Bachmann polls badly on economy, releases 11-point plan


Today in Bachmannia: Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller has a story by Alexis Levinson: It references a poll that shows, um, low confidence in Our Favorite Congresswoman to deal with our economic problems: “Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry would do the most damage to the economy if elected president, voters believe, while Mitt Romney and Herman Cain would do the most to improve the economy, according to a poll released Monday. According to the Washington Post/Bloomberg poll, 15 percent of all adults polled felt Bachmann would do the most damage to the economy if elected president, and 12 percent felt Perry would do the most harm. Among those who leaned Republican and will choose the party’s nominee, a 14 [percentage point] plurality say Bachmann would do the most damage, and 11 percent say Ron Paul would be the worst. Nine percent say Perry would do the most harm.”

And … Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register says Our Gal will be “camping” in Iowa until caucus night: “The Minnesota Republican ‘will basically be setting up camp and almost living in Iowa until the Iowa caucuses,’ her Iowa campaign co-chairman Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, told Iowans who participated in a Bachmann campaign telephone town Hall conference Oct. 10. Bachmann, who noted she has spent 80-some days in Iowa, confirmed she’s planning to spend even more time in her native state ahead of the first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses, tentatively set for Jan. 3. ‘I look forward to camping back in Iowa,’ Bachmann told her audience, which her campaign said was a mixture of supporters and other Iowa Republicans. ‘I can’t wait to get back.’ She’ll be back in Iowa Oct. 13 to campaign, mostly in heavily Republican western Iowa because she’s planning to win the ‘all-important’ caucuses.” Now, I’m not certain, but I think Congress — her day job — is in session.

And, in advance of tonight’s debate in New Hampshire, Ms. Bachmann has released her long-awaited plan to restore economic glory to the country. Says Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: “Its mix of proposals, echoing her themes from the campaign trail, call for repealing the Obama administration’s health-care and financial-industry regulatory laws, cutting taxes and government spending, and declaring a tax holiday on $1.2 trillion in foreign earnings of American companies. The proposals include some sweeping and specific promises. By ‘repealing radical environmental laws,’ Mrs. Bachmann says in a statement, the country would put itself on the road to energy independence and reap $800 billion of new tax revenue and 1.4 million new jobs. Mrs. Bachmann says that American ‘job creators’ spend trillions of dollars to comply with government regulations and issues a call to action: ‘This red-tape rampage must stop.’ ’’ No doubt the Nobel committee is reconsidering its most recent economics awards.

Here (or “there”) in the 6th District, MPR’s Mark Zdechlik tries to determine the enthusiasm for two more years of Bachmannia: “[F]ormer Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey said the fact that Republicans are not lining up to run in Bachmann’s district shows how they truly handicap her presidential prospects. ‘It tells me very clearly that nobody thinks that she’s going to become the Republican nominee here in Minnesota,’ Carey said. ‘I think that they’re probably ready for her to come home and actually focus on her job as congresswomen for the 6th District.’  Carey briefly served as Bachmann’s congressional chief of staff and has attracted attention for going public with his assertion that Bachmann is not qualified to serve as president. Beyond Bachmann’s presidential campaign, the future of her congressional career is further complicated by redistricting. The 6th District needs to lose about 100,000 voters. It is still unclear what the new boundaries will be.”

Meanwhile, Our Guy, T-Paw, turned up on MPR. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib listened in and writes: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday that presidential campaigns are encouraged by a political-media-entertainment complex to be ‘cartoonish.’ ‘The culture is gravitating toward a reality TV focus,’ Pawlenty said in an MPR interview. Pawlenty dropped out of the Republican presidential race in August and has kept a low profile. The former candidate said consultants say that the ‘red meat’ throwers tend to get attention. ‘I can do that,’ he said. But, Pawlenty said, candidates need to be able to offer more than one gear.” So that was his problem … too much substance?

FoxNews has a story about the effects of supplements on older women: “Some dietary supplements are associated with an increased risk of death in older women, according to a study released Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In an analysis of about 39,000 women tracked over 19 years, researchers led by a team at the University of Minnesota found that those who took multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper and especially iron died at higher rates during the course of the study than those who did not take supplements. Of 15 supplements analyzed by the researchers, only calcium was associated with lower risk. ‘This paper contributes to the growing amount of studies showing no benefits for supplement use in the prevention of chronic diseases,’ said study first author Jaakko Mursu, a postdoctoral researcher in nutrition at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health who also is affiliated with the University of Eastern Finland.”

As if you needed any more people to resist the Vikings’ Arden Hills stadium dream. Tim Nelson of MPR goes to “ground zero”: “If you’re looking for ground zero in the Vikings stadium debate, Arden Manor on Highway 10 might well be it. The 283 mobile homes there are just yards away from the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, where the NFL team and Ramsey County want to build a $1.1 billion facility, and residents look on the proposal with a mixture of worry and welcome. … Proponents say that a stadium could spark a wave of redevelopment and building that would help pay back taxpayers who contribute to the deal. New stores, hotels and restaurants could boost the county’s sales and property tax base. But there could be a downside. There are also hundreds of people living in four mobile home parks just a short drive from the site, many of them poor and unemployed. That development boom could squeeze out some of the most affordable housing in the Twin Cities. Of course, not everyone at Arden Manor sees it that way. Tom Fransen is a salesman who says he’d welcome the stadium. The northeastern suburbs have been neglected by developers for too long, and the stadium may be the only way to get the kinds of roads and amenities he says the area needs.”

