Friday, May 19, 2017

Russell Turner: The Hard Choice


Last week I wrote a column that was very critical of our Governor Mary Fallin; while I do not want to be accused of beating a dead horse, the issue of the state budget needs to be of concern to every citizen of Oklahoma. In a recent article Governor Fallin threatened to veto any budget that that contains deep cuts to state agencies. At a Capitol news conference surrounded by state employees, heath care providers, agency heads and others, she made the comment that she has had to make some hard votes because the citizens of this state are demanding that no agencies or core services will have devastating cuts. I have noticed that politicians such as Fallin like to surround themselves with doomsday prophets that, for the most part, feed at the public trough. I have also found that making hard choices with someone else’s money is a whole lot easier than making hard choices with one’s own money. Making hard choices is definitely not limited to the government class; I would like to share the kind of hard choices we in the private sector have to make every day.

We in the private sector experience budget shortfalls every day; things can be going on just fine then a piece of essential equipment in the operation can break down and we are forced to resolve the problem in short order. In my case I have a farm tractor that developed some serious problems, with the hay season coming up it was imperative that I ether purchase another one or repair the one I have. Like the state of Oklahoma I did not have the funds to purchase a new tractor, so that option was ruled out. Taking the tractor to a repair shop would have been another option, but because the labor cost was prohibitive, another option was gone. Finally I decided to roll up my sleeves and do the work myself. While other people are better tractor mechanics than I am, I was able to get the tractor back in operation with a lot of hard, greasy work and several scratched knuckles.

I, like many other small business owners and farmers, have to make these kinds of hard decisions on a daily basis. It seems to me that many people in government cannot comprehend the hard choices we in the private sector have to make. We simply don’t have the money to do all of the things and purchase the nice new equipment that we would like to. Mary Fallin has been throwing a fit for the legislature to impose massive taxes on the hard working people of this state, I am sure that if she graduated from Tractor University like I recently did, their ideas and policies would get more down to earth. I want to make the point very clear, the private sector farmers and small businessmen do not have the financial reserves to absorb additional taxes. I have some more equipment that needs to be worked on, if any of our elected officials have the belief that everything is just fine out here in the real world come to my shop and I will help you gain the perspective that so many in office are lacking.

Russell Turner is a businessman, farmer, and conservative Republican activist from Adair County, where he served one term as county commissioner.


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