The Edmond Sun


January 22, 2013

'Spender in chief' begins second term

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Obama spent the last press briefing of his first term lecturing Congress to “pay the bills they have already racked up.” “They” is a curious choice of pronoun for a president who has accumulated more debt than any chief executive in history.

The year President Obama was elected, the annual deficit was $459 billion.  His first year in office brought the first $1 trillion deficit in U.S. history — followed by the next three. The president must think it a coincidence that a Congress that had never produced a trillion-dollar deficit before suddenly generated four in a row — one for each year of his tenure. Under the Obama administration, the national debt has ballooned from $11 trillion and 70 percent of GDP to $16.4 trillion and 105 percent of GDP.

The president’s posture as a bystander helpless to control a rogue Congress on a spending rampage is severely undermined by the facts. President Obama’s first major act as president was to pass a “stimulus” bill with a price tag of almost $1 trillion. Although not a single Republican in the House voted for the bill, Democratic super majorities in both chambers of Congress pushed the stimulus into law. In spite of vigorous protests by the American people, Obamacare was forced through Congress via the same process.  White House claims that the policy would cost a staggering $840 billion have been dispelled by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that Obamacare will actually cost a projected $1.9 trillion and force between 3 million and 5 million Americans out of their employer-provided health insurance.

Fed up with out-of-control spending and government expansion, the American people made a change. The 2010 midterm elections decisively ended Democratic control of the House and put a record number of conservatives in office. But while the balance of power in Congress changed, President Obama’s spending philosophy did not. His most recent budget proposal in 2012 called for $47 trillion of spending over 10 years and would actually have increased the national debt to $25.9 trillion by 2022.

If this seems like the behavior of a president unaware of the grave threat posed by government spending, it is. During the December negotiations over the fiscal cliff, the president reportedly stated, “We don’t have a spending problem.” This is a stunning declaration from the elected official with the most power — and responsibility — to lead America out of a catastrophic debt crisis in the making.

After four years of failed fiscal policy from his administration, it should be no surprise that the president is now calling for a blank check to raise the debt ceiling with no spending cuts attached. President Obama claims he won’t even discuss the debt ceiling with Congress. He’ll get no objection from a Democratic Senate that hasn’t even passed a budget in nearly four years, but the Republican House is another story.

House Republicans — and the American people — understand that we do indeed have a spending problem. While conservatives in Congress opposed the massive debt increases President Obama has accumulated, we do have a duty as a co-equal branch of government to clean up the mess. We will exercise that duty in the the coming months.

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

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  • 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


The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
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