Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, an oft-mentioned contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, has come out with her proposal for cutting spending in the federal budget. The cuts she proposes add up to $410.7 billion, which accounts for only a bit more than a fourth of the federal budget deficit, belying the Republican claim that they would bring the budget under control. Even if Rep. Bachmann got her every wish, the budget deficit would still be bigger than a trillion dollars every year. Does Bachmann plan to end the “temporary” Bush-era tax cuts to be fiscally responsible and make up the gap? Goodness, no. In December of last year, Bachmann did the opposite, voting to keep tax cuts for the wealthy, increasing the national debt by $83 billion a year, and voting to extend the Bush-era tax cuts in general, costing the budget more than the value of the spending cuts she proposes when the cost of paying interest on consequent debt is included. And here’s the rub: thanks to her vote to extend Bush-era tax cuts, these additions to the deficit are guaranteed. The spending cuts Bachmann proposes, which wouldn’t make up for the hole created by her tax cuts, are just a hypothetical figment of Bachmann’s imagination. Michele Bachmann knows perfectly well that most of the spending cuts she proposes won’t be passed. Who is Michele Bachmann? Not a deficit hawk. Michele Bachmann is a debt queen.
Within her proposal for spending cuts there are choices that throw Michele Bachmann’s moral character into sharp relief. Although she pays lip service to the concept of cutting the military budget with a “cut” of “$15.6 Billion According to Secretary Gates’ ( $78 Billion 5 year projections),” those aren’t cuts. They are reductions in the rate of increase in the military budget. Michele Bachmann actually proposes to let the military budget overall keep going up and up, using the word “cut” to mask that fact. But there are some real military cuts that Michele Bachmann proposes, and they’re related to the people who have gone through war’s meat grinder. Michele Bachmann would slash disability payments to America’s veterans.
Pose as a deficit hawk and run the country into bigger debts. Preserve increases to the military budget while cutting Veterans’ benefits. These are Michele Bachmann’s values. Exasperation #27.