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Editorial: An early April Fool

File Photo: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann listens to one of 100 people who attended a Monday rally backing a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit how much the state could spend. (Don Davis/State Capitol Bureau)

Today is April Fools Day, but this annual occasion for tall tales apparently came a bit early for Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Bachmann appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" this past Sunday and made a number of statements regarding health care reform that, as it turns out, are either grossly misleading or just plain wrong, according to a "Reality Check" reported Tuesday night by WCCO's Pat Kessler.

For starters, Bachmann avowed on multiple occasions that the federal government has now taken "ownership or control of 51 percent of the American economy. ... Prior to September of 2008, 100 percent of the private economy was private."

A little investigative work shows otherwise. WCCO reported: "According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Congressional Budget Office and CBS News, the highest percentage of government spending compared to Gross Domestic Product was at the height of World War II, at 47.9 percent. ... In 2009 it was 20.6 percent. In all that time, the GDP has never been 100 percent private."

Additionally, Bachmann forecast what she called massive job losses as a result of health care, based on what she said was math done by President Obama's staff. That was also not true, WCCO stated: those numbers have been generated by health care foes.

Bachmann, for her part, has issued responses to these and other segments that comprised the "Reality Check" report (see They probably won't change the minds of her critics, or for that matter her many supporters.

As for us, we've become a little tired of Bachmann and what has become a pretty persistent campaign of fear-mongering (her refusal to fill out the U.S. Census raises other question marks). We hope other organizations like WCCO continue to call her remarks into question.