BY SHARON MARTIN
Ever hear something that just stops you dead?
On NPR, Mara Liasson was discussing political polls. She said that Republicans don’t poll well on women’s issues.
That’s easy to explain – unequal pay, attempts to control women’s bodies, and family issues.
Then she said, “Republicans consistently outpoll Democrats on the economy.”
Doesn’t anyone remember the mess that Bush/Cheney left us? Or Reagan’s deficit?
How about Sen. Ted Cruz’s tantrum when it came time for America to pay her debts?
Then there’s the funding mess in Oklahoma. When times were good, Gov. Mary Fallin and Co. gave huge breaks to the oil and gas producers and cut taxes on the wealthy. They cut services for the rest of us.
Their policies threaten schools, nursing homes, rural hospitals, and at-risk children. Prisons are for-profit and understaffed. Still, they refuse federal money to insure the chronically uninsured. They eliminate programs that offer matching federal funds.
Oklahomans pay federal income taxes in return for federal programs, but Republicans would rather raise sales taxes that place the burden on the poor. They can’t pass a budget bill that isn’t toxic to the state on the one hand and to their re-election bids on the other.
The speaker of the House, Jeff Hickman, sent a bill to the Senate that gives teachers a raise. But wait! He wants teachers and the school districts – yeah, those districts laying off employees and mulling four-day weeks – to pay for teacher insurance.
My insurance, according to Speaker Hickman, costs the state $6,360 a year. My salary, including insurance, is more than $10,000 below the median income in Oklahoma. I have a master’s degree. And you can bet if the state isn’t paying for it, my insurance will cost me more than it does them.
Your proposal stinks, Speaker Hickman.
And still, there are teachers who vote Republican.
If that isn’t enough, there’s the Trump debacle. He’s never been elected to an office in his life. He has run a few businesses, but he’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at least four times.
Do you know what Chapter 11 does? It leaves a business’s creditors holding the bag while protecting owners from personal liability.
Yep, that’s the same idea that Sen. Cruz was promoting with his filibuster. If you run out of money, just don’t pay your bills. Unless you’re poor and can’t pay court costs. Then we’ll throw you in jail.
Republicans are Reverse Robin Hoods. They take from the poor and give to the rich. And we keep voting for the Sheriff of Nottingham.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer