Oklahoma Government A Picture of America’s Future
Today I took a trip with a few colleagues to the Oklahoma State Capital. We arrived in the morning, looked around immediately for our representatives, but unfortunately they were nowhere to be found.
I popped up to Rep. Josh Cockroft’s office (Republican) and he had this handy sign on the door:
Don’t be fooled by his “yes” vote. The only reason he is doing this is because BIG OIL came to the table to get a 4% gross production tax to head off a vote of the people in November to raise it to 7%. People in Oklahoma are fed up. At least we hope they vote that way in November.
He wouldn’t see us because he was too busy preparing to bang a gavel or whatever, and I suppose it may have had something to do with the fact that he doesn’t really like it when people like me debate him into a corner.
He’d just have to lie to end up lying to me again.
For the past 10 years, the Republican led house, senate and governor (No. I’m not making a mistake in the capitalization. I just think that is how these particular idiots aught to be recognized) have run our state government over a proverbial cliff. They have cut infrastructure, cut taxes on the wealthiest Oklahomans, raised taxes on things like cigarettes, gas, sales, and other revenues while allowing oil and gas in the state to enjoy a 2% gross production tax.
Currently our teachers are paid 49th in the nation, education funding per student is lower than anywhere regionally, schools are on four day school weeks, the prisons are overcrowded and prison guards make $13 an hour, DHS is about to go under, the roads and bridges are falling apart, and they made a law where they have to have a 3/4 majority to pass any budget bill.
It only took 10 years for these fools to run Oklahoma into the ground. The Republicans will blame the current state of affairs (and the minuscule Democratic Party of course) but they have had complete control for 10 years.
They voted down the teacher pay raise today, but it was a bill that the Republicans authored. The reason it was shot down was because it would have given the teachers a $5000 pay raise at the price of cutting tax credits for working families, raised the gas tax by 6 cents per gallon and taxed cigarettes $1.50 a pack (not to mention another deep tax on wind and solar power). Ultimately the oil and gas industry only had to pay a measly 2% increase which many feel was their way of silencing people who want them to pay more via a November ballot decision.
Bottom line: as a teacher I would have seen my $5000 raise disappear on my 2018 tax return because I fall into that new tax bracket they created.
Those of you who support this current federal Republican plan should take note of what has happened in Oklahoma. Pretty soon, if something isn’t done, it will happen nationally. Get ready for crumbling infrastructure, cutting of grandma’s medical services, dipping into our social security benefits, and other horrific things done in the name of “giving the money back to the people.”
It happened here. It will happen to you, too.