From Annie Baxter:
GOP U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann attacked Democrats, food stamps, and Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner last night at an event called “Reclaiming America: The Taking Back Congress Tour.”
Bachmann was joined by conservative broadcasters Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager. GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer made a guest appearance.
The event at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis was sponsored by the conservative radio station AM 1280 The Patriot and drew about 400 people, leaving many of the 1,500 seats on the main floor of Orchestra Hall empty.
The Patriot’s operations manager Lee Michaels hinted at the sparse attendance. “I know there’s nothing else going on downtown tonight,” he quipped. The Twins were playing the Yankees at Target Field in the second game of the ALDS.
Bachmann’s opponents in the 6th District House race, DFLer Tarryl Clark and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson, have criticized Bachmann for participating in last night’s event instead of attending a debate to which all three were invited.
Bachmann delivered a speech entitled “The Way Forward” in which she imagined what the country would be like if Republicans took control of Congress.
Among the agenda items is the repeal of the federal health care overhaul.
“That’s just a given. I mean it’s a given,” Bachmann said. “And it’s possible, by the way. Very possible. We lost the battle, but we will not lose the war. We will repeal ‘Obamacare.’”
Bachmann said in its place, Congress should allow Americans to purchase health insurance using tax-free dollars.
Bachmann listed many other goals. She suggested that the government do the following:
–give the EPA a “full review” and have it focused only on “safe air, safe land, and safe water.”
–auction off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by whatever means necessary, including “Ebay or Craigslist.”
–end federal subsidies of energy production
–cut the business tax rate from 34 percent to 9 percent.
Bachmann also took aim at U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s defense of food stamps.
CNN reports that Pelosi argued that for every dollar a person receives in food stamps, $1.79 is put back into the economy. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture cites an even higher figure of $1.84,” said CNN.
“Can anyone explain how you take the money out of the private sector, you give it to inefficient government, you have the price of bureaucracy that you add to that dollar, and you push that dollar out into the market, and somehow you take a magic wand and magic beans, and you throw them at that dollar and it poofs up into $1.84?” she asked.
“It just doesn’t happen. And if that does happen, then the answer to our economic doldrums is obvious: you put everyone in the country on foods stamps and you put everyone in the country on unemployment, because it would be the greatest stimulative effect that you’d ever see.”
Bachmann said the only gain in the equation is money spent on bureaucracy.
Economists at the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office have however, underscored the economic benefit of such programs.
“Lower-income households are . . . more likely to be among those with the highest propensity to spend. Therefore, policies aimed at lower-income households tend to have greater stimulative effects,” said the CBO.
Bachmann also had sharp words for Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner, who has proposed both spending cuts and some tax increases. She likened him to DFL candidate Mark Dayton.
“We can’t let anyone tell us that Tom Horner is a pro-business Republican. This is no pro-business Republican. This is two of the same, both pro-taxing, essentially Democrats running against Tom Emmer,” she said.
Fellow speaker Dennis Prager said Democrats hate Bachmann more than any other Republican. He had a theory why.
“I actually think that your being female and being as good-looking as you are is a major factor. That your intelligence and values should come in such a beautiful package disturbs liberals and the left tremendously,” Prager said.