Today is March 24th and the State Legislature has failed to appropriately address the Financial situation of our State. The educators are demanding a pay Raise, the state employees are demanding a pay raise. The state infrastructure is in dire need of repair. Roads Bridges and Highways are deteriorating to a questionable state of safety. I will stop with the Doom and Gloom.
First, I want it to be know that I do not expect the government to “FIX” everything and supply us with all our needs. What I do expect from our elected officials, also known as “Public Servants”, is to serve the Public and be consistently efficient. What were the Priorities of this session? As I see it the following should have been done in order.
- Balance the Budget for FY 2018 and FY 2019. The “How” is the hard part. With a decrease in revenue that has caused a huge shortfall for the past 2 years, it is irresponsible to continue to think that cutting the budget is the only way to fix the issue. It would more prudent to eliminate waste in the government. That would solve part of the problem but not all. To put everything back (referring to crucial services) and fully fund the necessary programs, there must be a dramatic increase in revenue. This must be done judiciously with prudence and care. Raising Personal State Income Tax is not an option. Raising State sales Tax is not a great option but may be needed. What other revenue sources are there? Gross Production Tax Would hit our largest source of revenue. That is the problem with a single source economy. We need to seek more industry and make it more diverse. While the increasing of taxes would be contradictory if we were able to increase the tax base we could Lower Personal Income Tax or even become a “No Personal Income Tax” state. That would put more money in the consumers pocket and make the state more enticing to new industries. Alternative energy is a hot market and incentives to bring more into the state would also increase the base corporately.
- Clean up the Department of Human Services: reduce the amount of fraud of state services. Complete the reduction of welfare dependency that was started. Stop paying benefits to undocumented aliens. Enforce the laws as written!
- Reform the corrections system to cut down overcrowding and work diligently to enforce the current laws.
- Current Laws need to be reviewed and excessive regulation can impede progress. Have Law’s that are duplicate are impractical and redundant. Example; trying to regulate common sense are impractical. Making it illegal to texted and drive is already covered by the Law of “Failure to devote full time and attention”. The latter could be used for the wide abuse by anyone that is doing something other than paying attention to driving. i.e.: eating while driving, texting while driving talking on cell phone while driving, putting on makeup, shaving, reading a book, newspaper or anything else while driving. As I said common sense. I think the most important fact is that we need to enforce what is already on the books. Reduce the confusion by not attempting to legislate common sense. “Slower traffic keep right is an excellent example of correctly making the driver aware that driving below the speed limit in the left lane is not legal. Why make it necessary to make signs saying, “Do Not Impede Traffic in The Left Lane”.
These are just some examples of Prioritizing and using common sense to legislate and run the government. That would be in an ideal world. The biggest stumbling block is Politics. Democrats, republican, independent, Tea Party. Are labels just as Liberal and Conservative. Who cares about what party gets credit when the Body does what is best for the people not just some people but all people. Enforcing the Laws that are on the books efficiently and fairly.
Just a thought Oklahoma