Immoral Republican Budget

Rich Republicans United Against Education

House Speaker Todd Hiett (R-Kellyville) and the Republicans have come out with their budget proposal for this year, and it speaks volumes about the immoral right-wing agenda.

Satirical photograph of Todd Hiett

The budget proposal, if enacted, would continue giving back tax dollars to the richest people in the state while ensuring teachers here have the lowest salaries in the nation. This so-called conservative “philosophy” has kept our state mired in mediocrity for years.

Under the House Republican budget, the state’s income tax rate would be cut from 6.25 to 4.9, and teachers on 12-month contracts would get a paltry $100 a month raise, a raise surely cancelled out by rising health insurance and retirement costs.

The flat-rate, income tax cut favors the rich. If you make $18,000 a year, you will get a $243 break. If you make $30,000 you will get a $405 break. If you make $150,000 a year, you will get a $2,025 break. If you make $500,000 a year, you will get a $6,750 break.

The tax cuts for the middle-class and under will be a zero net gain because of increased living expensive under Republican domination, including rising energy costs and college tuition.

Why not cut taxes to only people making $100,000 and under? The ultra-rich have had their share of tax cuts in recent years in immoral Bush America, and wages remain stagnant for middle-class people as energy prices rise. People in this income group would almost certainly spend their extra money in the local economy.

In addition, we could also drastically reduce or abolish taxes for people with incomes near minimum wage. Again, this new money would almost certainly go into the local economy.

Meanwhile, the teacher salary issue will persist until this state truly commits itself to raising wages to simple “average” regional or, better yet, national levels. The state Senate passed a bill giving teachers a $3,000 a year raise, but Hiett and other House Republicans think that is too much.

Surplus revenues this year make the time exactly right to give teachers a halfway decent raise for once. Teachers leave this state in droves for higher paying jobs elsewhere because Oklahoma has the absolute lowest teacher salaries in the nation.

Tattoos Get A Vote

A House measure legalizing tattoos has passed out of committee and will get a full vote. The state Senate has already passed a similar measure, so if the House does approve it, tats will finally be legal here.

The symbolism of “illegal tattoos” has hurt this state in immeasurable ways. It tells everyone our state is weird and backwoods. House members need to change this symbolism and embrace the creativity and artistry of tattoo art.

This is hardly a make or break election issue for any legislator. Those that oppose this measure are just acting silly or doing that “special,” freaky Oklahoma religious ritual for other fundamentalist fanatics. “Heathen, ye shall be cast in the bowels of hell for thine tattoo!” What rubbish! How do these lunatics get elected?

Oklahomans Behind On Mortgage Payments

Oklahoma is the fifth-worst state in past-due mortgage payments and home foreclosures have tripled in four years, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

In addition, wages are stagnant for the middle-class and living expenses and health costs are skyrocketing. Employment opportunities will be dismal in Oklahoma as displaced workers from General Motors scramble for available jobs. Bankruptcies are up here. Interest rates are rising.

This is the real story about the Oklahoma and the American economy. The Bush administration and elements of the mainstream media are lying about the economy when they report it is booming.

It is true ultra-rich people are doing great these days. But finances are worse for the average Oklahoman, and they will continue to get worse as long as a majority of state resident’s tie their “feelings” about their bank accounts to how well the rich are doing. Why do people hate themselves so much? What psychological demons haunt those people who support lower salaries for themselves and more tax breaks for the rich?

Massachusetts recently passed a law that would give every state resident health insurance. In Oklahoma, a state with one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the country, we honor the rich and hate the poor. Many here base this ideology on “true Christianity,” and they really believe it, and it is frightening and repulsive.