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You know how the federal government has grown hugely under President Obama, right? At least that's what the Tea Party would have us believe. They have been drinking their own Kool-Aid for so long that they are no longer aware there is no factual standing for their arguments, and react with incredulity when challenged.

They have been living under the Grover Norquist rock of propaganda, repeated this lie for so long that as far as they are concerned it's true. Every so often they are faced with representatives from the reality universe and an exchange such as the following ensues.

Watch Rand Paul as he asserts in his unquestioned certainty that the size of government has ballooned under Preident Obama.

The transcript is below, but it does not convey his tone of absolute incredulity at the very thought that the government has not exploded exponentially in the last 3 1/2 years.

PAUL: The thing I don’t understand is that you're arguing that the government sector is struggling. Are you arguing that there are fewer government employees under Obama than there were under Bush?
KRUGMAN: Of course. That’s a fact. That’s a tremendous fact.
PAUL: No, the size of growth of government is enormous under president Obama.
KRUGMAN: If government employment had grown as fast under Obama as it did under Bush, we’d have a million and a half more people employed right now — directly.
PAUL: Are there less people employed or more people employed now by government?
Dr. Krugman was unceremoniously cut off by one of the other speakers who couldn't bear to hear the correct answer: less, but he did get to put the answer on his blog afterwards.
I know Republicans know, just know, that government has surged under Obama. But it ain’t so.
As Krugman quickly pointed out on his blog, the answer is “less.” Now, perhaps Sen. Paul was thinking of employment by the federal government alone, which did tick up just slightly: 2.77 million at the end 2008 versus 2.8 million currently. But add in state and local government jobs, and the hard number for government employment dropped by around 600,000 after Bush left office.
Facts are so inconvenient when you're trying to promote an agenda. Paul Krugman is a treasure.
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