Unnecessary (or should we say unconstitutional) government spending is something which should be opposed by every intelligent woman and man under the conservative banner. Aside from the above unconstitutionality, there are bigger issues-spending means higher taxes (anathema to us all), and a general lack of freedom under a larger government.
So one would be quite rational in thinking that the candidates for President which conservatives support are similarly opposed to such spending.
Thus it came as quite a surprise to me when Michelle Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll. Whilst this is hardly a reliable barometer of who will win the primary, it does give an approximation of conservative thought in Iowa.
So if conservatives oppose spending, and Michelle Bachmann has considerable popularity amongst conservatives, it would not be unreasonable to assume that Michelle Bachmann opposes spending.
This is a calumny of the highest order. And whatsmore, it is a falsehood propagated by Ms. Bachmann herself.
Let us begin with a quote from Ms Bachmann’s website:
I will demand a return to our Founders’ vision of smaller, smarter government within the enumerated powers laid out in the Constitution
Very admirable, I think we’ll all agree. The antithesis of the big, inefficient government which some on the left seek to foist on America.
But if we examine her actions behind the scenes, a rather different picture emerges.
And we begin with the Stimulus. That idiotic piece of psuedo-Keynesian claptrap which was intended to help America recover and instead plunged it (we can say with near-certainty) into a fiscal nightmare so bad that America has lost it’s AAA credit rating, was hours away from a catastrophic default and cannot be taken seriously as an economic force for a long time. Every conservative should abhor it. On Redstate we regularly castigate such figures as Arlen Specter or the Maine Senators who supported it. I suggest we add another name to that list-Michelle Bachmann.
Congresswoman Bachmann attempted to gain funding ($668.5 M) to build a bridge crossing the St. Croix river. Despite it being rejected, Bachmann then wrote several missives to the Administration, requesting money for a rail park, converting MN buses to CNG and the building of a commuter railway in Minnesota. Whilst this would be enough to repulse many, the sheer hypocrisy of vocally criticizing the stimulus whilst begging for stimulus money is highly disturbing.
The last example merely shows Bachmann to have no strong conservative values and to be an opportunist; the next proves her to be a statist.
As those of us who are not of the Muslim or Jewish faiths can testify, the cost of pork has gone up considerably recently. There are many reasons for this, not least government regulation and taxation. But I think we all agree that prices are too high. There are many ways to bring them down, but I think one which would appeal to us conservatives would be to reduce the regulation of the pork industry, as well as ease financial burdens on the state and so reduce state sales taxes.
But those pathways appear to be too free market for Ms Bachmann. In her letter to the Obama Administration (as leaked by HuffPo) she requested that the federal government
stabilize prices through direct government purchasing of pork and dairy products
Take a moment and let it sink in. A Republican candidate for the Presidency is advocating state purchasing of products. Where in the Constitution is the government required or allowed to do that? Or the Federalist Papers? In fact, the last time I recall state purchasing of products, it was the USSR 40 years ago. Ms. Bachmann has just betrayed herself as a demi-socialist. While her voting record is pristine, at every given opportunity she takes federal money and uses federal power.
Michelle Bachmann is not a true conservative, simple as that. A true conservative despises unconstitutional spending, loathes taxes, is infuriated by Keynesian economics. Whilst Michelle Bachmann would like the world (and in particular Republican primary voters) to think of her as a “Joan of Arc” bravely crusading against federal spending, I believe (and I invite you to join me) that she is as much a backroom dealer, a Washington insider, a RINO as any other woman or man. Let the scales fall from your eyes, and tell Ms. Bachmann to, in the words of John Lennon,
Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.