There is something a bit hypocritical about calling for fiscal responsibility from the government of which you are an integral part while at the same time refusing to pay legitimate debts incurred in your name. This is especially true when you have more than enough money to pay these debts and that money is the best kind: other people's money.
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has a pair of drums which she beats every time someone points a camera and a microphone in her direction: fiscal responsibility and fear of radical Islam. As such, she is representative of today's Republican Party.
Earlier this year when Bachmann quit the GOP race, her presidential campaign was left with almost a million dollars in unpaid bills. These bills range from $3,000 owed to a golf cart business in Council Bluffs, Iowa to over half a million dollars to Strategic Fundraising Inc. of St. Paul, MN. I find it rather ironic that her biggest creditor is a fundraising firm.
Why is this a problem? After all, the presidential campaigns for Santorum and Gingrich both owe millions of dollars. The problem is Bachmann has made fiscal responsibility a centerpiece of her political life. She thinks the spending the federal government is doing is one of the worst things there is. From her congressional web page: "The American people sent a clear message in November 2010 to do one thing: reduce the national debt and cut spending."
Not the message I got from that election.
Which brings us to the other drum Ms. Bachmann likes to beat: the threat of radical Islam. In fact, she is so concerned about this perceived threat that she signed a letter asking for one of the Secretary of State's top aides to be investigated for alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. This type of McCarthyesque hysteria may be good for fundraising, but it does nothing to further the national discourse. In fact, the FBI turned down her request, pointing out they had already done their background investigation as required by law and found nothing untoward.
But like many politicians, Bachmann knows how to raise money. In fact, her congressional campaign has announced it has raised $1,000,000 from July 1 to July 25. Added to the $1.9 million it had on hand, and it would appear her fear-mongering is paying off in a very lucrative way.
So with her congressional campaign awash in cash and her presidential campaign almost $1,000,000 in debt, wouldn't the right thing to do be to pay her bills.