I’m Sam Jones. We’re about to do it again. And it seems with all the practice, we’re getting pretty good at it. I’m talking about embracing insanity. That happens when you keep doing the same thing over and over and over and each time, expecting different results.
How, you might ask, does this apply to me? Simple. Every time an election rolls around, Oklahomans send the same old crowd back to lead us out of the wilderness, thinking “They’ll fix it this time.” How’s that working out for you? Let me help you figure it out. At this point in time, Oklahoma is facing a $1.3 billion dollar shortfall. We are well into the current legislative session and so far no progress and the next budget year starts July first. We got into this mess after years of cutting income taxes and increasing tax breaks for business. In fact lawmakers just approved another tax cut the governor championed. Then the bottom dropped out of the oil industry in 2014. It took years for us to get here but get here we did, in spite of the repeated warnings that if the state didn’t diversify and stop relying on the oil industry, we would eventually wind up in the hole. Well … no one listened and here we are.
Back in 1934, Walt Disney studios gave us a color animation film titled “The Grasshopper and the Ants.” Only 8-minutes long, it was part of the Silly Symphony series. In the film, the Grasshopper fiddled and sang all day while the ants worked storing food for the coming winter. But the Grasshopper sang the song “The world owes me a living” and played his fiddle all day, while they worked. Well, winter came with the expected results. The ants had plenty to eat and the Grasshopper had nothing. Of course the ants shared their bounty and the Grasshopper survived. Seems to me we are in just about the same shape.
The people of the state believed the folks running for office and kept sending them back again and again. Problem is, those folks didn’t work for the people. In fact, They did very little in terms of taking care of the people that hired them. It seems they spent their time on bills designed to increase their political credibility and became legends in their own minds. “Oh the world owes me a living. Just send me back, we’ll get er right next time.”
Honestly, I can hear the music. Want to dance … again?
That’s my perspective.