++ AGENDA FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETING
++ MY PERSPECTIVE ON THE FIRST DAY AT THE CAPITOL
++ OCPAC PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL RESULTS
++ AGENDA FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETING
Our 12 noon luncheon for Wednesday, February 8th will be held at
Italiano’s restaurant, 4801 North Lincoln in OKC. Our speaker this
Wednesday will be Mr. Benjamin Domenech from Virginia. Mr. Domenech is
managing editor of Health Care News and a research fellow at The
Heartland Institute founded in Chicago in 1984. The institute’s
mission is to discover, develop and promote free-market solutions to
social and economic problems. Benjamin joined the Heartland Institute
in 2009 after several years working and writing on national health
care policy, beginning with a political appointment as speechwriter to
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. In addition
to his work with Heartland, Benjamin is currently editor of THE CITY,
an academic journal of faith, politics, and culture, published by
Houston Baptist University. I really look forward to meeting Benjamin
and hope to pick his brain about the huge subject of healthcare. You
won’t want to miss this meeting.
* TUESDAY EVENING - GUTHRIE - OK2A (Oklahoma 2nd Amendment) will
hold their monthly meeting for the Guthrie chapter, 7:00 p.m.,
February 7th at the Patriot Industries Gun Store, 211 East Oklahoma
* THURSDAY MORNING - OKC AREA - Presidential candidate Rick
Santorum will make an appearance at H&H Range in OKC on Thursday
morning, February 9th at 9:00 a.m. H&H is located on the North side of
I-40 about 2 blocks East of Meridian (400 S. Vermont). There is no
charge to attend.
* THURSDAY AFTERNOON - TULSA AREA - Rick Santorum will also
appear at the Mabee Center on the campus of ORU (7777 S. Lewis Ave) in
Tulsa at 1:30 p.m. Again, there is no cost to attend. It is my
understanding the Santorum campaign contacted Chairman Matt Pinell to
inform him they wanted to come to Oklahoma. It should not be construed
to be an endorsement by the Republican party as they will try to
facilitate appearances for any of the contending candidates wanting to
appear in Oklahoma.
* THURSDAY EVENING - ADA - OK2A will hold their monthly meeting
for the Ada chapter, 6:30 p.m. February 9th at JD’s Café (911 N.
Broadway). If you plan to eat, please arrive at least 30 minutes
* THURSDAY EVENING - STILLWATER - OK2A will hold their monthly
meeting for the Stillwater chapter, 6:30 p.m. February 9th at Mexico
Joe’s (311 E. Hall of Fame Ave.). Please arrive early if you plan to
* THURSDAY EVENING - MOORE - The Sooner Republican Assembly will
hold their monthly meeting at Earl’s Rib in Moore. The program will
start at 6:45 but folks will gather at 6:00 p.m. if they want to eat.
Cleveland County Sheriff Joe Lester will be the speaker. Visitors are
++ MY PERSPECTIVE ON THE FIRST DAY AT THE CAPITOL
* THE LEGISLATIVE PRAYER CAUCUS - I felt much better on Monday and
arrived at the Capitol in plenty of time to participate in the
formation of the Oklahoma Legislative Prayer Caucus. It was an
impressive crowd that assembled in the Rotunda and an impressive
number of lawmakers who have signed on the be a part of the Caucus. I
was told by one of the organizers, they have started off with 76
members which is 52% of those currently in the legislature.
As I watched the lawmakers who were gathered, both Democrats and
Republicans, walk up to the microphone to introduce themselves before
they signed the proclamation, it caused me to reflect.
Accepting the notion that they are all brothers and sisters in the
Lord, I pondered as to why many of them are on opposite sides of many
of the issues that are wrangled over at the Capitol, especially within
the Republican party. I would suggest that God is not of a divided
opinion on issues and that He has no confusion or vagueness about
every problem faced by our leaders, so why the division between
Perhaps, the same question could be asked as to why we have so many
different denominations or expressions of Christianity? Quite often
those differences exist because of honest differences in
interpretation or understanding of God’s Word. In addition, some
adhere to a particular flavor of Christianity, not so much based as a
result of a close personal examination of God’s Word, but more so out
of family tradition. Then of course some may be ill motivated,
participating for the purpose of personal gain, participating out of
selfish ambition (James 3:13-16), or even worse motivated by anger as
a result of rejecting a valid discipline brought to them at some point
in time through other Christians.
