Michele Bachmann and me -- like twins!
Michele Bachmann, my political soul sister!
I've been saying for weeks that Democrats are missing a huge opportunity if they don't make these six words the centerpiece of their economic campaign:
"Bring back the Reagan tax rates."
And now I see that GOP presidential candidate Bachmann agrees with me.
"For my tax plan, I take a page out of one of my great economists that I admire, Ronald Reagan," Bachmann told Fox News. "And under my tax plan, I want to adopt the Reagan tax plan. It brought the economic miracle of the 1980s. Why not go with what works? I want to reinstitute the Reagan tax model from the 1980s."
So do a lot of Democrats, Rep. Bachmann, including the Democrat in chief, President Obama. Tax rates in the Reagan presidency were almost without exception higher than they are now.
And Reagan used the "f-word" –- fair, the same word Obama has invoked –- in June 1985 to explain why the rich should pay more:
"We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10% of his salary, and that's crazy. [...] Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?"
Here's the video: Ronald Reagan, starring on a progressive website. Who'd a thunk?
That Ronald Reagan –- such a class warrior. No wonder Republicans can't stand him.
Bachmann should know her stuff on taxes because, as she puts it blandly, she was a federal tax attorney.
That's how she nuances the years, from 1988 to 1993, that she spent working for the Internal Revenue Service, an agency not exactly dear to the hearts of potential Bachmann voters.
This isn't the only time Bachmann has been tapping into my brain, if you want to be conspiracy-minded about it.
When Herman Cain unveiled his "9-9-9" tax plan, she and I both thought of the same quotation -- from the King James Bible:
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six."
It's from the Book of Revelations, and from that verse, believers have concluded that 6-6-6 are evil digits incarnate, the "Mark of the Beast."
"You turn the '9-9-9' plan upside down," said Bachmann with a twinkle, "and the devil's in the details."
But Cain's tax plan also prompted me to think of a second quotation, one that probably didn't pop into Bachmann's head.
It's from the sardonic journalist H.L. Mencken, the late "Sage of Baltimore," and it's one that's worth remembering as we embark aboard SS Election Year 2012:
"For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple -– and wrong."
-- Patt Morrison
Photo: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) speaks at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press