Lest we need any more proof that David Barton is not a real historian, or even someone with a vague grasp of current affairs, in the latest installment of WallBuilders Live he cites the research of well-known fact fabricator Michele Bachmann – and gets her fabricated facts wrong.
Discussing with co-host Rick Green the relationship between increasing secularism and the economic collapse, Barton pulls out one heck of a Bachmann whopper. Citing Bachmann as his source, Barton asserts that before the Bush administration’s financial industry bailouts and the Obama administration’s auto industry bailout, “100 percent of the American economy” was privately owned. Now, he says, that total is 33 percent:
Barton: One of the things we’re starting to see is that as the economic system is shutting down, it is corresponding to the time that we’ve become increasingly secular. As we have had an upturn in, “Hey we want less of God, we want less religion, keep it to yourself, don’t let it get out, don’t talk about it, separation of church and state,” as we’ve gone in a more secular direction, guess what? Spending’s gone through the roof, economic policies have gone away. As Michele Bachmann pointed out, before that government bailout and takeover of the various entities, what was it, now three and a half years ago, but that’s when the government stepped in and took over insurance, took over AIG, took over GM. At that point, we had 100 percent of the American economy still being free, private, privately owned. It is now down, by her calculations, to less than 33 percent of the market is still free owned and free run
Green: Is it fair to say, “Less God, more government”?
Barton: You bet it is. It is. And that’s economically as well. You lose your economic freedom, you lose your religious freedom, you lose your civil freedoms. This stuff all ties together.
Bachmann, as it turns out, did claim after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010 that “100 percent of our economy was private prior to September of 2008, but as of Tuesday, the federal government has now taken ownership or control of 51 percent of the private economy." Both of those numbers were, of course, completely made up. Barton not only cites Bachmann’s ludicrous claim that the U.S. economy was free of government spending before 2008, but exaggerates Bachmann’s already exaggerated figure of the federal government’s economic control.
Later in the program, Barton brought his revisionist history to Europe, claiming that labor unions were responsible for the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Soviet Union -- and will put America on a similar path. Commenting on on Green’s interview with business professor Steve Pejovich, a native of Yugoslavia, Barton said:
Barton: He made a statement I don’t think I’ve heard anybody else have the guts to say. He said, “Investing in labor unions is the way to destroy the best economy in the world.” I mean, that’s a profound statement. Now, he understands unions, because that was a lot of what brought Hitler in, that’s a lot of what happened with the Soviet Union afterward, they had all these workers’ unions. And there’s a guy who’s seen what’s happened with unions, and he’s watching what’s happening over here with the rise of unions and unionism and all the stuff that Obama’s doing to promote unions and unionism, he knows where it will take us.