The Edmond Sun

Opinion

January 24, 2014

Continuity of government and your money

ARCADIA — The people of Oklahoma delegated various responsibilities to government, which include their health, safety and general welfare.

Last year almost 40 percent of our state budget came from the federal government to the tune of roughly $8.2 billion. This has put Oklahoma at risk to the sometimes violent swings of the national government policy in Washington, D.C. But what would happen if those violent policy swings were permanent? What would happen if Washington, D.C., could no longer fund 40 percent of our budget? I don’t think this is an unreasonable question.

Last year, the legislature addressed this question by asking each state agency to create a budget that would anticipate a 25 percent decrease in federal funding. Unfortunately HB 1917 introduced by Speaker T.W. Shannon, which passed by wide margins in the House and Senate, was vetoed by the governor.

I believe it is important to prepare for any number of threats to our state by providing continuity of government and preparing individuals to take care of themselves, their families, neighbors and businesses.

The problem is big; the federal government is broke and broken. At this moment, we are at a staggering $17 trillion in debt.

Last year alone the federal government took in a record $2.8 trillion but still needed to borrow almost a trillion dollars still just to fund day-to-day operations. Remember, that’s borrowing $1 trillion over a 365 day period. I think we can all agree this is a problem and it is unsustainable.  

What we don’t know is how much money we Oklahomans send Washington, D.C., each year. We are unclear how much money the federal government spends in overhead expenses each year. Add to that the state Legislature doesn’t even know how much money is actually sent to Oklahoma each year.

Oklahomans and legislators should know that before appropriating money to state agencies; that’s our job and why we are elected.

This raises many troubling questions as a legislator.

Why doesn’t federal matching money go through the regular appropriations process for everyone to see? Second, do state agencies have fund balances or carryover money from previous budgets? If so where do they hold fund balances between budget years? What accountability, oversight or transparency protects taxpayer money?

Next, does any of the federal money received by Oklahoma consist of “borrowed” money? Is the money taken from another state or the federal reserve private bank? If so, this money and lack of appropriation may skirt several sections of the Oklahoma Constitution such as Sections X-16, X-23, V-33 and V-55.

Last, why is the federal government returning money to the state? Shouldn’t we be sending them only what is needed as per the Enumerated Powers of Article I., Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution? Do we have so much money we can afford to pay the much higher cost of doing business in Washington, D.C., and accept far less money in return, than if we had kept it? Let’s do the work ourselves and keep Oklahomans' money in Oklahoma.   

REP. LEWIS MOORE, R-Arcadia, represents House District 96.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • 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

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

  • For better politics, it’s time for some raging moderates

    Like more than 20 percent of my fellow Californians, I am now classified as a no-party-preference voter, registered to vote but with no affiliation to any of the state’s political parties.
    I am for lower taxes and for marriage equality. I am tough on crime and I am anti-abortion. I believe that a pathway to citizenship is a necessary part of immigration reform and that student test scores should be a critical component of teacher evaluations.

    July 15, 2014

  • Father on mission to stop gun violence

    Since his son died six weeks ago as collateral damage to a troubled young man’s wish for vengeance, Richard Martinez has been asked whom he holds responsible.
    “I’m responsible,” the California lawyer answers, referring to most Americans’ failure to push harder to change gun laws after earlier mass shootings. “All those kids died and none of us did anything.”

    July 14, 2014

Poll

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

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results