BY SHARON MARTIN
You’re a smart woman, smart enough to get elected to the highest office in the state. Do you really think that expanding Medicaid will hurt the people of this state or that cutting revenue will help anyone but the wealthy?
You seem more concerned with re-election than with what is good for the people you swore to serve.
A recent study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showed that states that cut taxes in the 1990s had slower economic and job growth than states that did not. Do you think maybe it will be different this time?
Then there is the Reinhart-Rogoff report that so many of your fellow Republicans have cited. Nothing, they say, is more important than cutting the deficit [except for Abrams tanks produced in a legislator’s district].
Cut food stamps. Cut education. Cut government jobs. Everything but the tanks and the border fences have to go.
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst found that Reinhart and Rogoff left out key data, making their report’s conclusions questionable. And there are the cold hard facts of what austerity has done for Europe.
Spending for the sake of spending is not a good idea. I think most of us are conservatives on that front. But cutting out investments in health and education is not conservatism; it’s immoral and it’s wrongheaded. It makes us weaker. So does slashing public jobs.
Public sector jobs are jobs, and in many cases, the public sector delivers goods and services more efficiently and more equitably than the private sector can do. And when the public jobs are sacrificed in government slash and burn, teachers, researchers, firemen, and policemen are thrown into the job market competing for scarce private-sector jobs.
And taxes! We all need to throw our fair share into the kitty, and we all need to get back from that kitty the public services we need. Privatizing education, safety, and welfare is not a plan.
If you and your friends have their way, we will trade in our democratic republic for the system that the British tried to foist off on us in the 1700s. The poor and middle classes will suffer while you and your donors make out like bandits, at least temporarily.
The Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer