The Edmond Sun

June 3, 2013

Oklahoma cannot stand alone

Erma Stewart
Special to The Sun

EDMOND — To the Editors:

President Obama visited Oklahoma on Sunday. He assured us that Oklahoma would receive every support needed to rebuild after our devastating storm. Gov. Fallin told reporters that she would “hold his feet to the fire.” Ask the people of Missouri or in New Jersey if the president needs to have his feet held to the fire!

This was the second time for President Obama to visit Oklahoma. In March of 2012, no Oklahoma top official greeted our president. Choosing to snub our president, Gov. Mary Fallin left for a family vacation in Puerto Rico and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb attended a conference in Washington. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett did greet the president on his arrival at Tinker Air Force Base. Thank you, Mayor Cornett, for your respect and sense of protocol!

Our Republican state seems to wish to denigrate and to show disrespect toward our government and toward our president. Despite our attitude toward government, Oklahoma receives $1.36 for every $1 paid in federal taxes. Oklahoma receives more than Oklahoma pays in federal taxes. 

Gov. Fallin has refused to accept Affordable Care Act federal funds to help provide medical insurance to Oklahoma’s most needy. However, with the current disaster, Gov. Fallin quickly applied for federal dollars to help Oklahoma rebuild. And we are glad that she did so. We just wonder at the hypocrisy.

Oklahoma senators, Sen. Tom Coburn and Sen. Jim Inhofe, both voted against federal aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. To try to justify this inhumanity while wanting help for Oklahoma, they say that IF aid is given to Oklahoma, it must be offset with deductions from other sources. They did not name these “offset” sources.

Despite the Oklahoma complaints about how bad our federal government is and not wanting to pay our federal taxes, our communities are delighted to receive federal dollars for a new traffic light or for walking trails at Arcadia Lake. Most assuredly, we want those federal dollars for drought, flooding, storms. We should be grateful to pay our taxes and unashamed to accept those federal dollars in times of need.

Oklahoma should stop its hypocrisy and accept that we are a part of the larger community of the United States of America. As President Obama said, “It’s because of those past experiences in places like New Jersey and Missouri that I have faith that Moore will emerge from the wreckage of this tornado stronger than ever. And that’s in part because I know that they won’t undertake the road to recovery alone. This was a national tragedy, and that demands a national response.”

Oklahoma should be proud to be a participant in our national community.


Erma Stewart