DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is telling college students in politically important Iowa that all Americans should pay taxes since they all benefit from services such as roads and bridges, national defense and the courts.
Her position, which she was outlining Thursday at Iowa State University in Ames, is a direct challenge to rivals Rick Perry and Herman Cain, who are advocating plans that would allow low-wage earners to continue paying no taxes while implementing a form of a flat tax on all other workers.
The Tax Policy Center estimates that some 46 percent of households this year will not pay federal income taxes.
Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, was set to talk about the economy as polls show her trailing behind other contenders in Iowa, which holds the first presidential caucuses in January next year.
She made a big splash when she got in the race this summer and won an early test vote in Ames in August. But her standing slipped as the GOP electorate rallied around Perry and then Cain. Now, she’s hoping Iowans give her a second look as Perry looks to overcome a month of stumbles and as Cain tries to weather the fallout from recently disclosed allegations that he was accused of sexual harassment in the 1990s when he was head of the National Restaurant Association.
With jobs and the economy as the top issues on voters’ minds, Bachmann hopes her tough talk will help her regain her footing in a state that her advisers see as a linchpin in their strategy.
In an outline of her speech released late Wednesday, she criticizes the current federal tax code as too complicated and corporate tax rates as unreasonably high. She criticizes a tax code that allows larger businesses to take advantages of loopholes to avoid paying their fair share. And she talks about her background as a former federal tax attorney.
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