Rep. Michele Bachmann, head of the House Tea Party Caucus, tells Newsmax that the Federal Reserve’s plan to increase the money supply by buying government securities is a “huge mistake” that will boost inflation and amount to “stealing from the American people.”
The Minnesota Republican also declares that President Barack Obama wants to impose a “massive increase in taxes” by refusing to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans.
And she says Congress could rein in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding the use of body scanners and aggressive pat-downs at airports.
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Bachmann is a tax attorney by profession who formerly worked for the U.S. Treasury Department. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, she was asked about the Bush tax cuts, which Democrats want to extend for the middle class and Republicans want for all taxpayers.
“The best thing to do is not increase anyone’s taxes,” Bachmann says.
“Unfortunately, President Obama’s wish list is to have a massive increase in taxes. We want to make sure no one has an increase in taxes, because for instance just in my district alone if we fail to extend these current tax rates we’re going to lose 2,000 jobs.
“I don’t think it serves anyone’s interest if we take $1.2 billion out of my district and put it in the hands of politicians in Washington. Let’s keep it back home where it will do some good.”
Some Republicans are threatening a government shutdown to force spending cuts by the federal government. Asked whether she believes that could occur, Bachmann responds: “I hope not. I don’t think it serves anyone’s interest for the government to shut down. I think now the election is over and people want us to sit down and make a lot of really hard decisions, and we need to.
“We need to have some cuts, some very serious cuts. One that I would begin with is this: Treasury Secretary [Timothy] Geithner had given an unlimited credit card to Fannie Mae. Now he’s spent over $200 billion dollars. That’s real money. We need to pull that credit card away, and away from all of the various private businesses that the federal government has now gone in and either purchased or controlled.
“We need to get the federal government interest out of private business. That will save us a lot of money going forward.”
Bachmann agrees with many Republican economists who have joined Sarah Palin in urging Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to cease and desist with quantitative easing — the $600 billion plan to buy government securities in an effort to spur the economic recovery.
“I was ahead of the curve on this,” she tells Newsmax.
“I had written a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke asking him to please come before our Financial Services Committee and have a hearing before he took this extraordinary action. He failed to do that, and we got just a perfunctory letter back from the Federal Reserve.
“This is a huge mistake. Quantitative easing is nothing more than government getting behind inflation. As if the government hasn’t done enough wrong to the economy by spending us into a debt that will be very difficult to pay off, now they want to inflate the money to pay off their debts that they accrued.
“This is just stealing from the American people, and it’s flat-out wrong.”
Bachmann says she has doubts that the House and Senate will follow the lead of Republican conferences and ban earmarks, adding: “It may be that the Democrats decide they still want to be porkers, you might say, and get more projects.”
Regarding calls for the tea party movement and other conservatives to confront Democrats rather than compromise, the tea party leader says: “I think it’s important that we uphold our pledge.
“The tea party is not a political party, it’s a set of ideas that the GOP is now embracing. And it is this: The government needs to live within its means. Don’t spend more than you take in. No one’s taxes should go up. And act within the limits of the Constitution. That sounds like a pretty good agenda to me.”
Asked whether Congress could rein in the TSA, which now requires airline passengers to submit to a body scan or pat-down before boarding, Bachmann responds: “Yes they can. As a matter of fact, there’s a provision whereby each individual airport can go outside and contract privately for security.
“The best security in the world right now is employed in Israel — El Al Airlines in Tel Aviv. I think we need to bring Israeli security here to the United States and teach all of us how it should be done.
“I think we need to stop focusing on the things people are trying to take on airplanes and focus on the people. We know it’s terrorists we’re looking for, and not everyone should be considered guilty when they go through the metal detectors.
“We need to have highly trained, sensitive people who are going to give us the best possible security outcome, and that’s why I would invite Israeli intelligence to come to the United States.”
Bachmann declined to name whom she would favor to run for president in 2012, saying: “I think we’re going to have a very deep bench, and I hope we have a lot of candidates come forward so we have a true open contest where we can choose the right person.
“I think right now the American people have made their decision. I think they’ve decided that President Obama has overstepped and overreached.
“And now we’re hearing from behind the scenes that if he can’t have his way with Congress, he’ll just go through on his own with executive order and put through whatever it is he wants to put in place. That’s against the Constitution.
“If President Obama decides to go forward with actions that are contrary to our Constitution, you’ll not only see a big fight, you’ll see a huge nosedive in his ratings.
“I don’t think he can win a second election.”
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