On his radio program last week, Glenn Beck dedicated a segment to ripping Donald Trump as a man who simply doesn’t care about the truth of anything that he says, asserting that Trump is rarely called out for his lies and when, he is, neither he nor his supporters really even care about his rampant dishonesty.
“The truth doesn’t matter to him,” Beck said. “The truth is completely irrelevant to Donald Trump.”
At the time, we thought that pretty much the same thing could be said about Beck’s good pal, David Barton, who also seems to have no qualms about repeating demonstrable falsehoods over and over again because he knows that his supporters will reflexively accept anything he says while ignoring all the criticism that his work receives.
And nothing better demonstrates this very point than the most recent episode of Barton’s “Foundations of Freedom” series, in which he was joined by none other than Glenn Beck and where he repeated, for the fourth time, his false claim that families on welfare receive $61,000 a year in government benefits.
“Right now, if you’re on welfare in America,” Barton stated, “there are 80 anti-poverty programs in America. Those 80 anti-poverty programs, spread out over the poor, the average amount that goes through those poverty programs to those who are designated to be poor, $61,000 a year. The poor in America, right now, make more that the starting salary of a teacher in 11 states, more than the starting salary of a secretary in 39 states. If you’re in Hawaii, unless you’re making a salary of over $61,000 a year, there is no reason for you to get off poverty.”
As we have pointed out every time we have heard Barton make this assertion, this entirely misleading claim was first put forth by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee back in 2012 and was, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained, derived by relying on “a series of serious manipulations of the data that violate basic analytic standards and are used to produce a potentially inflammatory result.”
But the simple fact that this claim is totally false is not going to stop Barton from endlessly repeating it … nor will it stop Beck from gladly standing with him.