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October 2, 2006
Political Dishonesty In Minnesota Politics

One of the most jaw-droppingly dishonest ads that I have seen in years comes from the Patty Wetterling campaign in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District. The ads have appeared on prime-time television throughout the state, and not only display dishonesty but sheer ignorance. Wetterling accuses Michelle Bachmann of wanting to raise taxes through an increase in the sales tax:

Michele Bachmann says she's for lowering taxes, and yet she supports replacing the income tax with a national sales tax," says Wetterling. Under a national sales tax, all taxable goods and services - including daily basics like milk, bread, groceries, clothing, new tires and prescription drugs - could cost 23% more.

Lower and middle-class Minnesotans would pay more taxes under this plan, up to $4,077 more per year," says Wetterling. "I find it incredible that Michele Bachmann wants to place a heavier burden on the people who can least afford to pay more for basic goods and services.

Yeah, well, that tells only half of the story. The 23% sales tax Bachmann suggested was a replacement for the federal income tax, not an additional tax. Bachmann hasn't even endorsed the Fair Tax Plan, which would replace the income tax and is designed to be revenue-neutral -- which means that taxpayers will pay no more and no less than they already do. In fact, the Fair Tax Plan has the ability to be far more progressive than the federal income tax, as it taxes consumption rather than income, and cannot easily be subverted through tax shelters and the like. Enforcement resources would be minimal, and a major headache for employers and employees alike would disappear.

Leaving out the Fair Tax Plan's elimination of the income tax and the fact that Bachmann didn't endorse it at all creates a falsehood so obvious that "lie" is not too strong a word. Eric Black at the Star Tribune has called the ad misleading, and Bachmann has demanded a retraction from Wetterling. So far, however, the Democrat continues to allow the spot to run and continues to mislead voters on her campaign website. That tells Minnesotans all they need to know about the Democrats in this state.

Note: Michele Bachmann is one of the many fine candidates to whom CQ readers can contribute at Rightroots. Be sure to make your donations now.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 2, 2006 6:47 AM

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Tracked on October 3, 2006 5:17 AM


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