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New Survey by Former Bush Speechwriter Finds Tea Partiers Largely Ignorant about Taxes, Lots of Other Stuff

Noted left-wing activist* Bruce Bartlett read David Frum’s recent survey of a bunch of Teabaggers, and finds their grasp of the issues, erm, lacking.

the Tea Party crowd appears to believe that federal taxes are very considerably higher than they actually are, whether referring to total taxes as a share of GDP or in terms of the taxes paid by a typical family.

Tea Partyers also seem to have a very distorted view of the direction of federal taxes. They were asked whether they are higher, lower or the same as when Barack Obama was inaugurated last year. More than two-thirds thought that taxes are higher today, and only 4% thought they were lower; the rest said they are the same.

Remember, taxes are the Teabaggers’ raison d’etre — the fact that they seem to know very little about them is noteworthy.

But it’s not only taxes where Teabaggers need help.

The survey also reveals some misperceptions about the status quo on healthcare and energy in the United States. The average Tea Partier placed the United States’ global rank in life expectancy at 11th, when in fact the CIA ranks the United States 49th.

Not surprising. This crowd hears Republicans talk about “the best health care system in the world” 24/7, and breaks out into chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” at the slightest provocation.

Finally, there’s this.

In terms of energy policy, Tea Partiers estimated that the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) holds about 70 years worth of oil, based on America’s present rates of consumption. Conventional estimates suggest that ANWR holds about a year’s supply of oil, based on the CIA’s estimate of oil consumption.

70 years, 1 year — what’s the difference?

Again, when you hear your leaders say “Drill, baby, drill!” over and over, this confusion is understandable.

The Teabaggers are just regurgitating years of programming by Rush and Sean and the GOP. Pesky things like “facts” and “data” are the stuff of weak-kneed libruls.

*For the snark impaired, Bartlett served in the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations.

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