The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 20, 2012

Candidates debate debt, entitlement programs

DEL CITY — Congressman James Lankford encouraged folks to pray for lawmakers in Washington, D.C., as much as they gripe about the nation’s leaders.

The biggest issue facing the United States is not its $16 trillion debt but that there is not a plan to get out of it, said Lankford, a member of the budget committee.

“We are a nation that will not recover from this quickly, and without God’s help, it will not be the same,” Lankford said. “With His help, we will recover and we will be sustained. So I ask for you sincerely to pray for us in the days ahead.”

Democrat Tom Guild of Edmond as well as two Independent candidates, Pat Martin of Jones and Norman resident Robert T. Murphy, are each trying to unseat Republican Lankford in his re-election bid to Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District. Voters will decide on Nov. 6.

The candidates spoke Friday at a Del City forum sponsored by the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the American Federation of Government Employees. Guild has the endorsement of the American Federation of Government Employees.

A lot of people in Washington have tremendous spiritual needs, Lankford said.

“There’s not a day that goes by when we don’t walk into somebody with some issue, to say, ‘This is part of the reason I’m here,’” Lankford said.

Guild said he wanted to make it clear that he believes in the separation of church and state.

“I think government should be government and religion should be religion,” Guild said.

A former Republican, Martin said he bases his decisions on methodology instead of ideology. He votes for what works, not the political party that suggested it, he said.

“I support Social Security and I do not support its privatization. Medicare is the same way,” Martin said. “But one cannot ignore the fact that we have a $16 trillion debt.”

Both Lankford and Martin said they believe in living within their means. Lankford said it’s not practical to ask for a car loan without a plan to pay off that loan.

“If I sit down and I have a budget problem, and I realize I’ve got more money going out than I have coming in — I begin to make cuts,” Martin said. “But I don’t just start sweeping cuts across the board. I examine what I can do differently to minimize the increased burden I put upon myself.”

Taxpayer benefits are being reduced dramatically while Congress does little to address waste, mismanagement and redundancy, Martin said.

Lankford praised Congress for passing a transportation and highway bill this session. The bill provides more local decision making, he said. Congress had been depending on short-term extensions to fund highways. A decision is now made by the state if a project costs $5 million or less, Lankford said.

“You can’t plan construction of highways six month at a time. That’s a long-term project,” said Lankford, a member of the transportation conference committee.

The 112th Congress with a 10 percent approval rating has passed fewer laws than any Congress since 1947, Guild said. Martin said the IRS has a better approval rating than Congress.

Lankford voted in favor of sequestering funds for automatic budget cuts of about $1.2 trillion, divided between defense and social programs, Guild pointed out.

“Well now the chickens have come home to roost,” Guild said. “Sen. Inhofe and Sen. Coburn have actively complained about this.”

The House is unlikely to pass an appropriations bill by October after taking a five-week vacation and designated to be in session for only eight days in September.

Guild faulted Lankford for what Guild described as an effort to privatize Social Security, a program that seniors have depended upon for 77 years.

“I want you to know I will fight with every fiber in my body to make sure Social Security is never privatized,” Guild said.

He also criticized Lankford for voting for Wisconsin Republican and vice presidential hopeful, Rep. Paul Ryan’s, 2011 and 2012 budget plan, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, a plan that Guild pointed out closes the donut hole for seniors with prescription drugs and provides free prevention care.

“We need to fire this Congress. Start over. Get rid of the polarization. Get the business of the American people done,” Guild said. “And we need to vote like our lives and health depend on it because they do.”

Murphy is for keeping down the cost of living for working man by opposing central banking, he said. The federal government is printing too much money, he said, while blaming the federal government for inflating currency.

“We need the United States government and most of the states’ governments to go bankrupt so we can start over,” Murphy said. | 341-2121, ext. 114

Text Only
Local News
  • Boston 1 Arcadia man, 80, prepares for 111th marathon

    A year ago, Arcadia resident Tom Briggs was well into the Boston Marathon course when he heard runners nearby talking about an incident up ahead.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Anne Josette Hill Police seek teen last seen in Edmond-north OKC area

    The family of a missing teenage girl made a plea to the public Friday to help them find the Casady honors student.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-19 Calendar

    For information about Edmond senior programs, stop by and pick up a monthly calendar, check out the website at or call 216-7600. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and reservations are needed a day in advance by 11 a.m. For lunch reservations, call 330-6293 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    April 19, 2014

  • UCO plans Earth Day Fair

    The University of Central Oklahoma invites the community to celebrate sustainability with its Earth Day Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 22 in locations throughout Central’s campus.
    The fair kicks off at 10 a.m. around Broncho Lake with exhibitions from local businesses, state agencies and student organizations. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about its environmental mission and message.

    April 19, 2014

  • UCO School of Music closes semester with concert series

    The University of Central Oklahoma School of Music will wrap up its instrumental performance season with three concerts featuring Central students April 29 through May 1 at Mitchell Hall Theater located on the UCO campus.    

    April 19, 2014

  • Fine Arts 1 Auction benefits Fine Arts Institute

    The Spring Sampler dinner and auction event April 12 at Oak Tree Country Club benefitted the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Kaiser joins Thunder ownership group

    Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors as a new partner in The Professional Basketball Club LLC, which owns the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder Chairman and CEO Clayton I. Bennett made the announcement Friday. Kaiser is purchasing the ownership interest of Tom L. Ward.
    “We are honored to welcome George Kaiser as a member of the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Bennett said. “George is a well-respected and important Oklahoma business leader, as well as one of the state and nation’s top philanthropists. His commitment to successful business and community leadership is in true alignment with that of the Thunder.
    “I also appreciate the commitment and leadership provided by Tom Ward as a member of our ownership group from the beginning,” Bennett added.

    April 18, 2014

  • Literally, books come to life for club

    When some of the women at Touchmark at Coffee Creek got together to form a book club, they didn’t know it would be so much fun and become such an important part of their lives.
    The group of about a dozen residents gets together monthly to not only discuss the assigned novel, memoir or classic, but also to immerse themselves in the setting and culture of the book. There is no limit to their creativity.

    April 18, 2014

  • pink.jpg Local children win Edmond Sun Easter coloring contest

    Two local children were named winners of The Edmond Sun’s Easter coloring contest. At left, Madsion Porter, 4, daughter of Tracy Porter, won a princess Easter basket, which included a tiara, tea set, stuffed bunny rabbit and chocolate rabbit. At right, BriAnna Harbaugh, 9, daughter of Leslie Haubaugh, won a Hello Kitty Easter basket, containing art supplies, a Hello Kitty stuffed animal and a chocolate bunny.  The families also received a three-month subscription to The Edmond Sun. For your own subscription to The Edmond Sun, visit, call 341-2121, or visit 123 S. Broadway.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • jc_HarveySparks.jpg Pastor seeks congressional seat

    Working in the Congressional 1st District office of Congressman Jim Bridenstine was an eye opener for Harvey Sparks, he said. His analytical exposure to Congress has sparked his drive to run for the Congressional 5th District of Oklahoma, said Sparks, R-Oklahoma City.
    Sparks has been a pastor for the majority of his professional life. Sixteen months ago, he was asked by 1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine to come work in his Washington, D.C., office. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters and a son, ages 10-3.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results