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Oklahoma recently felt the effects of the pending closing of the local General Motors plant, the corporate anchor of Wall Street. For years, it has been foreseeable that the inflated employees', directors' and CEO's benefits of GM would spell its demise. Today, as a result of the poor economic decisions and uncontrolled spending at GM, plants are closing and GM is on the verge of bankruptcy.
The American people should take heed that the uncontrolled spending of our present and future tax dollars will result in a devastating debt to be paid by our children, placing the United States in a position similar to GM's. The continued uncontrolled deficit spending by our elected officials will ultimately result in the U.S. being in the same hole as GM, resulting in years of digging to get out, if possible.
Two problems have contributed to the current situation that confronts the American people: 1) the two-party political system; and 2) our elected officials placing their personal reelection over doing that which is in the best interest of the "people." A political system that creates an atmosphere wherein our elected officials are compelled to vote for their political party's interests, rather than for that which is in the best interests of their constituents, is wrong. The will and best interests of the people should override the interests of any particular political party. The political climate in Washington is such that if the Republicans are for it, the Democrats are against it. Had our founding fathers been able to foresee the political situation as it exists today, there would have been an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that set forth "all Representatives, Senators, and the President shall be elected by the people based upon the candidates' personal beliefs and not by organized political affiliation."
The current war between the two political parties cares not about the best interests of the people, but only that which results in the proliferation of the interests of that particular political party, to hell with what is best for the people.
The second pressing problem is electing candidates whose number one goal is getting reelected and lining their pockets with taxpayers' dollars by saying that which will get their name in the newspaper. Going into Congress as a common man and coming out a millionaire, a lobbyist or on the board of directors of a Wall Street corporation should not be the norm. Politicians catering to large blocks of voters promising them the moon in order to get that particular block's vote is taking money out of one taxpayer's pocket to put in another's. Most citizens would like to have more retirement, more benefits, more vacation, yet someone has to work and pay for those benefits and privileges.
In the legal system there exists the scales of justice wherein the goal is to keep all things equal. In the political world, our politicians have created a world wherein a vacuum exists, sucking dollars from the citizen taxpayers and blowing the money into pet projects of the elected official for his benefit in getting re-elected. Every penny and dollar your elected official votes to give away comes out of your, the citizen taxpayer's, pocket.
The next great event in American history will be the class-action bankruptcy suit of the American taxpayer, who finally revolts and says, "I cannot afford to pay any more. I refuse to pay for the bridge to nowhere or for the study of the sex habits of bats." The time is close when instead of dumping tea into Boston harbor, we will dump the Republican and Democratic parties and say enough is enough. Elect our officials on what they stand for and not on the basis of who controls the political puppet strings.
Fred J. Shaeffer is a Norman attorney.
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