Friday, August 5, 2011

Michele Bachmann's Thoughts on Debt, Taxes, and "Great Society" Programs (the largest of which is Medicare)

When Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann spoke before the National Press Club on the Thursday before the debt ceiling deal was reached, she spoke about how things would be different if she were in office.

She admonished President Obama for mounting so much debt and turned to praising President Ronald Reagan’s trimming of taxes and the federal budget. She spoke of the Obama administration as being "borrow and spend." But looking at the percentage of debt increase under the last five Democratic and Republican presidents, one name stands out: Ronald Reagan.

As David Stockman, a director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan recently wrote in a "New York Times" op-ed, "Through the 1984 election, the old guard earnestly tried to control the deficit, rolling back about 40 percent of the original Reagan tax cuts. But when, in the following years, the Federal Reserve chairman, Paul Volcker, finally crushed inflation, enabling a solid economic rebound, the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts." 

Michele Bachmann voted against lifting the debt ceiling and promised to resist lifting it in the future. She promised to cut spending without raising taxes. She wasn't specific about what cuts she would make but implied that a good place to start would be the elimination of "the Great Society," programs (the largest of which was Medicare). Here's what she said:

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