If you watch and listen only to the mainstream media you might be excused for thinking that Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is a militantly stupid, anti-government, clown. But if you dig deeper – which you always must do to find the truth about conservative women - you would find this Atlantic article written by Beth Reinhard and Lindsey Boerman:
You’ll never guess what Michele Bachmann, the rabble-rousing, tax-reviling, government-bashing idol of America’s tea party movement, used to do for a living. Sue tax scofflaws for the Internal Revenue Service.
As she flexes her credentials as a Republican presidential candidate in a field of former governors and corporate executives, Bachmann is more likely to describe herself as a “former federal tax litigation attorney” — as she did in her first nationally televised debate — than as a three-term member of Congress.
The flattery - if that’s what is - ends there.
Reinhard and Boerman then speculate that the reason people don’t know about Ms. Bachmann’s work at the IRS is because she is afraid to mention it:
But she rarely, if ever, mentions the one and only employer of her legal services: the U.S. Department of Treasury.
This is utter claptrap. A better guess would be that the reason people have not heard about Bachmann’s service as IRS counsel is because it doesn’t fit in well with the liberal media’s image of her as bufoonish and unintelligent.
There isn’t a tea party member alive who doesn’t think it’s a good idea to pursue tax cheats. What the mainstream media and their Jim Hensons on the left refuse to acknowledge or can’t seem to comprehend is that tea partiers and small government conservatives, while they oppose government waste and tax increases, are in favor of good government and the enforcement of current tax laws.
In the left’s tiny mind if you oppose tax increases it means only one thing: You’re an anarchist who wants to destroy the federal government.¹
What tea-partiers really believe is that if the federal government eliminated waste and collected what is already owed, it wouldn’t need to raise taxes. This position is rational and reasonable, which is why the left will never admit it’s the tea party’s actual position.
Now listen as Reinhard and Boerman contort themselves to paint Ms. Bachmann as an anti-tax hypocrite:
In just a month as a presidential candidate, Bachmann’s plucky populism has catapulted her from also-ran to leading contender. That her legal career has received such little scrutiny reflects her rapid ascension on the national stage and a carefully groomed image.
he founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, Bachmann is a central figure in a national insurgency that decries big government and demands lower taxes. Her campaign and congressional biographies make no mention of her handling of tax collection cases from 1988 to 1993 for the IRS.
“Rather than taking money from the hands of the middle class to pay for a large, overbearing federal government, I believe in letting hard-working taxpayers keep more of what they earn,” she says on her congressional website. “In my work as a former federal tax attorney, I saw firsthand that our nation’s tax laws are hard to understand and undermine the country’s prosperity by imposing needlessly harsh penalties on work, savings, and investments.”
There is nothing in this last statement that is even remotely inconsistent with the tea party position on big government, high taxes and government waste, no matter how badly Reinhard and Boerman want you to believe that there is. But for these eminently “unbiased” observers the mere fact that Bachmann failed to waste the taxpayers’ money when she worked for the Treasury Department by doing her job is evidence of hypocrisy:
Tell that to Marvin Manypenny, a Native American activist in Minnesota who failed to pay taxes on three years of wages totaling $30,650. Bachmann took him to federal court in 1992.
Manypenny worked at the Youth Project, described in court records as “a public foundation with a 17-year history of building citizen participation organizations around the country committed to social justice and peace.” The resident of the White Earth Indian Reservation contended he was exempt from income taxes because of the April 8, 1867 land treaty between his Chippewa Indian ancestors and the U.S. government. He met Bachmann briefly in the federal court building in St. Paul.
“She was very — how do I put this? — haughty and curt,” the 64-year-old Manypenny told National Journal in a telephone interview. “I tried to state my contentions to her and it was like talking to a brick wall.”
The court didn’t accept Manypenny’s argument, either. While the treaty exempted Indian-owned land from taxes, it did not exempt individuals. “We give no credence to petitioner’s contention that he and the land are one,” the court ruled.
Now for the punchline of the comedy routine:
Manypenny doesn’t recall how much money he ended up paying in back taxes. But he questions how someone who hounded a minor-league tax delinquent like himself could support the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans enacted by former President George W. Bush.
“I think people better take a look at that tea party orientation she has. She’s putting the burden on people like myself who are low-income and middle-class.”
This guy is actually upset that the Bachmann didn’t let him cheat on his taxes and somehow Reinhard and Boerman consider him to be a victim. ²
The nerve of Ms. Bachmann to actually do her job and require this poor man to pay the taxes he rightfully owed?³
I wonder where that entitlement attitude comes from?
¹ This is no different in kind than the radical right asserting that the left, because it wants to increase taxes on the rich, wants a totalitarian state.
² They found Manypenny on an anti-Bachmann website complaining about how Bachmann made him pay his taxes. They emailed him and he gave them some juicy little anti-Bachmann soundbites which they now proffer as evidence of the Congresswoman’s mean-spirited hypocrisy. Woodward and Bernstein would be proud.
³ I don’t know what’s more pathetic, Mr. Manypenny’s self-pity or Reinhard’s and Boerman’s exploitation of it.