It's hardly news that Rep. Michele Bachmann thinks President Barack Obama is pushing the United States down the slippery slope of socialism, and that he likely harbors anti-American sympathies. But in a recent interview with The Christian Examiner, she held forth with a set of numbers that seemed to break new ground.
Q: What's your assessment of President Obama's administration so far?Those are big numbers, but we've seen others, and we thought they were worth tossing into the ring for consideration.
Bachmann: I think it is jaw dropping when you think that under his watch, the federal government has taken ownership or control of the private economy. People know that something has really changed. The federal government now owns or controls 30 percent of the private economy. Just over a year ago, you couldn't say that. Just over a year ago, 100 percent of the private economy was private. Today, 30 percent is owned or controlled by government.
That's why if this health care bill passes, government will control an additional 18 percent of the private economy or 48 percent of the private economy. At that point, we're no longer a free market capitalist system. It really changes up what kind of country we are. And that's why I believe President Obama, when he said that he wanted to transform America, he certainly has succeeded in that goal.
But I think his vision for transforming America into a redistribution of wealth, more socialist-based government is not what the American people were asking for. I think it is shocking to Americans what has happened under his watch.
The Atlantic's Conor Clarke recently produced this chart:
Clarke's numbers show that the percentage of private corporate and business interests nationalized by the government is a whopping 0.21 percent. "Obama's version of socialism is so sneaky you can hardly see it!" he says.
We also checked out a report by the libertarian Cato Institute that ranks counties every year according to what it calls their economic freedom. The U.S. seems to be doing OK here:
In this year's index, Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom, 8.97 out of 10. The other top 10 nations are: Singapore (8.66), New Zealand (8.30), Switzerland (8.19), Chile (8.14), the United States (8.06), Ireland (7.98), Canada (7.91), Australia (7.89), and the United Kingdom (7.89)Are we really mired in socialism? Or, do you think Bachmann has it wrong? Tell us what you think.