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Repubs Are Singing The Same Song, Different Key!

January 29, 2015

Article published January 28, 2015 in the Duncan Banner.
There appears to be a consensus among a group of individuals controlling the United States Senate and House of Representatives that this country should proceed with an all-out war on terrorism. Those who are adamant about expanding our efforts to curtail the terrorist organizations would have us invading three foreign countries at the same time.
Instead, I suggest they spend their time and efforts correcting the deficiencies in our own country’s abilities to overcome the homegrown inequities of our own people.
Five years ago, the United States Supreme Court amended the Constitution of the United States to read, in part, from “we the people” to “we the corporations.” Today, a wide chasm in the population of this country is apparent when electing our representatives for government office. In 2012, the One Billion Dollars (total expended by all parties) in the general election proved that no campaign can be successful with small donations from the general public. Wealth plus the inequities caused by the Supreme Court’s actions extend well past federal elections, now morphing into our everyday lives.
As pointed out by the president in his state of the union address last week, the economic inequities of the top 5% versus the 95% affects a wide range of social issues including education, health care and the criminal justice system. These inequities are not only prevalent in the federal government but also ripple down to state and local levels.
Individuals advocating for a smaller, leaner government seem to have forgotten it is this government which helped finance the school systems they attended to get their educations. This “big government” either constructed or subsidized the roads they drive on.
Also, to claim that any person who is not working is “freeloading” is insidious! The vast majority of the people collecting either Social Security or Medicare- or both – paid into that system to support it. In the past, portions of the Social Security Administration’s funds were “borrowed” to support the federal government’s general budget. Ongoing tax “giveaways” to large corporations and the top wealthiest tier of our population stripped the general budget for funds necessary to repay Social Security’s “loans.” Social Security’s current need is for our political conservatives to agree to take the cap off of payroll contributions and arrange regular payments on the “loan” balance still owed by the federal treasury to the SSA. Further extension of Social Security’s life span will occur by raising the nation’s minimum wage as proposed by our president. Remember, management by the Social Security Administration has proven to be far more cost-effective than any of the private for-profit retirement plans available!
Every study that has been done on our education system proves that the wide range of inequities in income of the parents has a direct effect on the outcome of the student. Those children who live in low-income communities typically attend poorly funded schools. Added to this black mark is the fact that many of those students are undernourished and go to school hungry. That causes a lack of concentration which produces poor grades. This unfortunate situation gives a student no opportunity to gain a higher education. It does, however, produce perpetual inequities in each generation’s quest to improve its social status.
In spite of the rhetoric from the Republicans, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has made a positive difference to millions of Americans. No documentation can be found to substantiate claims of its unworthiness. If, in fact, the ACA was poorly contrived, by now opponents should have a corrective plan to offer. To date, no such positive plan has been presented to us. Doing away with the ACA won’t benefit those currently insured. Simply stated, those millions of individuals will lose their health insurance.
To this writer, it is “befuddling” that Oklahoma’s governor should need the results of a two-year study to determine “how” to eliminate inequities in this state’s criminal justice system! In that two years, why not put in place a rehabilitation/probationary program for non-violent offenders, close the private institutions and begin to upgrade our Oklahoma not-for-profit facilities???

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