Michele Bachmann Warns About a 75% Tax Rate

As the Conservative Political Action Conference begins, the first day's major speakers include members of Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the group of potential 2012 presidential candidates who can generously be described as long-shots.

Kicking things off was Michele Bachmann, the flame-haired (at least today) Minnesota Republican and tea party leader, who warned the assembled students and older conservatives that the U.S. tax code would be taking 75 percent of their income during their peak earning years.

She further warned that the president would be making the nation more like Spain, with a 22 percent unemployment rate and a socialist government.

Also speaking today will be former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, and New York businessman and television personality Donald Trump.

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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