Does driving down a government road funded by taxpayers mean we’ve become addicted to socialism?
That seems to be a point of Tom Daxon, a former state auditor and inspector, who recently published a commentary piece for an Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs publication. In the article, which The Oklahoman editorial page argued “makes for thought-provoking reading,” Daxon rehashes the conservative mantra about government and echoes the Tea Party rants.
Here’s some of those thought-provoking words from the article:
Meanwhile, we seem to have become addicted to socialism. Some say President Obama is in the embrace of socialism. Perhaps we ourselves have become overly fond of socialist programs. We travel on government roads and occasionally government trains. We send our kids to government schools and attend government colleges. More of us are getting our health care through government-funded programs and even at government-run facilities from government employees.
Are we getting too comfortable in a potentially destructive relationship?
Does Daxon really believe we’re heading towards socialism? Really? So the argument here is we should make all roads private and let corporations charge us as much money as they can when we drive to work and take the kids to school?
OCPA is a right-wing think tank that tries to put an academic spin on what essentially amounts to conservative fear mongering and old-school, clichéd GOP dogma, but equating “travel on government roads” with socialism takes the prize for exaggeration and hyperbole.
Sort of riffing on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Daxon offers “50 ways to reduce our budget shortfall while lessening socialism’s embrace.” (Daxon makes sure we know Simon is a “political leftist.”)
The ideas are nothing more than a stale smorgasbord of typical conservative fare, which include privatization and more privatization, selling state properties, so-called tort reform, workers compensation reform and eliminating funding for OETA and the Oklahoma Arts Council. As he presents his ideas, Daxon makes sure he hits on all the GOP talking points. Here’s one referring to “ObamaCare”:
ObamaCare eventually will require almost everyone to purchase health insurance, but experience with auto liability insurance has shown that a mandate to buy insurance may not be that effective.
So it’s no, no, no. We don’t want socialism’s embrace. We don’t want ObamaCare. Why doesn’t Daxon just put these ideas on some homemade signs and go to the next Tea Party rally at the Capitol?
To his credit, Daxon does argue the state should eliminate ineffective tax credits, an idea that has drawn some bipartisan support at the Capitol, but his ideas basically amount to this: Starve government of needed funds and reduce services for people
His arguments fail to thoroughly acknowledge how Oklahoma has consistently had low per-pupil spending rates or terrible medical outcome rates compared to the rest of the nation. What about the record-breaking number of people who are on food assistance in Oklahoma right now? Should we just let people starve? Instead, Daxon is concerned about the “drift back toward Europe.” Right. If we simply stop that drift, which is a fiction, then we can end hunger and improve our college graduation rate here.
Oklahoma faces a massive budget crisis for next year that will cause much human suffering in the months to come. We need less ranting about socialism and more discussions about immediate and realistic fixes to lessen the budget crisis in order to prevent permanent damage to the state’s educational and health and social services systems.