If you pay any attention to me at all, you know I have some pretty strong opinions and 744 is no different. In Oklahoma, education is the issue that no one is allowed to oppose and therefore the issue that is used to scam the people. The commercials for proposition 744 are fairly typical with scary music playing in the back ground showing kids losing to surround states. They do this in the form of football fans losing to Texas and then Missouri. Then they clarify that kids are not losing to other states in football but rather in education spending. I forgot the actual dollar amount but I think it was $1,600 per student. The commercial says that Oklahoma spends $1,600 per student less than surrounding states. What the commercial fails to do is what they always do when trying to get voters to vote for a fraudulent education bill is to omit how much money is spent on the generic term of “education”.
The political leaders in Oklahoma have made a science out of begging for money while telling voters to vote “Yes” for the kids. The voters ALWAYS vote yes and forfeit more of their money to help “the kids”. What most people miss though is that on the ballots they never earmark the money for kids but rather for education. Education is a buzz word like “reform” that is misused to deceive the voters. What the leaders have done is taken over many hospitals downtown like Presbyterian, children’s, etc and changed the name to “OU Medical Center”. This means that multiple hospitals now fall under the term “education” and so qualify for the money that people voted YES to increase spending. In other words, the commercials used children and sympathy for the children to make people feel guilty to motivate them to vote YES. The voter was duped into thinking he or she was helping the kids but really they were paying for the construction of many hospitals downtown. They were also paying for the construction the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. If you have been to either of these universities lately you will have noticed how they are now extravagant mansions.
I have noticed a patter with Oklahoma education initiatives using children to sell their proposition and then once they are passed, the children never see a dime of this money. Percentage wise, Oklahoma spends nearly double on education than any state around them. When someone like myself dares question this, they are often blown off and told that you cannot pay attention to percentages because Oklahoma is a poor state. They tell you that even though this state spends a higher percentage, it equates to lower dollar amount than say Texas. I reject this notion because they are playing the numbers game without looking at the whole picture. Of course 50 percent of 25 million people will be a larger number than our 3.5 million people. When you look at the per capita numbers of children, you cannot legitimately say we are spending less. You can make the argument that we are spending less “ON” the children but not less on education.
My point to all of this is that Oklahoma spends a fortune on education but mishandles the money intentionally deceiving the voters. They never have the intention of spending a dime on these initiatives on the kids or teachers, or the schools that children go to. This is why they use the term “education” generically. Once you vote for these initiatives, they put it in a pot labeled education. The state changes the meaning of issues to call them education like the OU Medical Center so that the money can be spent there instead of for the children. The happily ignorant voter is duped again. This is why I will not miss this ballot because I do not want to have my name attached to a bill like this. I will make a prediction and say the voters will be duped and vote for this in the end but it will not be me. Our state uses education the way the U.S. government uses social security. Neither party ever even makes an attempt to secure it but rather uses the issue to dupe voters into voting against the other candidate. Once in office, they conveniently forget about it until the next election.
Don’t be duped into voting for “education” when the teachers and children are being used to spend the money elsewhere. They have no intention of spending this money on the teachers and children and never do. If you have been paying attention at all, you would have noticed that every single time the state wants you to vote YES on education, the parade children on the screens and say that Oklahoma spends less than neighboring states on the children. This may be true but that does not mean the state is spending less on the generic education. This means they are spending the money elsewhere in the name of education. It is the issue they want to keep when they want to get into your wallet. The issue is more valuable than fixing it. As long as they can keep using this to get more money out of the people, then they will.
How many times are we going to see this? Do you remember they did the same thing to get the lottery passed? I am not saying I am opposed to the lottery but rather that they used the children to get it passed. Every time you will hear the sad music on the commercials while parading children across the screen. The next time you vote on education, read the whole ballot all the way through. Look for any indication that the money will be spend on schools for children and not universities. If it does not specifically say the money is going to be spend on elementary, middle school, or high schools, or teachers and not professors then you are likely being duped again. I can tell you this before even looking at the ballot because I have seen this so many times that it is predictable. Another thing that is wrong about this is that in Oklahoma the state legislature must have three fourths vote to pass any tax increases. The legislature is the only one that has the authority to pass tax increases. When you vote to spend more on education, it will come from other state spending because this will not be a legislature vote to increase taxes.
What ends up happening is that many people that work for the state end up getting their spending cut so that “education” gets their increase. This angers those employees who begin to put pressure on the legislature to raise taxes. Once the door is opened here, it never closes. Once the precedent has been set to raise taxes when the money has no oversight, then it can be used indefinitely. This is a bad idea all the way around. Education spending has become a racket and not used appropriately again and again. Let’s tell these people to spend the money where it was originally intended and not allow them to get away with the misuse of our tax dollars. If they want to build another hospital then they need to tell people that is what they want. Do not allow them to tell us they are helping the kids all the while spending it somewhere else.