Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann has never been one to let facts get in the way of a good narrative.
The Minnesota congresswoman’s habit of being economical with the truth at CPAC last week got her in trouble with The Washington Post, which not once, but twice gave her the four-Pinocchio treatment for telling fibs about President Obama and the food stamps program.
“Of every dollar that you hold in your hands, 70 cents of that dollar that’s supposed to go to the poor doesn’t,” Bachmann told the CPAC crowd in National Harbor, Md., last week. “It actually goes to benefit the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.—70 cents on the dollar. That’s how the president’s caring works in practice. So $3 in food stamps for the needy, $7 in salaries and pensions for the bureaucrats who are supposed to be taking care of the poor. So with all due respect, I ask you, how does this show that our president cares about the poor?”
ON Thursday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, the panel looked at Bachmann’s contention that 70% of the money for food stamps—officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—goes to D.C. bureaucrats.
“As comedic as Michele Bachmann’s lies and distortions are, I actually feel like this is really dangerous,” Alex Wagner said. “This gets into the water stream and then it becomes a repeated talking point and people become completely misled about the realities of our budget and government spending.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees SNAP, spends just one-third of one percent on the salaries of the 166 people who administer it, while less than 6% of the $82 billion program is spent on administrative costs.
Bachmann’s other accusation—that President Obama leads an overly extravagant lifestyle in the White House—was so off the mark that it drew a rare rebuke from Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.
Of course, not to be discouraged, Bachmann was back at it again Thursday. In a 10-minute House floor speech, the congresswoman railed against the evils of the Affordable Care Act, saying, “let’s repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.”