The Edmond Sun


January 3, 2014

Time to get back to the lawful basics

EDMOND — We need to start asking and answering the tough questions. What can we do as a nation to decrease the $17 trillion in debt? To bring a congressional budget process back under control so we can move our states in the right direction? To make our own state budget process transparent so citizens can see every tax dollar?

The argument shouldn’t be about raising the debt ceiling another $1 or $2 trillion dollars — as if that’s small potatoes.

Washington D.C. seems willing to live in an “Alice in Wonderland” scenario where you charge all you can and when you have maxed out your credit limit, you simply ask for another increase on the credit card. After all, the money will come; it always has before.

This year we taxed citizens to a record amount. “What, me worry?”

In the real world — and Oklahomans certainly know this — you have to stop the bleeding. Right now, those in charge in Washington D.C. are just playing politics with the debt. Borrowing more, printing more and anesthetizing the voters so they don’t feel the pain. There is an economic philosophy that says government debt is needed to jumpstart an economy when times are tough. During the last five years since the near meltdown of 2008, the federal government has borrowed roughly $7 trillion just to pay its bills and pump government spending into the economy — and it hasn’t worked.

Now, we are in a hole and there is no surplus “ladder.” No, it’s just more debt as far as the eye can see. Even in our state, there are elected officials calling for more debt in the form of bonds. Make no mistake about it: bond issues are just another form of debt that needs to be paid back by someone.

Now it could be the D.C. career politicians just wanting to dig in our pockets a little deeper. Do just a little more social engineering, tinker with liberty and walk on the ledge a little higher. I say let’s take charge of our future. Why wait?

We have to be honest with ourselves.

Americans have always risen to the occasion to overcome unbelievable odds and this is certainly one of those times. This can be a time of incredible bonding. Each person, family, our neighborhoods, cities, counties and states, will need to band together to solve this crisis.

Oklahomans have shown a great capacity for handling tough times and challenges. We may very well need to lead this country out of the wilderness.

We must have a clear and concise plan that is communicated and understood.

There will be pain, but the pain of recovery is better than the pain of doom.

Leaders must emerge at this perilous moment. We find out what kind of people we have in office during times like these. Will bold and decisive leadership emerge? Time will tell, but I assure you that as Chairman of the House of Representatives States’ Rights Committee, I will leave no stone unturned or any program insulated.

REP. LEWIS MOORE represents District 96.

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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.

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