The Edmond Sun


March 3, 2014

President’s budget a disappointment

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last month, President Obama filed his annual budget blueprint for fiscal year 2015. While the contents of his proposal have been a major topic of discussion in the news since then, its official release on March 4 will determine the next steps for lawmakers, who must work together to ultimately find a common agreement.

Upon filing his funding recommendations for next year, it was revealed that the president intends to abandon his previous efforts to cut spending and reform entitlements. In particular, we’ve discovered that the president has chosen to ignore his previously recommended changes to cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other programs that Republicans supported. I am deeply disappointed that President Obama has chosen to release a budget that ignores our nation’s sobering fiscal reality, abandons his own promises and fails to put real ideas on the table.

In addition, we recently learned that the president intends to drastically change the force structure of our military. Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel revealed structural changes to the Department of Defense. Among many of the proposed changes, the Army would see a reduction from 522,000 soldiers to between 450,000 and 490,000; the Army National Guard would see a reduction from 355,000 to 335,000 by 2017. These are staggering numbers.

Whether we chose to be or not, America is the “cop on the beat” around the world. The strength of our presence and military readiness speaks to both our enemies and allies. When our military is weak, our nation is seen as a target by our enemies and less stable or dependable to our allies. Making our military weaker inevitably makes the world more dangerous and runs the risk of increasing the number and severity of conflicts around the globe.

No amount of technology or restructuring can compensate for the massive hole the president intends to make in our nation’s military. Under the administration’s proposed military budget, America’s forces would experience the greatest downsizing since World War II and no longer be able to sustain prolonged stability operations. Expecting that the world is safe enough to justify such changes shows just how little the president understands the use of deterrence and the strategic importance of a robust military.

With these proposed changes to our military, the president would leave America militarily weaker than he found it. If enacted, the president’s proposal would place America and the men and women who serve it in uniform at great risk in the years ahead. His proposal would limit the options available to his successors and increase the dangers we face as a nation. In the months ahead, I hope Congress chooses to reject the president’s recommended funding strategy for the defense budget by maintaining our force levels and keeping faith with the members of our armed forces and their families. 

In the coming days, as we unpack all the proposed items in the president’s budget, beyond changes to defense and addressing entitlements, I hope that we can work together to find common ground that serves the best interests of our nation.

U.S. REP. TOM COLE, R-Moore, represents Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District.

Text Only
  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014


If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results