Truth is, we professing Christians sometimes find ourselves serving
God out of a divided heart. Loving God with half of our heart and
loving the world with the other half of our heart. Sometimes our
commitment toward Him is only in degrees and unfortunately, many of
those professing to be his, have never taken the time or effort to
read His Word with an open heart, prayerfully asking Him to reveal
Himself to them through His Spirit. Bottom line, not much interest in
developing a relationship with the God of all Creation.
There is a powerful scripture found in I John 1:5-7, for my purposes
here a particular part of verse 7 which goes like this: “but if we
walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one
another ….”. The word light is both a reference to God and a word used
to describe our understanding of Him. As I said earlier God is not
confused and he is not of a divided opinion on issues. He knows what
is truth and what is good versus what is wrong or evil. The problem is
with us. May I suggest, that when we are divided on issues, that is a
result of us not walking in the same light as He is in the light. That
could be the result of one person understanding God’s perspective on
an issue and the other person not having that understanding. It could
also be the result of neither of them having an understanding of God’s
perspective on an issue. Again, true fellowship in Him occurs when 2
or more people are all WALKING in the light of God’s understanding.
One of the great problems in the Church today, is the failure of
pastors to teach about God’s principles as to how they should apply to
public policy. Many pastors will never, or rarely, touch those
subjects. Some will, and do a good job, while others, such as Jeremiah
Wright, or locally, Robin Myers, do so, but in my opinion fail to
rightly divide the Word of God and thus teach great error. Regardless,
these are the kinds of churches from which our lawmakers come.
With all that said, I have a sincere hope that “IF” the members of
Oklahoma’s Legislative Prayer Caucus will humbly come together in
prayer, sincerely seeking God’s understanding, unity and direction, it
will become a real difference maker. We should pray for this as these
people in authority carry out their function as lawmakers for the
State of Oklahoma.
If that will occur in true sincerity, who knows, that might even begin
to cause them to seek God’s perspectives on the issues in which they
must make decisions.
* GOVERNOR FALLIN’S ADDRESS - I got back from lunch in time to get
a good seat to hear the Governor’s second state of the state address.
Once all the pomp and ceremony ended and the Governor began, I must
confess I got really sleepy and must of dozed off for a couple of
moments, because when I perked back up, the Governor was going down a
list of things in which she wanted to increase spending. I leaned over
to a person next to me and asked if the Governor was a Democrat or
Republican which certainly evoked a smile?
Then she began to get down to her ideas on reducing the size of
government, increasing efficiencies and reducing taxes. Currently
Oklahoma has a graduated tax system with 7 brackets. A person actually
starts paying a minimal amount on the first dollar earned and then
reaches the top tax bracket of 5.25% upon earning about $14,000. Our
current system has a good number of exemptions, credits, carve outs
and kick backs which can effect the amount of our overall tax burden.
The Governor’s plan is to eliminate many of the exemptions, credits,
carve outs and kick backs and replace them with a more simple plan,
one with only 3 tax brackets, but based on a lower income tax rate.
She wants couples making less than $30,000 ($15,000 for individuals)
per year to pay no state income tax, those making from $30,000 to
$70,000 ($35,000 for individuals) per year to pay 2.25 percent and
those making above $70,000 (above $35,000 for individuals) per year to
pay only 3.5%. In addition, she wants to see additional quarter point
drops in the income tax rates based on any year there is a 5% or
greater growth in tax revenues to the state. Under that scenario, in
the best of conditions, it will take a minimum of 9 years to totally
eliminate the income tax for those earning between 30 and 70 thousand
a year and 14 years to totally eliminate the income tax for every
Oklahoman. She wants her plan to take effect starting January 1st of
next year (2013).
While, this is much better than what we currently have, I would prefer
a modification to this plan. With my wife retiring in less than 2
months and my entering into semi-retirement as of January 1st of this
year, we would fit in the category of paying no taxes starting next
year and thus be at the maximum benefit level. However, I would be
most willing to give up our maximum benefit for a better plan.
Here is my problem. The concept of a graduated income tax was crafted
in a library in London England in 1848 by a man named Karl Marx. The
concept of a flat rate plan is from God’s Word as expressed through
the concept of tithing. The poor were to pay 10% of their first fruits
(earnings), the middle class were to pay 10% and the wealthy were to
pay 10%. In much of the national debate for tax reform, most
conservatives are proposing a flat tax on our earnings or a national
consumption tax (sales tax) known as THE FAIR TAX, which is also a
flat tax, but on spending rather than on earnings.
My problem is that the Governor continues to support a Marxist
philosophy of a graduated income tax rather than the Biblical model of
a flat tax. I would much rather see the rate reduced to the same level
for everyone, perhaps that would be somewhere around 2.25%? Then
strive to step it down under some kind of a formula.
