Michele Bachmann repeats debunked economics

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To borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan: There she goes again.

Preaching to the converted at yesterday's downtown Minneapolis GOP money-grubbing love-in with Sarah Palin -- check out our slideshow -- Michele Bachmann told a bunch of whoppers. Her call for nuking cyberattackers was an especially nice touch. But what's with this continuing assertion that the federal government controls most of the U.S. economy?

Well, Obama's an anti-American socialist, of course. See, she's got the figures to back herself up. Right here:

"If you add all of that together, that's 51 percent of the private economy in 18 months is now either directly owned or controlled by the federal government."

Last week she told CBS "Face The Nation" host Bob Schieffer the same thing:

"Now 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."

CBS called her on it:

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.

Generally accepted statistics don't matter, her spokesman told CBS. It's more of a concept thing.

Except she keeps using her own statistic. On March 25 she told right-wing talk radio host Scott Hennen:

"And what we saw this Tuesday, once the president signed the health care bill at the 11th hour in the morning on Tuesday, that effected 51% government takeover of the private economy."

Sean Hannity -- shockingly -- gave her a free pass on April 1:

"Now we're at the point where 51 percent of the economy is under the federal government's thumb. Never before in the history of this country has that happened. This is a profound transformational shift."

Saul Alinsky would understand perfectly.


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