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Tim Pawlenty busted by PolitiFact

Tim Pawlenty gets caught with his pants on fire.

Tim Pawlenty gets caught with his pants on fire.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty made a play for some national attention last week by publishing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that claimed government employees were faring better in this crappy economy than those in the private sector.

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A great Republican talking point that sounds almost too good to be true if you're looking to score political points against Barack Obama -- or take his place. And it was a central tenet of Pawlenty's column, which was also picked up by the Star Tribune.

He wrote.

The majority of union members today no longer work in construction, manufacturing or "strong back" jobs. They work for government, which, thanks to President Obama, has become the only booming "industry" left in our economy. Since January 2008 the private sector has lost nearly eight million jobs while local, state and federal governments added 590,000.

Well, not really, PolitiFact found out with some fact checking.

Not only did he apparently mangle the time frame, contradict his own definition of federal workers and fail to acknowledge the huge caveat of Census worker hiring, he also repeated a statistic that had been criticized as inaccurate as long as six months ago.

Pawlenty said in his column that we're in the grips of a "silent coup" by government workers. PolitiFact suggests that he just engineered a "silent coup" on the facts.