Republican firebrand Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) said Tuesday morning that she would be willing to broker a compromise on the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts, but only if it is not attached to a bill that would require more spending -- including one that would extend unemployment benefits.
"I would like to get the current tax policy extended as far into the future as we possibly can. If we can only get it extended for two years I think that is great but I don't think that the American people should have to pay for that by having to have some new massive spending tied to it," Bachmann told ABC's "Good Morning America," referring to a new unemployment benefits package that has been drawn up to replace one set to expire at the end of the month. "If that's the case I don't think you are going to see the Republicans go along with it."
When asked why she appeared to be willing to aggressively lobby for the fiscal benefit of the richest Americans, while simultaneously wanting to ensure that the unemployed received no further assistance in turn, Bachmann claimed that the actual wealth of Americans in the top tax bracket is often misconstrued.
"These are people who are carpet layers who maybe employee two or three other guys. Or a plumber maybe himself and his brother and it's $250,000 in gross sales for the business. They're the ones that are looking at massive tax increases," she told GMA.
Bachmann also called McConnell's recent change of heart on the banning of earmarks "a very good sign that Republicans are listening.
"It's all very good for the American people," she continued. They "sent a strong signal that they want to stick to fiscal sanity."
UPDATE: Multiple sources challenge Bachmann's characterization of the extent to which a tax hike on the wealthiest Americans would affect "small business owners." A report over the summer from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center found that only 2.5 percent of small businesses would see a rise in their tax rate based on an examination of individual tax returns.
The Center for American Progress reports that high estimates of the number of small business that could be affected by allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire are "only accurate if you take an incredibly expansive view of what constitutes a small business" -- such as including small cogs in larger corporate wheels or wealthy Americans making some income off of small business investments.