Letters to the Editor

Where are the facts?

Editor:
There’s an old saying in politics that you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.
Apparently, the Brookings Tea Party disagrees. On Feb. 23, the Curry Coastal Pilot published a Public Forum article written by a group of Brookings Tea Party members titled “Fight for smaller government, restoration of Constitutional values far from over.” In it, various “facts” were cited to justify their anti-Democratic, anti-Obama, anti-government positions. These “facts” ranged from grossly deceptive to completely untrue. In other words, lies. Here are just a couple of examples.
The Tea Party article states that the federal payrolls “increased about 13 percent over the past two years.” This is a lie. The number of federal employees increased 2.2 percent in the past two years, virtually all of which were in national security agencies including the Department of Defense. Federal employees also received a cost-of-living adjustment of 2 percent in 2010. They received no cost-of-living increase in 2011. There is no way to turn this into a 13 percent increase in federal payroll except, apparently, in the minds of tea partiers.
As another example, the Tea Party article states that the “administration has exempted from the health care law more than 700 organizations, from McDonalds to big labor unions.” This is another lie. The only exemptions are for members of religious organizations, virtually all of which are Christian churches of the Anabaptist sect who have long been exempt from other federal programs that conflict with their religious beliefs. None are unions or corporations (or Muslims, as many tea partiers believe).
To all tea partiers: Google is your friend. Take the time to check the “facts” you use to justify your extreme political positions. And to the Pilot editors: Do the same for the articles you publish in your newspaper.
Tomas Bozack
Brookings

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