Bachmann says Treasury lying to Americans about the national debt

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Wednesday night said the Treasury Department is lying to Americans about the size of the federal debt since it has not changed significantly for the last few months even though the government continues to borrow.

Bachmann cited a report from this week saying the size of the debt has not changed since mid-May.

"That would be called a lie in our house. That is not acceptable to my husband and I. You don't lie to us," Bachmann said on the House floor.

"One thing that the federal government should never do to the people who pay the bills in this country is lie to them. And it seems to me that that's what this number is. For 56 days they're pretending that we aren't adding any debt?"

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The report Bachmann cited said the size of the debt has not changed at all for 56 days, and has been stuck on $16.699 trillion, just $25 million short of the debt ceiling.

But according to TreasuryDirect.gov, the debt has hovered around $16.738 trillion since May, and has made small movements around that number each day.

Bachmann said she asked Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke today how the debt can remain still despite continued U.S. government borrowing.

"Even though he's been the Federal Reserve chair for 10 years, he had no idea how that can happen," she said. "In fact, he didn't even know that it had happened.

"Part of the reason that he speculated is that perhaps the Treasury used what they call their 'extraordinary means' to be able to deal with the debt ceiling," she added. Treasury has in fact said it is able to manage the government's finances through the fall before it will need to exceed the debt ceiling.

According to TreasuryDirect.gov, the highest the total national debt has registered is $16.828 trillion, a level it hit on April 30.