According to the experts, Oklahoma can probably expect about $2.6 billion or so as our part of the economic stimulus package which was passed by Congress and sent to President Obama.

Now, just for a moment, close your eyes and think about that number — $2.6 billion. OK, I’ll give you the fact that $2.6 billion probably doesn’t buy as much as it used to. But that’s a helluva big number.

Consider, too, that our state’s total budget is roughly, say, $7 billion; that $2.6 billion is close to a third. So what we have is the United States government writing us Sooners a check for almost one-third of our state’s budget.

Money, that will hopefully, help jump-start our economy and begin the process of pulling us out of a recession.

Here’s the rub — all this was done without the help of most of our Congressional delegation. Yes, four of our five Congressmen and both our United States Senators voted no on the stimulus bill.

They labeled it excess spending. They called it pork. They vilified and pontificated and generally, tried to paint the bill as the first sign of the Apocalypse.

We’ve also been told that Oklahoma’s economy is, somehow, exempt from all these problems facing the other 49 states. Somehow, we of the Land of the Red Man, don’t have to worry.

We are immune.

We are untouchable.

We are insane.

With state lawmakers looking at a $600 million hole, companies laying off people left and right, and the state’s housing market taking a nose dive, Oklahomans need to realize we have the same problems as the rest of the nation.

And it’s disingenuous for the residents of this state to talk about how bad the stimulus package is as they mail their request for stimulus funds. Mayors in almost every city and town across the state burned the midnight oil to provide a list of “shovel ready” projects to federal officials in the hope of snagging some stimulus funds.

Those were the same mayors who proudly announced they voted for the other guy. Or, even better, tried to paint Mr. Obama as something to the left of Satan.

That’s wrong.

The fact remains the whole country (and that includes this funky little state with the weird shape, too) is in trouble. And at least a few people are trying to do something about it.

Sure, it’s easy to complain and it’s much easier to criticize.

It’s much more difficult to govern.

There have been may times in the past few years that I’ve been proud of our congressional delegation. Today isn’t one of them.

Today, I’m disappointed.

Because you can rest assured that the ink on the stimulus bill won’t even be dry before one of them sends this newspaper a press release touting some project being built with federal funds in their district.

Projects which they voted against.

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