the world and ranks 5th in competitiveness.  She asserts that innovation and education are essential to rebuilding our economy. But besides these observations, the plan offers no specific guide for improving education.

Housing: Bachmann refers to Dodd-Frank, the regulatory overhaul of the financial sector, as the “Jobs and Housing Destruction Act.” Her main objection to the legislation, aside from its length and that it was written by “bureaucrats,” is that it makes it harder for Americans to obtain credit, thereby hurting the housing market. She would repeal Dodd-Frank and phase out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, arguing that the government-sponsored enterprises are too costly for taxpayers.

Health care: Bachmann says “Obamacare” will result in the loss of 800,000 jobs and adamantly vows to repeal the legislation. She supports deep cuts to Medicare and adopting a system for assessing eligibility based on means; wealthier Americans would not automatically qualify. She’s also considering raising the qualifying age.

Social Security: Bachmann has attacked Rick Perry for calling social security a “ponzi scheme,” but she has proposed major changes to the program, including eliminating the program for high income Americans and “weaning” younger workers off by privatizing it. As with Medicare, Bachmann emphasizes that these changes would not affect those currently enrolled.

The National Debt: Bachmann says federal spending is out of control. She has opposed proposals to raise the debt ceiling and believes a “line in the sand” must be drawn. “As never before, we are sentencing our children and grandchildren to a future of indentured servitude to foreign lenders," writes Bachmann on her campaign site, whose answer to the debt crisis is significant spending cuts.

Taxes: Bachmann would start by getting rid of the current tax code and restructuring it so that every American would pay taxes, even if that means just $1. Taxes would be lowered at every level. She’d also reduce the number of tax brackets and proposes to eliminate capital gains and inheritance taxes. Howard Gleckman, an Urban Institute Fellow at the Tax Policy Center says “eliminating taxes on gains would reduce tax liability by roughly $11 billion for those $1 million-plus households who no longer paid income tax.” Corporations would pay lower taxes and receive a tax holiday on profits made abroad under Bachmann’s plan.

About the author

Emily Frost is a graduate student focusing on broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Republican Presidential hopeful U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on July 28, 2011.

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