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“Small Government” Creats “Domino Effect”

March 22, 2013

Previously printed in the Duncan Banner, Duncan OK.

The only government our right-of-center conservatives (Republican, Tea Party and Democrat) want is one with the ability to negate any taxes on their most ardent supporters. They give lip-service to caring about those who are not as prosperous as their supporters and then annihilate those less prosperous for whom they “care. “  This happens at both state and federal levels of governments.

Cutting back support is more noticeable at state than at federal levels due to implementing cuts which support smaller population totals. That is why, in the last two years, there has been ZERO state money allocated for adult basic education. How do the governor and legislators justify cutting income taxes which in turn will cancel training for people who have lost their jobs to out-sourcing or corporate down-sizing? The politicians holding rein at the state capitol right now do not seem to care. They cry, “smaller federal government” in one breath and in the next accept federal funding for training that their state-wide tax cuts decimated. Meanwhile, the governor’s tax plan, as passed by the state house, reduces this state’s revenues by another 125 Million Dollars!  

While voting to cut Oklahoma’s income tax, legislators did not hesitate to start procedures to increase sentencing for certain crimes in order to keep out-sourced facilities full. At the same time, no considerations were given to the current problem of over-crowding or inadequate employee pay-scales in our state operated facilities.

Along with increased sentences, Oklahoma currently has over 48,000 convicted felons who are ineligible to vote.  They are also ineligible to receive federal student loans if they choose to improve, turn their lives around and become self-supporting citizens. They are also barred from working in a wide range of professions. Adding “insult” to “injury, “ Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates of minority women in the country. In fact, incarceration rates for non-violent offenses among minorities of both genders is suspect!

Until a firm definition of what “smaller government” these ideologues subscribe to has been established, we are led down an uncharted path.  An undefined “smaller is better” philosophy does not take into consideration increases in population or that we are a ”union of states united.” In the case of federal government, traditionalists believe it is a state’s responsibility to implement total welfare for their citizens. They also believe a state’s government should be “smaller.” That, in turn, leaves citizenry responsibility to counties and municipalities for everything but national security. By the time “passing of responsibility” is down to the bottom rung of the “responsibility” ladder, disparities within services result. This “philosophy” forced the federal government to assume the role of a regulatory agency. In order to establish a marginally level playing field, a bureaucracy must be formed to administer necessary programs.

As an example, before the establishment of the Department of Labor, there was widespread child labor usage.  By today’s standards, working conditions were unsafe and unsanitary.  Wage levels were unsuitable. It was termed “acceptable business practices.”  Failure of Industry to police itself led to the “Child Labor Law“ and “Occupational Safety Hazards Act“ – both banes of coal mining and manufacturing industries. 

It was apparent to President Eisenhower, from his experiences during World War II, that rapid transportation for troops in case of a national emergency was needed. His vision of a network of federal highways – the advent of the current interstate highways system – was initiated. This system has allowed for the rapid movement of goods and produce to all corners of the United States. The expansion of the transportation system has led to faster, safer and more varied means of highway transport. However, keeping government “small” led to under-funding for required maintenance of rail transport causing an extreme release of carbon emissions into the air from vehicular movements.   That “small” mistake created DEQ, affecting both federal and state governments!












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