South Florida Tea Party Publishes Smorgasbord of Lies

Categories: Politicks
so fla tea party.jpg
​The South Florida Tea Party posted some shocking statistics last week: Compared to England and Canada, Americans have better cancer survival rates, a larger proportion of healthy low-income seniors and better treatment of diabetes.

It also said only 8 percent of President Barack Obama's cabinet has experience in the private sector, the worst ratio since before Theodore Roosevelt.

And it's all a load of crap.

The South Florida Tea Party's article is not only full of lies, it's full of uncreative ones. The post, with minor changes, has been around for years, as a chain email, blog rant and a post on TeaParty.org called "Secret Statistics Congress Doesn't Want You To Know."

While there was some truth in the numbers at one point, it has long since been destroyed. It's not clear at what point the dissemination of this particular information evolved past intentional misrepresentation and into ignorant regurgitation, but one thing's for sure: When it comes to the South Florida Tea Party's article, someone along the line is full of it.

It's easy to discredit the part about Obama's ivory-tower cabinet because it was debunked two years ago. The Tea Party post says the 8 percent figure "helps to explain the incompetence of this administration," but according to PolitiFact, a non-partisan fact-checking website based in Florida, the stats are based on a study by a banking executive -- they did not refer to the entire cabinet, were taken out of context by Glenn Beck in 2009 and, as it turns out, were very flawed. For the context in which they're being cited, they're useless.

The part about health care is also a crock. For starters, the "recent 'Investor's Business Daily' article" that the South Florida Tea Party cites was published as an illustration (in print but not online) more than two years ago. The illustration cites only a 2009 Roll Call op-ed by Illinois Republican Congressman Mark Kirk, who was actually advocating for reform. (For another dose of irony, tea party members hate Kirk. Unless, of course, they're poaching his numbers.)

The Tea Party post also says the health care numbers are based on a survey by "the United Nations International Health Organization," which, if it exists, has never had a website or been credibly cited by anyone. The cancer numbers actually come from a 2007 study published The Lancet Oncology, and the rest of them, well, Kirk didn't specify where they came from, and Investor's Business Daily apparently just took his word for it.

But even if the statistics were as true as a compass under oath, they're irrelevant.

In short, they don't have anything to do with the U.S. health care legislation adopted last year. They are presented without comment in the South Florida Tea Party post, but the nearly identical TeaParty.org version says, "I don't know about you, but I don't want 'Universal Healthcare' comparable to England or Canada," the implication from both groups being that England lets cancer patients die and our pre-reform system was better than our new European-style health care system.

Except we don't have a European-style health care system.

It's an oft-cited connection that has no genuine basis in reality. Comparing health care in the United States and health care in Europe is like comparing apples and folding chairs -- with the exception of Switzerland, our system is nothing like the ones across the pond. And despite what you hear trumpeted on AM radio frequencies across the continent, there was no "government takeover," nor were there ever "death panels," though the South Florida Tea Party still believes in those too.

In case you were interested in reading more, the European-style "government takeover" was PolitiFact's 2010 lie of the year, and the "death panel" notion got the award in 2009.

Back here on Earth, the U.S. reforms have very little to do with the socialized systems that so terrify tea party members, who are being fed bogus information by the shovelful and, judging by how widespread these statistics are, they seem to think it tastes quite good. The U.S. plan calls for private insurers to provide insurance in the free market, though, with the new regulations, it is a market that isn't as "free" as it used to be.

Business will certainly be different, but nothing has been taken over, and those regulations would be a legitimate talking point if they weren'tt buried beneath the disingenuous mischaracterizations put forth by ramshackle organizations like the South Florida Tea Party.

South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson did not return a call for comment.


