Michele Bachmann’s Misleading Talking Point On Federal Pay

There’s one thing I’ve noticed about Michele Bachmann and other GOPers who lie or distort facts to fit their agenda:  They never apologize for their error.  Instead they do one of two things, double down on the lie or ignore the lie.

It’s apparent that their playbook dictates that they never admit to lying.  Bachmann and a few others are masters at this tactic.

Huffington Post

While stumping on a platform of limited government, Republican presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has focused on the growth of federal pay under the Obama administration, saying it is representative of broader government excess.

But Bachmann’s go-to talking point on the subject is grossly misleading and obscures her own voting record on federal pay.

While on “Fox News Sunday” this past Sunday, Bachmann said, “We had one employee at the federal Department of Transportation that made $170,000 a year at the beginning of the recession.”

“We had the trillion dollar stimulus, and 18 months into the recession, we had 1,690 employees making over $170,000,” she continued. “Government has really been growing at — a lot of largesse. But people in the real world aren’t. And that’s what has to change. Government has no conformity at all with the real world.”

While it’s true that the number of Transportation workers making $170,000 or more a year increased after Obama took office, the boost, authorized under President George W. Bush, was caused by a modest pay raise for highly-trained employees, not a hiring spree associated with stimulus spending. What’s more, Bachmann herself voted in 2008 for a separate bill that increased federal worker pay. Bachmann’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the statistic, which she has oft-cited.

As the Washington Post reported, Bachmann’s numbers come from a 2009 USA Today article, which reads, “When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person  earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.”

The 2009 economic stimulus bill isn’t mentioned anywhere in the USA Today article, and for good reason: It has nothing to do with the pay raises Bachmann has been referring to of late. The boost in the employees making $170,000 came from a modest salary increase, most of which went to air traffic controllers, expert professionals responsible for the lives of thousands of airplane passengers each day.

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4 comments

  1. She’s taking over where Palin left off, with the lies, bullshit and twisting things around.

    You’re right, they’ll never will own up to their mistakes and what not. I guess you would say, that is beneath them.

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  2. You’re right, they’ll never will own up to their mistakes and what not. I guess you would say, that is beneath them.

    That’s right, Don. I believe their talking points from the head honcho in charge (Grover Norquist or Karl Rove, I guess) says “never admit to lying…it will bring you down”.

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