Following the release of the Republican tax plan, Travis Rakes, a resident of Oklahoma, wrote in with his thoughts. In Oklahoma wealthy industries have profited from a draconian tax cut that has led to large cuts to necessary public services, such as public schools. His letter to the editor has been lightly edited.
As a citizen of the state of Oklahoma, I can offer very little hope in the promises of the national GOP tax plan based on the current results of the statewide tax cuts in Oklahoma four years ago.
We were offered many of the same promises of job growth, wage growth and better opportunities. The results have been quite depressing.
We have near the lowest teacher pay and educational success grades and the current legislature is faced with cutting nearly all services for regular Oklahomans. In spite of this there is no talk of correcting the budget problems with thoughtful and practical revenue solutions.
I fear the long game nationally will follow the template set by states like mine. That is, cut revenue to benefit top earners, which is then compensated by cutting vital services to health care, environmental safety, education and social safety nets.
What is so perplexing to me is that people facing such hardship elected the current national and state representatives as well as Donald Trump. They are all actively planning and implementing legislation and policy that will only further their hardship.
I seem to differ from the current GOP political movement in that I believe government serves as a responsible partner and mediator in many aspects of public life — such as education, health care, worker protections, environmental protection and public safety — in order to ensure freedom, justice and equal opportunity for the most vulnerable in society.
The GOP seems to operate on the belief that if more freedom is given to the entities with power, corporations and those with wealth, justice and opportunity will result. I’m certainly not convinced.
— Travis Rakes, Bartlesville, OK
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