Unhinged Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann appeared on Fox News last night, and tried to argue that President Obama “has a lot of chutzpah.” Except, she doesn’t know how to pronounce “chutzpah,” so it came out sounding like “choots pah.” (I’m hoping Adam Sandler can write another song to help explain other words in which the “c” is silent.)
And while this was pretty damn amusing, it’s also worth noting that it was less funny to hear the rest of her thought on the subject.
“Here’s the issue. The president doesn’t want to have to be confronted with priorities in spending because he has a lot of chutzpah. He spent a trillion dollars on the stimulus. It failed. He spent a trillion-and-a-half every year on deficits. They’re his. And, also, Obamacare — trillions of dollars. This is his spending. He’s gotta own it and deal with it. […]
“We wouldn’t be in this crisis right now if he wouldn’t have spent that trillion on stimulus and a trillion-and-a-half more than he should have on the budget and now trillions more on Obamacare. But for those trillions in spending, Greta, we wouldn’t be in this mess that we’re in. We’d still be in a bad spot, but nowhere near the hole. That’s why — take the shovel out of the president’s hand so we don’t dig any deeper. That’s what will happen if we raise the debt ceiling and why I am adamant against raising the debt ceiling.”
I have a lot of concerns about Michele Bachmann, but chief among them is her habit of repeating transparent gibberish, and giving the appearance of believing every word.
In this case, the president’s “choots pah” notwithstanding, every claim Bachmann made is demonstrably false. She was wrong about the size of the stimulus. She was wrong about the size of the deficit. She was wrong about the cost of the Affordable Care Act (it actually reduces the deficit, by a lot). She was wrong about the efficacy of the Recovery Act.
And perhaps most importantly, even if the Recovery Act and the ACA never existed, we’d still need to raise the debt ceiling. If President Bachmann were in the Oval Office right now, the need for a higher limit would be unchanged. Blaming Obama may make strange right-wing activists and their misguided leaders happy, but it doesn’t make it true.
The only way we wouldn’t have to raise the debt ceiling in 2011 is if George W. Bush and his Republican allies hadn’t added $5 trillion to the debt and left Obama with a $1.3 trillion deficit to clean up. But it’s obviously too late for that.
Maybe someone should take a moment to show Bachmann this gem, put together by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, showing the actual drivers of U.S. debt over a two-decade span.
Michele, the stimulus and health care aren’t the problem. It’s not a matter of opinion; it’s a matter of reality. It takes “choots pah” to go on national television and lie about it.