Of course Democrats and other liberals will scream that the sky is
falling and that the insensitive Republicans are trying to reduce the
size of government on the backs of the poor and the middle class.
Truth is, the middle class will benefit from a lower tax burden and
while the poor may at first have to pay a very small amount more, that
is very important that they have to pay something. If not, we have the
dangerous situation existing which is the opposite of our Founders
when they were suffering from “taxation without representation.” That
opposite and dangerous situation could best be described as
“representation without taxation”. Under that scenario, people can
vote to receive benefits from government (their neighbors’ money) and
yet not have to pay for any of the costs of government.
In the long run, the poor will benefit when job growth occurs as a
result of a better business environment develops. Also, when
businesses have to compete for employees, wages also rise, which will
also benefit the poor.
Exempting the poor from paying anything is an easier sell to the
public, but it is Marxist in its ideology and thus morally wrong.
Hopefully, through negotiations the final product will resemble a
Biblical model rather than one designed by the Father of Communism,
++ OCPAC PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL RESULTS
First, I want to say a huge thanks to everyone that cast a vote in our
Presidential straw poll. I respect everyone’s decision and thanks to
so many of you for your kind words of encouragement toward me
regarding my efforts and more particularly the things being
accomplished by OCPAC.
We conducted a straw poll last year and kept the percentage totals
separated between those voting by e-mail and those voting at our
meeting. Four years ago, Ron Paul won the straw poll at our meeting
with about 45% of the vote, though we only allowed dues paying member
to vote at that time. Through the e-mails Ron Paul won with about 43%
of the vote. I don’t remember the other totals, but Governor Huckabee
came in second at our meeting and through the e-mails.
I will be a little more exact and specific for this year’s poll just
Members casting ballots at our meeting gave Ron Paul 50%, Rick
Santorum 36%, Mitt Romney 8% and Newt Gingrich 6%.
Non members casting ballots at our meeting gave Rick Santorum 39%, Ron
Paul 22%, Mitt Romney 19% and Newt Gingrich 19%.
The total for everyone at our meeting was Rick Santorum at 38%, Ron
Paul 36%, Mitt Romney at 14% and Newt Gingrich at 13%
Now for those voting via e-mail:
Ron Paul won with 47% of the vote, Rick Santorum was at 34%, Newt
Gingrich at 14% and Mitt Romney finished last with 6% of the vote.
If I add all votes cast, both from our meeting and on line, Ron Paul
wins with 44% (very similar numbers to 4 years ago), Rick Santorum is
second at 35%, Newt Gingrich at 13% and Mitt Romney at 8%. I believe
many of the Santorum people of today were probably Huckabee people of
4 years ago.
The size of the sampling was based on 241 votes cast. Please remember,
this is not a scientific poll, but rather a measure of the thinking of
people who are more active and involved than the average voter. I
expect the vote on the evening of March 6th in Oklahoma to possibly be
One of the things I have said many times in the past is that elections
are first about the quality and character of the voters and secondly
about the candidates. I have also said that the majority usually (not
always) makes the wrong decision on presidential and congressional
elections! Why do I say that? It is fairly simple. If the majority had
been making the correct decisions over the past several decades, then
we would not have seen the decline in our nation and we would not be
facing the very difficult problems we face today. I will take it one
step farther. Should America re-elect President Obama this November, I
believe America will have lost the ability to self govern itself, or
at least, govern itself for good.
Now, there isn’t a snow ball’s chance in Hell that Obama will win in
Oklahoma and probably the same can be said that there is no chance
that he could lose in California, Illinois, or New York. If that turns
out to be true, won’t it just go to show how different the ideology
and values are that have been inculcated into the people in these
different parts of America? I would say the division is deep, huge and
it will be problematic to deal with in the future. If Obama is re-
elected, folks better pray that the Republicans take control of the
Senate in a rather large way and increase or at least hold on to their
lead in the House.
This division is spiritual at its core. Oklahoma is what it is because
we are a state were a large number of its citizens hold to some level
of respect toward the God of the Bible. I am afraid, that too many of
the people in the other states I mentioned serve a God of their own
imaginations! Oh Lord God, please bring us to a place of repentance in
our nation. Please start with your own people.
I look forward to seeing everyone this Wednesday. If you have not
joined OCPAC as yet, please do so now. We finished January with 154
dues paying members and already several have joined in February. We
are running ahead of last year’s schedule. Instructions on how to join
will follow my sign off.