EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a continuing series of stories about candidates seeking the 5th District Congressional seat. GOP candidates include Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, state Rep. Shane Jett, state Sen. Clark Jolley, former state Sen. Steve Russell, former congressional aide Harvey Sparks, and state Rep. Mike Turner.
Democrats running for the 5th District include former UCO professor Tom Guild of Edmond; state Sen. Al McAffrey of Oklahoma City; and Leona Leonard, chair of the Seminole County Democratic Party. The three Independent candidates running for the 5th District include Tom Boggs who currently lives in Thailand, Buddy Ray of Edmond, and Robert Murphy of Norman.
Voters will nominate their party’s candidates on June 24 for the statewide primary election. A run-off primary election is set for Aug. 26. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.
The conservative values that persuaded voters to elect state Sen. Clark Jolley to the state Legislature 10 years ago have not changed, he said. Jolley will bring the same values to Washington, D.C., if voters elect him to the Congressional 5th District, he said.
More people today are moving to Oklahoma from Texas than vice versa, Jolley said. State government is solving problems, he added. So what the federal government needs is a lot of Oklahoma common sense solutions, said Jolley, R-Edmond.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re balancing the budget — something that Oklahoma is required to do,” Jolley said. “That’s a painful exercise. … But it’s a better course of action than seeing the federal government just print money.”
Reckless federal spending puts not only future generations at risk, but also today’s living generations, because of austerity measures Americans will have to face if the federal government does not change its direction, Jolley said.
“I think you also look at Oklahoma as it relates to taxes,” Jolley said. “We have stimulated growth in our economy by changing our tax structure. And it’s something we need to get done in Washington, D.C.”
Politicians with differing views in the House and Senate, along with President Barack Obama at his State of the Union address, have talked about making the corporate income tax more competitive with other industrialized nations, Jolley said.
“They’ve been saying this repeatedly for years, and years, and years,” Jolley said. “Why haven’t we gotten it done? We have not seen that — something everybody can agree on.”
What Americans have seen is more inaction, Jolley said. So he can either keep griping or go to Washington, D.C. and try to change the status quo so that his children have a chance at economic prosperity, Jolley continued.
“If we don’t make those changes, then I fear for what type of country that we will leave them,” Jolley said.
Jolley’s 10 years of accomplishments in the state Senate have moved government in the right direction, he said, with legal reforms, tax and spending reforms.
“I’ve also been integral in trying to put restrictions in the growth of state government spending,” he said. “And on the balanced budget, I’ve played a key role.”
The national debt of $17.5 trillion keeps blossoming because Obama keeps trying to be all things to all people, Jolley said. He recalls when President Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over.
The era of big government had not met Barack Obama, Jolley said.
“We need to stop lessening our spending,” Jolley said. “I’m not talking about a Washington, D.C. style cut, where you cut spending by not increasing it as much as you were going to. We need to hold the line on spending and, we need to cut spending.”
Focus must be placed on preserving core functions of governmental responsibilities such as a strong national defense, Jolley said. The protection of men and women in uniform is essential, he said.
“At the same time, we don’t need to be expanding social government programs such as Obamacare that will bankrupt a lot of businesses and states,” Jolley said. “We can’t afford the burden. Neither can the federal government.”
Less federal spending must be enacted and continue until the fiscal house of the federal government is in order, he said.
“We need to then responsibly provide for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to make sure the Congresses down the line — once all of us are dead and gone — can’t spend like drunken sailors again.”
Most people would agree that during times of war, there is a need to provide for the nation’s defense, Jolley said. That may be a limited exception to deficit spending, he said.
“But we’re not in a time of war right now that requires us to be deficit spending,” Jolley said. “We are deficit spending today to provide for people in ways they need to be providing for themselves, and that the private sector needs to provide for themselves.”
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