Who Is David Barton?

According to Wikipedia: “David Barton (born January 28, 1954) is an American evangelical Christian minister, conservative activist, and author. He founded WallBuilders, a Texas-based organization which promotes the view that it is a myth that the US Constitution insists on separation of church and state. Barton is the former vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas.”

Also, “In 2012, Barton’s New York Times best-seller The Jefferson Lies was voted ‘the least credible history book in print’ by the users of the History News Network website.”

Patheos.com claims Barton has had to walk back on many false claims he’s made over the years.

Barton does some work for conservative commentator Glenn Beck. On Beck’s show, Barton made the claim that the average welfare recipient gets $61K per year.  This was based on calculations done by Senator Jeff Sessions, who includes insurance and other payouts in his calculations.

Also, Sessions adds up many means-tested programs, which are aimed at people with low incomes, but then divides the figure by the number of people under the poverty level — even though millions of people above the poverty level receive these benefits.

The Washington Post gave the claim “three Pinnochios.”

Think Progress states:

“In reality, many of these benefits that families rely on are paltry and, worse, have recently shrunk. The value of benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), formerly known as welfare, have fallen so that their purchasing power is less than what it was in 1996 for the vast majority of recipients.

A family of three that relies solely on TANF won’t be able to make market rent for a two-bedroom apartment and will live at just 50 percent of the poverty line, or $9,765 a year.

Food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) were reduced in November to an average of less than $1.40 a meal  ($126.00) and more cuts are likely on their way after Congress agrees to a new farm bill.”

Secular Talk video.  Sources:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2013/06/19/capitoltourchanges/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/a-misleading-chart-on-welfare-spending/2013/02/20/1b40bcde-7ba4-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_blog.html

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/12/18/3081791/welfare-recipient-spending/

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