When Michele and Pat get together

WHEN MICHELE AND PAT GET TOGETHER…. Yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) chatted with crazed TV preacher Pat Robertson on “The 700 Club.” The combined crazy quotient was enough to nearly cause a rift in the space-time continuum.

Most of the ensuing insanity was rather boilerplate — you won’t be surprised to hear that neither right-wing nutjob supports the president — but there was one exchange worth highlighting. Bachmann shared her concerns about health care reform and its effect on the economy.

BACHMANN: This will be a job killer, which is why President Obama’s chief economic adviser Christina Romer has said, if this health care bill goes through, Pat, an additional 5.5 million jobs will be lost because small business will have to shed more jobs — they can’t afford to have the jobs because they have to pay more tax to the government.

ROBERTSON: They know that when their facing 10.2 percent unemployment — they know this is going to kill another 5 million jobs?

BACHMANN: They know this. This is their own numbers, and yet they’re persisting forward.

Well, those administration officials sure are wacky, aren’t they? They think addressing a dysfunctional health care system will cost 5.5 million jobs, but they’re doing it anyway. The White House is obviously filled with history’s greatest monsters.

Except, of course, none of this is even remotely true. Matt Finkelstein explained:

Romer has repeatedly argued that health reform is an economic necessity, and that the proposals under consideration would benefit small businesses while creating jobs. Bachmann is not only putting words in Romer’s mouth but also completely misrepresenting her position. […]

In reality, House Republicans arrived at the 5.5 million jobs estimate by making a faulty calculation based on a paper Romer published in 2007. Like they did during the stimulus debate, the Republicans misapplied Romer’s previous work to suit their argument. Accordingly, the non-partisan PolitiFact.com examined the job loss claim and determined it was false.

But accuracy has no place in the debate over health care policy. What’s more, it’s not just the unhinged clowns repeating this bizarre claim — House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) made the exact same argument yesterday, in print no less.

In other words, expect to hear to hear this baseless claim quite a bit in the coming weeks — it’s apparently at the top of the new set of GOP talking points.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.