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Published: December 4, 2013 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Tea party dupes

Regarding Federico Scasso’s letter “Cut tax, raise income” (Nov. 13).
The writer defines the tea party as “a movement more than a structured party” whose members “put reason before emotion, who understand the negative effects of big, out-of-control government...” Nothing about the tea party could be further from the truth.
When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch and their wealthy allies saw an opportunity to tap into deep racism of white America to promote their own pro-wealth agendas. The tea party is the result. The Koch brothers are the major financial support for various tea party groups, and they define the groups’ policy objectives.
When tea party members decry big government programs, they’re targeting programs like Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, tuition assistance, food stamps and consumer protection, which help low-income and middle-class Americans.
Other “big government” programs are never targeted and often praised: military spending including lucrative contracts for powerful corporations, state and federal subsidies for profitable oil and gas companies, tax preference laws that benefit only the largest companies. Spending for the later programs exceeds spending for the former. You would never know this by reading tea party letters to the editor or listening to them on talk radio. Their constant attacks on anyone who is not part of “a strong and wealthy middle class” is exactly what the elite leaders of the tea party groups want.
Tea party folks see themselves as intelligent, concerned citizens. They are really only puppets on the Kochs’ string.

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Len Schoettker
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