Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Michele Bachmann is back -- and the meter is on fire

At the conservative CPAC conference, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., blamed regulation, taxation and trial lawyers for slowing research on Alzheimer's disease. We checked with scientists to see if they agreed.
At the conservative CPAC conference, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., blamed regulation, taxation and trial lawyers for slowing research on Alzheimer's disease. We checked with scientists to see if they agreed.

Michele Bachmann is back!


After largely disappearing from our radar in 2012, she has returned with some provocative (and inaccurate) claims from her speech at CPAC.


She came into the conservative confab with 12 Pants on Fire ratings and quickly added two more.


First, we checked her claim that of every "three dollars in food stamps for the needy, seven dollars in salaries and pensions (go to) the bureaucrats who are supposed to be taking care of the poor."


We concluded that it was ridiculously off-base. Even the broadest calculation of administrative costs for food stamps tops out at 5 percent of program costs, far below the 70 percent Bachmann claimed. And the scholar behind the statistic she appears to have relied on said Bachmann misquoted his work. Pants on Fire No. 1.


Then we checked her claim that "scientists tell us that we could have a cure in 10 years for Alzheimer's" disease were it not for "overzealous regulators, excessive taxation and greedy litigators."


We contacted a range of Alzheimer’s researchers and policy experts and found that those issues were the least of their concerns. They said the key problems facing Alzheimer’s research were insufficient funding and the slowness and stealthiness of the disease, which makes it hard to conduct clinical trials. So, Pants on Fire No. 2.


Here's her career record on the Truth-O-Meter:


True: 5

Mostly True: 4

Half True: 6

Mostly False: 7

False: 20

Pants on Fire: 14