And Zygi Wilf probably isn’t interested in this, either. Brian Johnson of Finance & Commerce looks at the renovation job Vancouver did on its Metrodome-era stadium: “In late September, the Vancouver, B.C.-based BC Pavilion Corp. unveiled its BC Place stadium, home of the British Columbia Lions football team. Before the taxpayer-funded renovation, the stadium was about the same age, size and style as the 29-year-old Metrodome. The Canadian project was completed for $563 million — considered a relative bargain by today’s standards and about half as much as it would cost to build a proposed Vikings stadium in Arden Hills. ‘This is a complete refurbishment of using the really solid bones of the original BC Place,’ David Podmore, chairman of BC Pavilion Corp., told the Vancouver Sun recently. ‘We’ve created an entirely new, really modern, much more functional venue than the original building.’ ”

Matt Peterson of the Austin Daily Herald says pheasant hunters should pack low expectations along with all their shiny new gear: “After two harsh winters, along with a cold, wet spring, Minnesota’s pheasant population index declined by more than 60 percent, according to the Department of Natural Resources’ roadside survey. Minnesota isn’t the only state with poor numbers, either. … The DNR estimates Iowa will have its lowest pheasant harvest in history — half of the 250,000-bird harvest predicted for Minnesota. Even South Dakota’s numbers are predicted to be fewer. More than predation, food or weather-related issues, loss of habitat has been the worst burden to pheasants. According to the DNR, 20 years ago Minnesota’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) had more than 1.7 million acres that provided pheasants with food and cover. Today that number is 948,000 acres, and it’s still declining. Nearly 550,000 acres of CRP contracts will expire during the next three years.”  But we needed those acres for super Wal-Marts.

Verso Paper is cutting production and laying off 300 workers here and in Maine. The Business Journal reports: “Verso Paper Corp. is cutting production capacity at two mills in Maine and Minnesota, a move that will reduce the company’s annual output by 17 percent and eliminate 300 jobs. Verso plans to shut down a coated groundwood paper machine at its Bucksport, Maine, facility on Oct. 23, and two supercalendared paper machines at its mill in Sartell, Minn., on Dec. 24. When complete, the shutdowns will reduce annual output by 193,000 tons, leaving a remaining capacity of 925,000 tons annually. The company is anticipating the cost to be around $22 million, which includes $13 million for severance and benefits. The costs are expected to occur in the fourth quarter.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/11/2011 - 04:15 pm.

    Rep. Bachmann has done her best to justify her rankings: “My solutions are simple. We need to cut government spending, legalize America’s God-given natural resources and stop taxing investment and productivity.’’

    Not surprisingly, her solutions are simple-minded.

    Re: tax repatriation holidays of the type favored by Bachmann, from that bastion of tax and spend liberals at The Heritage Foundation:

    Focus on Real Reforms

    The repatriation tax holiday proposal is built on three arguments, only two of which are explicit. The first argument is that many U.S. companies generate large amounts of foreign earnings through their foreign subsidiaries, on which heavy U.S. tax would be due if the funds were brought home. Of this, there is no doubt.

    The second argument is that these companies would substantially increase their domestic investment if they could repatriate some of their already accumulated foreign earnings. This is unlikely, especially in light of the 2004 experience and the weakness of the nation’s economy today.

    In between these two explicit arguments lies the third, implicit, argument that the companies in question have inadequate access to capital and that it is this lack alone that prevents companies from undertaking the full amount of investment they would prefer. There is no evidence that U.S. multinational corporations are capital-constrained today, just as there was none in 2004. Thus, since there is no domestic need for additional capital resources, the repatriation tax holiday would not produce a surge in domestic investment. Instead, it would likely have the same effects it did in 2004—backward-looking tax relief for international companies and their shareholders, but little in the way of new investment, economic growth, or job creation.

    The piece goes on to call for reform of the current corporate tax structure.

    A lower tax rate on foreign profits might be an incentive to bring some money home and bring in new revenue, a point that the Heritage Foundation authors would appear to favor as a step toward eliminating the tax altogether. This would seem like a political no-brainer for both Democrats and Republicans.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/11/2011 - 05:50 pm.

    Major corporations (the type with major foreign earnings) pay so little in taxes already that it wouldn’t give them any significant incentive to bring operations back to the U.S.
    The key factors are wages and markets, not taxes.

    Of course, what la Bachmannn really wants to do is to repeal the 20th and 21st centuries.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/11/2011 - 08:29 pm.

    Regarding the likely effects of Rep. Bachmann’s plan for lighting a fire under the US economy…

    I can’t help but envision the scenario from the movie “Back to the Future II,” wherein Doc Brown and Marty McFly arrive back in good old 1985 only to discover that the Hill Valley that had existed when they left, much closer to the 1985 we all remember,…

    has been replaced by a version of Hill Valley which would be exactly the result of plans such as Ms. Bachmann’s being realized.

    Personally, I DON’T want to go there, no matter how much all the fabulously wealthy, powerful “Biff Tannen’s” of today’s financial elite (most of whom seem to share a good deal, personality-wise with the wealthy version of Biff depicted in the movie), and their willfully-blind, hungry-for-power sycophants such as Ms. Bachmann, think it would be Valhalla.

    Just as was the case with Potterville as the substitute for Bedford Falls, in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” when the “religious” “conservative” (power hungry) Elmer Gantry’s of this world (of which there are far too many at the current time), go to bed with the fabulously wealthy in order to win the power and glory they believe they deserve, what we get is rampant IMmorality,

    and the increase of EVERY vice they claim to deplore as a means to serve the dysfunctional and morally deplorable “needs” of the rich while making large amounts of money off the desperation of the poor.

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