March 28, 2010

It's too bad Bob Schieffer did not manage to do as good of a job as the staff at CBS news with refuting some of Michele Bachmann's nonsense during her appearance on Face the Nation.

Bachmann Offers Big Numbers, Little Proof:

In the past when talking about the health care bill that was just signed into law by President Obama, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has referred to the bill as "tyranny."

On Sunday, she told "Face the Nation" anchor Bob Schieffer she meant it.

"[N]ow we have the federal government taking over ownership or control of 51 percent of the American economy. This is stunning. Prior to September of 2008, 100 percent of the private economy was private."

Ms. Bachmann offered no facts to back up her assertion that the government owns or controls 51 percent of the U.S. economy.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis data since 1929, the highest percentage of government spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product was during World War II when government spending was 47.9 percent (in 1944). The lowest level of government spending as a percent of GDP was 9 percent in 1929 at the outset of the Great Depression.

At no time during this period was the United States' GDP 100 percent private.

The 2009 level of federal government spending was 20.6 percent.

For more information from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, click here. Read on...

Considering Bachmann is also one of the worst offenders with the over the top rhetoric coming out of the Republicans in Congress these days, Schieffer gave her a complete pass with his tepid questioning on that topic as well.

Transcript via CBS below the fold.

SCHIEFFER: And now we want to go directly to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who joins us from her home state. She's in Minneapolis today. Congresswoman--and we used a little clip of what you said in the beginning of this--you said last week that health care reform was dangerous, and-- and you equated it with tyranny. Do you really mean that?

BACHMANN: I do, because now we have the federal government, Bob, taking over ownership or control of fifty-one percent of the American economy. This is stunning. Prior to September of 2008, one hundred percent of the private economy was private. Today, the federal government has taken either direct ownership or control of banks, the largest insurance company in the United States, AIG, Freddie and Fannie. The federal government now owns, Bob, over fifty percent of all home mortgages. Now, the direct student loan industry, Chrysler, GM. And with the health care industry that’s an additional eighteen percent of the private economy, which means government would be making decisions over our lives from cradle to the grave. I think that’s a stunning level of government takeover and control we have never seen before in the history of our country.

SCHIEFFER: Well, we’d never seen the government on-- I mean the economy on the verge of total collapse. And-- and we have to point out that a lot of this began during the Bush administration. It was President Bush, who was President, when the law of a-- TARP law was passed to give aid to these big banks and so forth. Both people in that administration and this one--

BACHMANN: I-- I agree and I-- I vo-- I vote--

SCHIEFFER: --would say that that staved off what could have been something like the Great Depression. You don’t agree with that?

BACHMANN: Actually, I don’t agree with that. No. I voted against the seven-hundred-billion-dollar bailout. And that was really the mother of purchasing out AIG, purchasing the-- the banks, also purchasing Freddie and Fannie, purchasing GM and Chrysler. That hasn’t helped to turn our economy around. Remember, when President Obama told Congress you have to pass my trillion-dollar bailout or we could get unemployment as high as eight percent. Here we are still at ten percent unemployment levels. And the administration has warned the American people get ready, this is the new normal. We don’t have to have this be the new normal. But if government persists, remember, again, fifty-one percent of the economy is now under the ownership or control of the federal government. We need an exit strategy and we need to get back to private ownership so that we can have a productive economy.

SCHIEFFER: Congresswoman, I want to ask you about something that's stirred up something of a controversy when you said it some-- some time ago. You said that you thought Barack Obama had anti-American views. And just last week you said, "I said," and this is a quote from you, "Very serious concerns that Barack Obama had anti-American views. Now I look like Nostradamus." So do you-- what do you mean the President is anti-American?

BACHMANN: What I meant are the policies that I had just mentioned to you. I think it is very serious when the federal government directly owns car companies. That is not the American way, or when the American economy directly owns fifty percent of all America’s mortgages or has direct ownership or control of the health care industry. Just this week, we saw American businesses announce that Obamacare will cost them fourteen billion dollars. Here in Minnesota, Medtronic announced because of the new tax increases on medical devices they could be looking at shedding an additional thousand jobs or 3M, it will cost them potentially ninety million dollars in the first quarter. President Obama’s own numbers, his own economic advisor, Christina Romer, said that Obamacare could cost the economy five and a half million jobs lost. That is not going to bring us back to economic health going forward, but that’s what you expect when you have massive tax increases, massive Medicare cuts, massive premium increases. You will have massive job loss.

SCHIEFFER: I want to ask you about where Republicans go from here on health care reform. Sarah Palin famously said last week that it is not time for Republicans to retreat. It is time to reload. Now, she has since modified that and said she wasn’t talking about guns. She was talking about getting out there and using the vote. Do you think Sarah Palin has overstated it here?

BACHMANN: Well, I think that she’s accurately saying that the Republican Party and-- and people who are conservatives in this country and Independents and disaffected Democrats want to have the federal government repeal Obamacare. And I would agree. I went to the House floor the first thing on Monday and put a bill in that would repeal Obamacare. So did other of my colleagues, Steve King of Iowa, also Parker Griffith of Alabama, and also other members as well. Jim DeMint also put in a bill to repeal Obamacare. That’s what I believe the American people want us to do. And again, the New England Journal of Medicine released a survey the week that President Obama signed Obamacare stating that the-- ov-- over thirty percent of American physicians--


BACHMANN: --would leave the profession if the government took over health care. That’s very serious going forward.

SCHIEFFER: So you intend to-- to oppose this, obviously. Do you think Republicans should co-- should cooperate with the administration on anything from here on in, or just put it all on the line here, oppose this administration and let people settle it in November?

BACHMANN: Well, I-- I think that we need to repeal Obamacare. But I think we need to be all about the American people. That’s why I oppose Obamacare and why I believe we must repeal it. We need to work together, whether we’re Republicans, Independents, Democrats, we all have to work together. For whatever is in the best interest of the American people. And repeal most certainly is in the best interest--

SCHIEFFER: All right.

BACHMANN: --of the people because this bill will lead to economic harm if it’s left in place.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, thank you so much, Congresswoman. We’ll get a totally different view of all of this in just one minute when we talk to the Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine.

Can you help us out?

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