Betsy Markey: Misinformed or Misleading?

On NPR stations this morning, the “Power Breakfast” segment from Capitol News Connection profiled Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO), who is fighting hard to keep her seat this year. The reporter noted:

She’s a Blue Dog, one of those fiscally conservative Democrats who frequently complicate things for Party leaders by insisting on spending offsets and the like.

A claim slightly complicated by the reporter’s earlier noting that Markey voted for the $787 billion stimulus bill, the health care overhaul, and cap-and-trade. How exactly does that make her a Blue Dog fiscal conservative? Oh, and in her first year she got a score of 19 percent on tax and spending issues from the National Taxpayers Union. The search for an actual Blue Dog goes on.

But I was really struck by this line about the massive stimulus bill:

MARKEY: [E]very economist from the far left to the far right was saying the government needs to step in because there was absolutely no private sector investment.

This is of course not true. Hundreds of economists went on record against the stimulus bill. The Cato Institute’s full-page ad with their names appeared in all the nation’s major newspapers. It is hard to imagine that Representative Markey missed it. If she wasn’t much on reading newspaper ads, lots of economists wrote op-eds and blog posts opposing the stimulus. If she didn’t read op-eds or blogs either, the ad and the economists were featured on dozens of television programs.

And so we come to the question in this post’s headline: Could Rep. Betsy Markey really be so misinformed that she actually believed that “every economist” supported a massive increase in spending and debt on top of TARP and the other bailouts?