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13 comments
Mikepoland
Mikepoland

Of course you are going to deny or try to say these facts aren't true. If you are going to deny the accuracy of this information at least give your estimate of the percentage of the Obama admin. that has private sector experience so we can also check your numbers. One thing for sure we do know the President had no prior private sector experience and it shows. So are we just supposed to take you word on it? On the health care issue I have lived extensively overseas in several different countries. These countries have had a mostly government health care run system or as I call it socialized medicine. This I believe is the ultimate goal of the current administration. Let me tell you unless you have lived with type of health care you don't know what you are talking about.No doubt the health care system needs to be changed but Obama Care goes to far and invades our civil liberties. I never thought I would quote Nancy Pelosi but don't you think her statement of "we won't know what's in it unitl we pass it" is just a little insane sounding?  Let's look at your source Politifact. Leading members from both conservative and liberal groups alike have debunked this as a legitimate unbiased fact checking source. Politico also has a close affliation with the Austin American Satesman, one of if not the most liberal publication in Texas. So much for your source. Maybe we should go to what I call the liberal counter to the Tea Party the darling of the liberal left  - the Occupy Wall Street - for their take on all this. I guess in your next article you can use them as a source it would be about as believable as this article. I know some people will read your article and just take it for fact but most of these people already have their minds made up and would agree with you even if you made the claim that Rachel Maddow is getting married to a man on national TV at a Tea Party rally next Saturday at 2pm in Arizona.. 

Espardy
Espardy

The Tea Party is the voice of the silent majority of people in this country who are fed up with bloated governement, deficit spending, and the left's vision of a socialistic utopia. Listen to the rhetoric from the left trying to marginalize the Tea Party as 'terrorists' (Joe Biden), or as those who are about to 'destroy life on this panet as we know it' (Nancy Pelosi).

Say what you will, but the Tea Party has begun to change the debate in Washington and will only grow in influence.   

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

Does anybody here think our U.S. congress can live on minimum wage?

Why Not Have congress Paid By Minimum-Wage?

How come rich people, rich families with young sons/daughters, sons of politicians, etc. don't enlist in military don't they like American.

To the politicians War is good for business invest your childr

Miacanes111
Miacanes111

Well it's my first time reading riptide, as an avid hurricane fan I wanted to read about the canes and I get what looks to be a more political page. I can see clearly the left wing lie machine has polluted your brain, as far as I can see the Democrats pander to the ignorant people of this country that are to lazy to read and verify information. I'll get my information from a more reliable source not hater with a web page. 

Mikecb
Mikecb

He doesn't care if it's true or not, it's not what he wants to hear.

Teapartybloom
Teapartybloom

You totally left out what Health Care is evolving into.  30% of companies so far are dropping insurance and more will follow because the penalty is less than covering the employees.  This leads straight to socialized medicine - just as planned.  There will be long lines for a doctor, months for surgery, and DEATH panels - yes death panels - to get the cost of Medicare under control.  We will be worse than Canada and Britain. 

nanook5
nanook5

the tea party's plan seems to be if everyone keeps responding to their melodramatic bullshit over and over again we won't have time to keep them from destroying what's left of the country...

Wifey2G
Wifey2G

Of course when you call your party the "Tea Party" you will attract nothing but "Mad Hatters". I'm just glad they've gained enough ground to not only discredit themselves, but the Republicans as well (even though they are doing an outstanding job on their own).

HaveYourTeaInHell
HaveYourTeaInHell

Dirtbags.  Lowest of the low, trying to play off of the ignorant and racists.

Robert Paul Millares
Robert Paul Millares

What I find fascinating is that England and Canada are the main boogeymen that are used in discussions of healthcare reform but it is never pointed out that the fear is completely misguided.  

What will we do if we were to have a system of national healthcare insurance like Canada? Well we already do; it's called Medicare. Find me someone who is on Medicare who would like to leave the system. What will we do if we were to have a system of national healthcare where the government runs not just the insurance program but the hospitals and pays the doctors, like England? Well, we already do; it's called the Veteran's Administration (also known as the VA). Even given recent scandals, it has one of the highest rates of patient satisfaction in our country. 

It has always been about scaring people. It's even easier to scare people when they don't have the facts. 

Chirodochill
Chirodochill

with major medical, your getting DMV healthcare delivery service at Waldorf Estoria premium prices. The doctor's reimbursement rates continue to decline. It is like a pipeline of everybody's money to Big Insurance. Socialized medicine is here folks! The only difference is were paying top dollar for it 

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