When I read the December 13th front-page Durant Daily Democrat article “Tax cuts exacerbating bust-driven budget crisis in Oklahoma” about Oklahoma’s Republican Governor and Legislators’ policy of cutting taxes and cutting budgets ruining everything in the state, I had to agree. Now, the Board of Equalization has announced a $900 million budget hole for 2017. And 2016 already has “automatic budget cuts to schools, health care and other state agencies.” This situation makes me both sad and angry.
At the same time, I started thinking: This funding disaster is not just a problem with Republicans. This isn’t the first time Republicans have caused economic problems. And Democrats have caused their share of problems, too. Neither of our major parties always does everything right, and both do some things wrong.
Then, why do we have two (or more sometimes) political parties? So that when one party is doing big wrong as the Republicans are doing now, we can use our votes and throw them out.
Sometimes, complaints about confederate flags, gay rights, abortion, and Ten Commandment monuments push other matters out of mind.
Yet, as important as those complaints are, they don’t help or hurt us the way tax cuts and budget cuts do. If we continue to have droves of well-educated teachers leaving the state and poorly trained substitutes filling in, if we continue to have the potholes getting bigger and the bridges crumbling, if wages keep falling and more hard-working people keep going hungry and even homeless and getting no help, we won’t spend much time worrying about who marries who or why someone flies a certain flag.
Yes, Democrats make mistakes, and Republicans make mistakes. This time, it’s the Republicans making the big mistake—a really big mistake. And it’s high time we voters stand up to them with our votes and throw them out—and give some fresh new Legislators and Governor a chance to begin the long chore of repairing what the Republicans have ruined.