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You Should Know: Five Facts About Michele Bachmann

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We're kicking off Day Two of our blog series about the Republican 2012ers with a Tea Party favorite who regularly takes liberties with things like facts and the truth. That (yet-to-be-declared) candidate is Rep. Michele Bachmann.

A three-term member of Congress from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann is founder of the House Tea Party Caucus and a prolific fundraiser. She supports further tax cuts for millionaires, slashing critical benefits and services for families, and repealing health reform -- no matter the crater it would leave in the deficit.

And her penchant for banner news headlines makes her a dark horse for the Republican nomination.

Here are five things you should know about Michele Bachmann:

1) Michele Bachmann voted for the Ryan Republican plan that ends Medicare as we know it. Along with nearly every other House Republican, Michele Bachmann voted “yea” to pass the Ryan plan that would eliminate Medicare as it currently exists and double, on average, seniors’ out of pocket costs for health care. (New York Times, 4/15/2011)

2) Michele Bachmann supported an extreme proposal from the Republican Study Committee to cut Medicare benefits more than the Ryan plan, eliminate close to 1 million jobs, and slash critical funding for first responders, low-income families, law enforcement, and schools. Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked Rep. Bachmann about her support for the Republican Study Committee plan, which would “cut $700 billion more than Ryan from Medicaid. …[R]aise the Social Security retirement age for people who are now 59. And …change Medicare to a voucher system for those who are now 59.” Rep. Bachmann replied that “both Paul Ryan and the Republican Study Committee were making very good responsible choices, they're trying to get America's house to balance. That's what we have to do.” (FOX News Sunday, 5/1/11)

3) Michele Bachmann opposes raising the debt ceiling and would rather pay off creditors in China and Japan before providing Medicare and Social Security payments to seniors. On Fox News, Rep. Bachmann said that she opposes raising the debt ceiling, a decision which could cause America to default on its obligations and fall backward into a deeper recession. Instead of ensuring that Americans receive benefits they rely on, like Social Security and Medicare, she said that our country “can pay-off our debt obligations first, so we don't miss any debt payments. But then maybe we can't afford to pay for, you know, certain extra employees or extra programs. In other words, we actually cut back.” (FOX News Hannity, 4/11/2011)

4) Michele Bachmann supports making tax cuts for the rich permanent, even though doing so would add billions to the deficit. As part of Rep. Bachmann’s “ten-point economic fix-it” plan, she listed one of the main points, “Make all the Bush tax cuts permanent.” (U.S.News & World Report, 11/11/2010) Note that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that making the Bush tax cuts permanent would increase the deficit by at least 75 percent.

5) Michele Bachmann wants to repeal health reform, despite the fact that repeal would increase the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that repealing the Affordable Care Act would probably increase federal budget deficits over the 2012–2019 period by a total of roughly $145 billion (on the basis of the original estimate), and through 2021 “brings the projected increase in deficits to something in the vicinity of $230 billion.” Michele Bachmann voted for the GOP proposal to repeal reform and dismissed this negative impact on the deficit. (Congressional Budget Office, 1/6/2011)

Monday night, Michele Bachmann will join other GOP presidential hopefuls at the New Hampshire debate. While many Americans are just getting to know who she is, her vision for the future is crystal clear – and we need to make sure voters know the facts. 

Help us spread the word with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. If you’re using Twitter, make sure to use the hashtag #youshouldknow.