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Michele Bachmann Blasts Michelle Obama Over 'Free' Breast Pumps

By Madeline Holler |

michele bachmann, irs breast pumps

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann confused by tax code.

I sure hope three-term Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann doesn’t prepare her own taxes.

If so, she’s way due for an audit!

In her response to news that the IRS now classifies breast pumps as medical equipment, thereby making them tax deductible (with many caveats), she demonstrates that she’s a boob when it comes to tax law — and also who’s in charge of it (hint: not the First Lady!).

Here’s what she told conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham on her program yesterday:

I’ve given birth to five babies and I breastfed every single one of these babies. To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies. You wanna talk about the nanny state? I think we just got the new definition of a nanny.

Wow! I feel confident that I didn’t misread the IRS’s new rules on breast pumps. Nowhere did it include a catalog and free gift certificate for a pump of my choice!

Does Bachmann also think that when we talk about home mortgage deductions that the government is buying our homes for us?

The expensive but necessary for many breast-feeding mothers machines can be purchased using pre-tax earnings that have been set aside in a special account (sometimes childcare can be paid this way as well. If only the government was literally acting as a nanny in that case!). Families can write off the cost of breast pumps and related supplies only if their medical costs that year exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. For most insured nursing moms who had uncomplicated births and recoveries, they won’t meet that condition.

In other states of confusion, she blasts Michelle Obama for supporting these tax breaks and breast-feeding in general, saying the First Lady is creating a “nanny state” (again, totally figurative since any parent knows we’re on the hook for childcare expenses). First Ladies, it turns out, don’t set tax code.


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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “Michele Bachmann Blasts Michelle Obama Over 'Free' Breast Pumps

  1. Gretchen Powers says:

    The woman is a total and complete idiot.

  2. jennamom says:

    Seriously, how does she keep getting elected to office? She scares me WAYYY more than Sarah Palin at this point.

  3. Manjari says:

    Yeah, she’s stupid.

  4. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    And Fox News is on it too. While you’re gagging at the claim that 75 percent of women breastfeed, catch the outrage that this incentive could in any way benefit black breastfeeding rates:

  5. AA says:

    This piece has a light, humorous way of addressing the idiocy of this woman, which is good. I read about her stupid, ignorant comments this morning and considered posting to my FB page with some scathing commentary. Decided against it though because I don’t want to draw any more attention to this fruit loop. Mama Grizzly my a@#$%.

  6. Bean's Mom says:

    Mistress Scorpio: Your link is amazing! BTW, I checked the numbers and 75% is the percentage of American mothers who have ever breastfed, which is very different from the percentage of American mothers who breastfed for any prolonged period of time. But it’s Fox News, so it’s no surprise that the statistic reported is misleading.

  7. renee says:

    Michele Bachmann is undeniably an idiot and a loon. However, there are two ways one could, in theory, pay for your breastpump with pretax dollars: one is to meet the 7.5% criterion you mention, and the other is to have a section 125 flexible benefits plan and include the cost of a pump in your estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses when you set up your benefits for the following year. Doesn’t sound too plausible, when you consider that the pump costs $250 or so, the money is deducted from your paycheck, and if you don’t spend it, it’s gone.

    And by the way, the statistic (at least from the survey I work with) is 75.5% of children 0-5 have ever been breastfed (not the % of mothers who ever breastfeed.) For African American children, it’s 55.5%. The percent of children 0-5 who were exclusively breastfed for 6 months (the AAP recommendation) is 12.4%.

  8. Kate1230 says:

    Let Bachmann keep talking, PLEASE! The more she says, the more she reveals her ignorance. What makes this situation worse is that she’s talking about a situation where she is allegedly an expert, tax code. She continues to reveal her ignorance every time she opens her mouth further proving she is in no way qualified to be in Congress, let alone President.

    Palin also revealed her hypocrisy regarding the situation. Here’s a quote from her time as governor of Alaska, when she declared October 2007 “Breastfeeding Awareness Month” and issued a proclamation that said, “government and community organizations have a vested interest in protecting and promoting breastfeeding as a means of preventing infant malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality.”

    Palin indicated that Michele Obama wanted mothers to BF in order to draw attention away from the high price of milk. However, if she was a BF’ing mother, wouldn’t she be aware that you do not give an infant cow’s milk for the first year of life? These women are a poor representation of the many qualified women we have in our country.

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