Editorial: Gov. Fallin delivers wrong message in Washington
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, January 11, 2013
1/11/13 at 7:03 AM
Gov. Mary Fallin spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Wednesday and made some good points. Her message, however, rang somewhat hollow considering the state of her own state.
Fallin, who is co-chairwoman of the National Governors Association (Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat from Delaware, is the chairman), said that it is damaging the nation when Washington politicians lurch from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis.
She also pointed out that it makes it tough for governors and legislatures to write budgets when they are unsure of federal funding.
Fallin also cautioned that the nation's fiscal problems can't be solved by pushing costs onto state governments.
We agree. But, we are puzzled.
This is the same Fallin who has routinely criticized the federal government for spending too much money. The same governor who by refusing to join the Affordable Care Act has pushed health-care costs onto Oklahomans.
This is also the same governor who continues to campaign for lowering the state income tax, while slashing the budgets of public schools and every other department in the state while relying on those hated federal funds.
Fallin held up Oklahoma as a model state when it came to dealing with the national recession.
Here's what she had to say: "I've got to tell you, it wasn't easy. We did it through prioritizing our spending, making very tough budget decisions, good public policy and we also had to make some shared sacrifices."
That sounds good in a speech in Washington, D.C. But anyone in Oklahoma knows most of it is hooey.
During the oil boom of the early 1980s, there was an advertisement on TV that could make even the oiliest of oilies cringe. It featured an attractive female model in cowboy boots and a hard hat and her message was: "If you don't have an oil well, get one."
That, in reality, is what Fallin's message ought to have been. There were no hard-fought decisions about shared sacrifice. There was no "good public policy."
Oklahoma still has oil and natural gas. As that industry goes, so goes the state. Of course, we still need those federal dollars - we get more back than we pay in - so we do need Congress and the president to get to work. She's right about that.
Original Print Headline: Puzzling