Strib fact-checks Bachmann’s deficit claim

One thing we didn’t mention in our post about Bachmann’s speech at the Colorado crazy conservative convention is that she repeated a false claim about the deficit: that it rose from $5.8 trillion to $13 trillion after Obama took office. (In fact, she has made similar claims before and we’ve written about it, but we’re too lazy to go back and look it up so we can cite it.) This is untrue in terms of both actual numbers and what they represent, as the Star-Tribune points out. The actual national debt was $10.6 trillion on Inauguration Day and is now about $13.2 trillion. The debt held by the public, which is a different number and a subset of the national debt as a whole, was $5.8 trillion at the end of 2008 and is now $8.6 trillion. So it looks like she might have taken the start number for the debt held by the public and the end number for total national debt, incorrectly making it look like like there’s been more than a 100% increase. We will leave the reader to decide whether this was a mistake or an intentional bid to scare people.


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