"Tea Party Advocates Who Scorn Socialism Want a Government Job," is the inaccurate and tendentious and biased and just plain embarassingly bad headline over a Bloomberg News article this morning. The article is nearly as bad as the headline:
Tea Party activists, who are becoming a force in U.S. politics, want the federal government out of their lives except when it comes to creating jobs.
More than 90 percent of Tea Party backers interviewed in a new Bloomberg National Poll say the U.S. is verging more toward socialism than capitalism, the federal government is trying to control too many aspects of private life and more decisions should be made at the state level.
At the same time, 70 percent of those who sympathize with the Tea Party, which organized protests this week against President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul, want a federal government that fosters job creation.
First of all, it's a small sample size -- of the 1,002 U.S. adults in the poll, just 26%, or about 260, identified themselves as Tea Party supporters. I estimate the margin of sampling error at +/- 6%.
But second, and most glaringly, the survey (pdf) didn't ask respondents if they want a government job. The question on government fostering job creation merely asked whether respondents agreed or disagreed with the question, "The government needs to do a lot more to create jobs." I agree with that, but it doesn't mean I want a government job or I want the federal government to have a larger role in my life or want a new version of Roosevelt's WPA. I want the federal government to help create jobs by cutting taxes and regulations, stopping with the demonization of businessmen who make money, and offering some certainty over what the rules of the game are going to be for health care, the financial industry, and the auto industry.
This is just a cheap shot by Bloomberg, right up there with the New York Times's depiction of the Tea Party movement as a bunch of racist gun nuts.