To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, August 2, 2021

Observercast

Saving America

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Oklahoma has jumped on the Kill Democracy bandwagon. Are you going to just sit there while our politicians help destroy the American way of life or are you going to do something about it?

The bought-and-paid-for charlatans in Oklahoma City are trying to shut down public education. When all we have are private schools and when private schools can choose who they want to educate, will your children and grandchildren be on the golden list?

Our governor wants to get rid of the state income tax. Let me explain something: if you make less than $20,000 a year you’re not paying state income tax. If you’re married and making $50,000, your contribution to the kitty is less than $150 a month.

What you are paying is FICA, which is not a tax but an insurance premium that will cover your Social Security and Medicare when you retire or are disabled. And the federal government who borrowed from your insurance premiums is trying to renege on its responsibilities.

You pay for it; Congress will decide if and when you get it.

If Oklahoma lawmakers succeed in getting rid of the state income tax, they will have to raise revenue through the back door. To pay for the private schools and the private prisons and the professional ball teams’ stadiums, they will have to raise property taxes and sales taxes and add dozens of little fees that will shift the burden from those with a high income to those with a lower income.

The rich have been complaining about social welfare. Meanwhile, they get the big tax breaks, the subsidies, and the no-bid contracts for the privatized businesses while the rest of us lose our jobs, our houses, and our way of life.

I understand why people are angry. I’m angry. Lawmakers have convinced a lot of people that I – a teacher with 20-plus years of education – am greedy just to want a living wage, health care, and a chance to retire comfortably after a lifetime of work.

They’ve voted themselves these things for far fewer years of service and no education requirements.

It’s OK to be angry when you are threatened. But anger is useless if you don’t turn it into action. Speak up. Vote. Protest. Sign petitions. Take to the streets. Do something to save America from those who want to keep it all for themselves.

America’s dreams are for all of us, not just the chosen few.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.