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The Conservative View - Absolute power

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STILWELL, Okla. -- There is an old saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I have come to believe that it doesn’t make any difference which political party that one belongs to. In the recent special session of the Oklahoma legislature if it were not for State Question 640, we Oklahomans would have been saddled with the biggest tax increase in state history.

I happen to be very familiar with the events that brought about SQ 640 and the need for it.

Before the voters approved SQ640 the Democrats were in charge of state government, they were the dominant political power since statehood. Like many groups before them, they had established themselves as head of the political class, and they became so self-important they didn’t care about the problems and concerns that the average hard working taxpayer had to deal with. The average man was all but forgotten, and if you didn’t belong to some organization or group that had the money to lobby our lawmakers you were SOL.

Taxes were passed over the objections of the average man; all the legislature was concerned with was how much money could be extracted from them. Finally, the average man had enough and we carried petitions to get SQ 640 on the ballot. The legislature had lost the trust of the people and we said with a loud voice that there would be no new taxes without a vote of the people, and if it became necessary the legislature could pass new taxes with a 75 percent vote.

Even after we approved SQ 640 the legislature was still intent on sticking it to the people by changing the word "tax" to "fee." For years, fees have been increased on everything imaginable. Instead of the liberal tax and spend philosophy, we Oklahomans decided to take a conservative path and give the Republican Party control.

I am a registered Republican, but I am a conservative first. I want to make it very clear that there are some great conservatives in the state legislature, but it is a sad fact that even though many may be registered Republican, they are definitely not conservative.

For the most part, they are no better than the Democrats they replaced. The Republicans have completely squandered their chance to improve our state.

Over the past several sessions they have raised fees on everything imaginable, passed an illegal fee on cigarettes, and tried to pass the biggest tax increase in state history. Now, some of our so-called conservatives want to lower the 75 percent number to 60 percent, while doing next to nothing to audit all government spending. I am not ready for any new taxes until a thorough audit is done with the money we are already paying. Too many of our Republicans have been infected with the arrogance that absolute power brings.

We the voters are also to blame; we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated with slick marketing campaigns that are, for the most part, paid for by special interest groups with deep pockets.

We have elected far too many people who have never run a business or made a payroll and who cannot comprehend what it is to skimp out a living. If we ever need proof that we need SQ 640 just look at the mess our so-called conservative Republicans have made in our state legislature. I urge everyone to stay informed on the attempts to weaken 640; we got it in because of the mistrust of the Democrats and need to keep it in due to the arrogance of the Republicans.    

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About the Author

Russell Turner
Russell Turner was born in Tahlequah Oklahoma and has lived his entire life in rural Adair...
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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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