“Here's the truth that the president won't tell you. Of every dollar that you hold in your hands, 70 cents of that dollar that's supposed to go to the poor doesn't. It actually goes to benefit the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. — 70 cents on the dollar. That's how the president's caring works in practice. So $3 in food stamps for the needy, $7 in salaries and pensions for the bureaucrats who are supposed to be taking care of the poor. So with all due respect, I ask you, how does this show that our president cares about the poor?” — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, March 16, 2013
...It took us a while to track down the original source of this claim, but it turns out that he believes he has been frequently misquoted. So, with all due respect to Rep. Bachmann, it seems worthwhile to set the record straight. Remember that child’s game of telephone, in which the whispered information gets increasingly distorted? That’s what happened here. ... Indeed, the 2013 budget documents submitted to Congress by the Agriculture Department, which manages SNAP, shows that less than 6 percent of the program is spent on administrative costs. Only 166 people manage the $82 billion food-stamp program — many outside Washington — and the budget document says that staff salaries amount to one-third of 1 percent of USDA’s budget for food and nutrition programs. Considering such statistics are easily available to a member of Congress, let alone his or her staff, it’s a wonder she never bothered to check. She just assumed “government bureaucrats” were consuming funds reserved for poor people.
A Bachmann spokesman did not respond to a request for comment...
...So Bachmann yet again earns Four Pinocchios. But there really aren’t enough Pinocchios for such misleading use of statistics in a major speech.
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