Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said she would never vote to raise taxes on millionaires under any circumstance, even if the tax exempted small businesses (as the GOP always falsely characterizes millionaires as being overwhelmingly small business owners):
HOST: Is there any scenario in which you would for a tax on millionaires if it keeps businesses, small businesses, out of the loop?
BACHMANN: No. I would not. Because if you look historically at the data, it has led to less job creation than more. And it drove people out of the sate of New Jersey.
It’s unclear what tax data Bachmann — a former federal tax attorney — is referring to, as historical trends show the opposite. As Center for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden found, “in the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now.” In fact, “if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher.”
Bachmann’s claim about New Jersey is also not born out by the facts. A major study on the effect of the millionaires surtax found that New Jersey’s millionaire population actually grew while the tax was in place, even through the recession. The tax’s impact on millionaires leaving the state was “close to zero,” the study concluded. Meanwhile, the tax is overwhelmingly popular; a Quinnipiac University poll released last month found that 64 percent of New Jersey residents want to revive the tax, which Gov. Chris Christie (R) killed, while only 28 percent opposed reinstating it too.