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Letters to the Editor for Spring 2018

By: Constitution Staff

A Time of Trouble

I can remember talking to an old man in my community about the trends he saw coming in our nation years ago when I was just a boy growing up west of Stilwell. Fortunately I had enough maturity to be willing to listen to someone who had the life’s experiences that I did not yet have. I can vividly remember him saying that when our nation gets to the point where it has over 50% of its people depending on the government for their living, our country would be in big trouble. As I watched the news about our legislature voting in the biggest tax increase in the history of Oklahoma, it brought back the words that were spoken so many years ago.

The bill was crammed down the throats of the citizens of Oklahoma. When a bill is put on the floor with no time to review or to contact the taxpayers throughout the state, and to suspend the rules to speed the process up further, is not representing the state as a whole. I disagree with the philosophy of the Democrats, but at least they are honest about their beliefs. The Republicans, on the other hand, claim to be the champion of conservatism with lower taxes and smaller government; sadly these hypocrites showed their true colors. I saw no mention of any attempts to become more efficient or to spend less of the hard working taxpayer monies before just increasing taxes.

Getting back to the numbers, I do not know what the ratio is between the people making their living in the private sector and the people who depend upon the government for their living. But I do know that the biggest employer in the state of Oklahoma is the state itself, and when you look at the numbers of people on programs such as Sooner Care, you can see that there are a lot of people developing an unhealthy reliance on government. Sooner Care pays for over 60% of the cost of the babies born in our state, and the number of people enrolled in the food stamp program continues to climb.

I have heard small business people, blue collar people, complain about the lack of representation we seem to have. Whether or not the dependent voters are a majority at this time, one thing they do is to get out and vote. They are voting for their pocket books. I guess it is just human nature to engage in self preservation, but it is about time that the taxpayers take a more aggressive stance on who we allow to sit in the offices in the state capitol. I have seen too many in the working class who don’t go to the polls make the excuse that they had too much to do to take the time to get involved. That not getting involved enabled a bunch of self-serving politicians to pass the largest tax increase in state history.

We could possibly have some good government if it weren’t for politics. All of these guys and gals hire high priced consultants who do the research and determine who is voting; that is the reason they listen to the rabble rousers in the halls of the state capitol and ignore the hard working people who don’t have the time to go lobby for themselves. This kind of nonsense has been going on for thousands of years; the Roman Empire fell because they taxed the working class out of business. In my opinion it is the natural evolution for government to plunder the productive to give to the unaccountable. Yes, our nation and our state are in trouble, and I fear that there are not enough people with understanding to see the trend.

Russell Turner

Stilwell, OK

At Long Last Approved

It seems to me like almost forever since my own Congressman, Jim Bridenstine OK-1, was nominated by then President Elect Trump to be the Administrator of NASA (National Air and Space Administration), although it has been 18 months or so. We are told that a few of the Senators, required by the Constitution to approve of such nominations, have held up this, and many other nominations, and for personal or partisan purposes. Such attitudes are definitely not in order for the “good of the Nation” as their oath of office states that they will act for!

Finally, on Thursday, April 19, 2018, the Senate held a vote which turned out to be 50 to 49, with one Democrat not voting because she is “out for pregnancy.” I’m happy for her to welcome the addition to her family, but even more so, that it caused her absence for the vote. Had she been there, the vote would have been a tie and Vice-President Pence was out of town on National business and unavailable to assume his position as President of the Senate to cast a tie-breaking vote. Fortunately, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) finally “grew up” and ended his opposition which was based mainly on personal issues. We are told these issues centered around Jim’s support for Senator Ted Cruse (R-TX) for President. Sen. Rubio should have been man enough to realize that Texas is adjoining Oklahoma on the South and is so much closer than Florida in politics and geography. In all of this, there has been continuing and loud criticism by the Democrat side of the Senate, and others, of the slow movement of the Administration on making appointments.

Well, as of Friday, April 20 there were 139 still waiting on approval in the Senate and there were only 102, or 43%, of the nominations so far approved. That is the lowest percentage approval at this stage in national history. The numbers include judges for various Federal Courts. This delay is highly unethical and seems to me to be deliberate stalling to defeat the agenda of PRESDT-45 on the part of the minority caucus in the Senate – Democrat. Frankly, it is just another example of the usual tactics of those of the C/S followers, that is accusing your opponents of doing exactly what you are doing!!

Actually, they might have been hurting their own future position in the House. My House informant stated that whoever is elected to fill the seat Bridenstine is early vacating, will immediately be sworn in, since the seat is vacant, and not wait until January when the rest of the newly elected “freshmen” take office. Thus he will have a superior seniority position to the rest of the class and be in a stronger position to represent our First District and the State.

Had the approval come before the end of 2017 we would have elected a replacement in a special election and already be represented, with even more seniority in the Class of 2018. As it is, we in the First District will not be represented in any vote until after the November election. However, both the Tulsa and Washington office staffs will remain and be available to assist and advise constituents, as they have a few times for me.

We wish the Congressman, now Director, well and as I told him when he first announced for Congress: “I shall expect outstanding things from you.” Well, he far exceeded my wildest hopes and it is with complete confidence that the expectation is the same in his new duties. Frankly, it had been my forlorn hope, given the facts of the make up of Congress, that he would become Speaker of the House or maybe go to the Senate, should Senator Inhofe decide to retire.

Word has come to me that he may have to resign his commission as Lt. Colonel in the OK National Guard and thus lose flying status there. No word on whether he will be able to maintain flight proficiency in the new position, although I would expect it because the astronauts did. Otherwise it would be expected that “cloud fit” would show up, as with me.

Robert W. McDowell, Jr.

Broken Arrow, OK

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