Reporting from Washington — Fresh off her win in the Iowa straw poll, Rep. Michele Bachmann said that if she is elected president she would spur the economy and create new jobs by reducing corporate taxes, repealing new Wall Street regulations and cutting federal spending for healthcare and retirees.
“What will lead to job creation is taking the United States down from about the top corporate tax rate in the world at 34%, down to something more competitive,” Bachmann said on NBC’s "Meet the Press."
She appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows after her first-place showing in Iowa on Saturday, and was pressed for what her prescription would be to improve the U.S. economy. With the federal debt at record levels, Bachmann stressed her background as a tax lawyer in repeating her assertion that the U.S. should lower taxes on corporations to spur hiring and cut into a 9.1% unemployment rate.
She called the tax code "the job-killing center of the United States."
"We have to lower tax rates considerably on job creators. And with everything from the death tax to alternative minimum tax to 100% expensing immediately for small business,” she said on Fox News Sunday.
Bachmann also said that as president, her first goal would be to seek the repeal of President Obama’s healthcare legislation and the Wall Street regulations known as the Dodd-Frank bill. "That would send a very strong signal to the market," she said on Fox.
But Bachman also said she would not support extending benefits for the nation’s unemployed, saying on "Meet the Press" that “I don’t think we can afford it.”
Asked by host David Gregory whether she stood by her opposition to raising the debt ceiling after Standard & Poor’s cited the political gridlock in Washington as a major factor in its decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating to AA+, Bachmann said the markets took a subsequent “punch in the gut” because Obama failed to put forth a better plan, not because Republicans used the debt ceiling debate as a bargaining chip.
When Gregory pointed out that a wide range of people, from economists to the Republican leadership, thought a failure by Congress to raise the debt ceiling would have been a “reckless” decision, Bachmann said, “Oh, hardly, hardly.”
Her focus on taxes and her career in tax law made for some unusual exchanges.
She was asked on CBS’ "Face the Nation" how she could match Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who entered the Republican race over the weekend, and his claim that nearly half the new jobs in the past two years were in Texas.
“Well, I am a job creator. I am a former federal tax attorney, and I have a post-doctorate degree in tax, years in federal tax court,” she replied. Asked about how her experience would help create jobs, Bachmann said she understood “how high taxes destroy jobs.”
Beyond repealing the healthcare law set to take effect in 2014, Bachmann said she would focus her attention on tax reform.
“What we need to do, quite frankly, is repeal the tax code,” she said. “In its current form, it is 3.8 million words. We need a tax code that is job friendly. This is not a job-friendly tax code.”
Bachmann also confirmed that she worked to have money from the federal stimulus bill sent to her Minnesota district for transportation projects.
“I voted against the stimulus, and I was very public against the stimulus,” she said. “After the stimulus was passed and the money was there, why should my constituents or anyone else be disadvantaged?”