I think this is going to be a very exciting year. This year we will be inundated with politics as America decides who will lead us forward. While I await the name of who I will vote for next November, I contemplate how that choice makes a difference in my world here in Lawton, Oklahoma.
I want a president who will expand our nation's use of our own natural resources. Namely, I want to see more drilling in America's oil-rich areas, tapping into America's natural gas sources. Since Oklahoma has a bunch of natural gas, I think it would help to have someone in Washington who thinks Oklahomans should benefit from the production of such abundance. In Alaska, thanks to former Governor Sarah Palin, the oil companies have to pay Alaskans some of their profits. Maybe, gas companies could share their profits with Oklahomans? I make no claims to understanding the politics or business ends of all the particulars, but it seems that if California allowed drilling off shore, then their state should receive a big chunk of the resources pulled from their area given they are taking the risk to their own environment. I may be dreaming, but it seems to me that many of our states need to find new ways to get revenue for their own services. Speaking of services:
I noticed that one of Oklahoma's politicians says we need to do more restructuring of state pensions and perks for our firefighters and police force. Personally, I think the men and women in those two services take more risk and give more of their lives for us than any other that we taxpayers support. I think they need more of our support than any other. After all, many of the paid firefighters, when they aren't on duty, turn around and volunteer their time to fight fires all over the region. Wouldn't you think we should consider their expertise and willingness to help keep us safe and protected as a premium necessity worthy of compensation? Many of these folk can't live on the salary they receive. Most often their income must be supplemented by part-time work when they are off-duty. I just hope as our state representatives work in OKC to restructure the packages on these men and women that they consider long and hard before they take away from their benefits for their retirement at a time when they are no longer able to work and do not receive social security to help them as they age. These are our children and grandchildren protecting us today. Surely we can protect them tomorrow.
I admit I have a soft spot for our firefighters and police officers. My father was a volunteer firefighter most all his life. He also worked for years as a sheriff's deputy. He was a civil servant after serving in the Navy during WWII. I witnessed his financial struggle firsthand as I grew up. Yet, Dad was so devoted. I now have a grandson who is a firefighter. I see his love for his job and his desire to make a difference in more ways in his community. Through my grandson's involvement, I see his co-workers dedication. It's not easy work. I find it rather ridiculous that a congressman or woman, or senator in Washington, gets a lifetime pension even if they serve one four-year term. I think it despicable that they receive so much and can vote themselves raises on whim while the rest of America struggles to buy a gallon of gas to get to the grocery to purchase a can of beans and loaf of bread. Don't you?