I believe it was President Ronald Reagan who cited the scariest phrase to many Americans which still sums it up to many: "I'm with the government and I'm here to help."
We've seen much of this attitude over the past week as our stock market has tumbled, placing many retirement systems and personal investments in danger. I'm not directly affected by the stock market as that I live paycheck-to-paycheck as do many of you and cannot afford to risk savings. Many, though, do set aside funds, or more importantly, count on retirement investments to make ends meet.
Thankfully, the economy overall in Oklahoma has been fairly stable due in part to bipartisan work with our legislature and Governor Henry. We may have partisan haggling on many issues, but when it comes to disasters of any form, Oklahomans work together to fix the problems.
In my opinion, it is reprehensible what the federal government has done during this crisis and the period that has led up to this. We saw companies risk billions of dollars with no restriction and suffer the consequences. We then saw the federal government react to this with a band-aid solution that was unpopular with many citizens.
I'll point to two other Presidents who I greatly admire, one in each party. Teddy Roosevelt was the champion of the working man and placed restrictions on huge corporations and broke down trusts that hurt our nation. His cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt guided us through the Great Depression and established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that backed up people's bank accounts to protect hard-earned dollars.
Very rarely do we elect great minds to public offices. Often times, great leaders surround themselves with brilliant minds who find innovative solutions. In recent years, those staffers have been replaced with political pundits whose jobs are to twist words rather than formulate policy just so elections can be won.
While this is a completely different financial situation than what we saw about 80 years ago, you cannot tell me that great minds do not exist any longer that could come up with a bipartisan plan to not only protect against greedy schemes such as this and that would also solidify our financial solvency as a nation. Most elected officials will be held accountable in November for their policies and their votes, but where are the solutions presented by those who vote no all the time? We need results, not partisan jabs as we have seen constantly since the Troubled Asset Relief Program vote.
This goes to George Bush, Nancy Pelosi, John McCain and Barack Obama: act like Oklahomans and work together for a solution! You are all elected by the people, not just your party. The vote was 205-228, which had 2/3's of the Republican Caucus and 2/5's of the Democrats voting no. Do your jobs and build a consensus of lawmakers that will support a program with real regulation and responsibility and longterm solutions. To those that voted no, give us an alternative that you feel will fix the problem. You are with the government and the people demand your help this time.
It is an honor to represent your views at the State Capitol. If you wish to contact me and discuss one of these or another issue, I can be reached at my office in Oklahoma City toll-free at 1-800-522-8502, or directly at 1-405-557-7305. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559, Rush Springs, OK 73082 and my website is http://www.joedorman.com/ on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.