Bachmann Targets Occupy Wall Street, Warns of U.S. Becoming Banana Republic

Politics, not capitalism, is to blame for the economic crisis and Occupy Wall Street protesters should target Washington rather than businesses that create jobs, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said in a speech today in Ames, Iowa.

The economy is flailing because politicians are worried only about protecting their friends, said Bachmann, who compared that sort of cronyism to so-called “banana republics.”

“A vocal minority called Occupy Wall Street believes that the problem we face is capitalism or free markets. It’s not. The problem is government doing what both the constitution and decent morality prohibit, that is cronyism capitalism, or forcefully taking your money for the purpose of paying off a politician’s political friends,” Bachmann told students at Iowa State University.

“For your sake and your future, America, and Occupy Wall Street in particular, needs to wake up and stop blaming job creators for the failures created by selfish politicians who wink at their political donors,” she said.

Politicians, she said, made too many backroom deals with friends and donors that undermine the free market.

“The problem is politicians who wink at political donors and through the force of law put their competitors out of business. Politicians assure their friends that with government’s financial backing, their businesses will never fail,” she said.

That sort of cronyism ” happens every day, and it has to stop,” she said. “After all, we’re not a Banana Republic; we’re the United States of America and we need to act like it.

Bachmann also used the event to draw a distinction between her proposed tax plan and those of her competitors, particularly Herman Cain, who supports a flat tax, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who wants to give taxpayers a choice between the current system or a flat tax.

Bachmann, who supports a “fairer, flatter” system, does not support a single flat tax, but does support “abolishing” the current tax code.

“To accomplish a fairer, flatter and simpler tax system will take a complete reform of the tax system. It means abolishing what we currently have and starting over again.”