Bachmann blatantly lies about the federal deficit.

We could sugarcoat this, but why? Talking Points Memo has a report up about Bachmann’s speech at a North Dakota Republican Party* event last weekend. This is not corraborated, and while we don’t think they’d lie, we also don’t think they’re the least partisan source of this news out there, so YMMV. But, TPM says Bachmann claimed the deficit increased by $400 billion under Bush, whereas it ballooned $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year alone. She claims this is four times the amount of deficit Bush created, but more importantly, that Obama created more debt than all previous presidents combined, right down to George Washington.

This is major baloney, in big ways as well as small. We will start with refuting what was said. TPM contacted the Concord Coalition, which is a nonpartisan organization advocating responsible budgeting. If it helps you pin down their politics, they support Obama’s pay-as-you-go proposal for the budget but say it’s weak sauce and has holes. We think they are true budget nerds and we applaud them for it.

Anyway, the Concord Coalition person says this is baloney. After establishing that she actually did mean the whole Bush presidency and not just its final year, they say the public debt was $3.4 trillion at the end of calendar year 2000 and $5.8 trillion at the end of 2008. So that’s an increase of $2.4 trillion, not $400 million. At the end of 2009, the public debt was $7.5 trillion, for an increase of $1.7 trillion. So Bachmann is wrong about the debt increases under both presidents, and she is wrong about the increase under Obama being the largest of all presidents combined. Where do you suppose Bachmann and her ilk were when Bush was running up the deficit to start an unnecessary war and give the rich an unpaid-for tax cut, by the way?

We also take issue with these quotes:

“And the president also wants to raise your taxes to about 40 percent this year. When your taxes are raised to 40 percent, that means government is laying claim to owning 40 percent of you, of what you earn,” said Bachmann. …”Pretty soon Uncle Sam owns more of you than you do. Is that America? And that’s government depriving you of your God-given right to the pursuit of happiness.”

We have no idea where the tax increase number comes from — possibly the same place as the $400 billion number, which is to say from Bachmann’s rear end. But also, we find it telling that Bachmann has conflated the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of money. We are happy to report that happiness and money are not the same thing in our experience. Perhaps this is the fundamental problem conservatives have with paying the taxes that fund basic government services — they think money is everything.

*With all of these national appearances, it seems like either she’s running for national office or she just really loves attention. The latter would explain a lot, actually. In fact, that means we are FEEDING HER NEED FOR INK. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!


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