Columns/Opinions

Thu
27
Jun
Edgar's picture

Litigate or Legislate?

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives considered – and the Democratic majority passed – a very controversial resolution that bypasses past precedent of voting first to hold an individual in contempt of Congress before suing for information that has been requested. Introduction of this resolution follows the Democrats’ ongoing dissatisfaction with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s completed investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and their loud denial about the findings of the report.

Thu
27
Jun
Edgar's picture

Combating Alzheimer’s

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, which marks an important time to talk about the widespread challenges facing our society due to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Indeed, these mysterious diseases have impacted all of us, whether we have had a family member or a friend suffer and tragically pass away as a result. My family understands firsthand how exceedingly difficult it is to watch someone you love helplessly deteriorate because of dementia. It was heartbreaking to see my own father suffer and worsen through the various stages of Alzheimer’s during the last several years of his life.

Thu
20
Jun
Edgar's picture

Rural jobs are boosted by impact of SNAP 

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture examines the impact of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in rural America. Widely viewed as a program that helps combat urban poverty and food insecurity, SNAP has seen a greater percentage of utilization in rural areas since the late 1990s.

SNAP participation grew exponentially, quadrupling between 2001 and 2013. This growth coincided with the Great Recession and its aftermath. Participation peaked in 2013, when more than 47 million Americans received assistance, but has since fallen by roughly 1 million annually. SNAP protected millions of Americans from the extremes of poverty in a moment of crisis.

Thu
20
Jun
Edgar's picture

Longest time in history without federal minimum wage increase

There are a lot of records that would be great to break. This isn’t one of them: June 16 marks the longest period in history without an increase since the federal minimum wage was established in 1938.

The federal minimum wage went to $7.25 an hour on July 24, 2009 – nearly 10 years ago. It remains $7.25 today, amounting to just $15,080 a year for full-time work.

When the minimum wage does not go up, it goes down in value relative to the cost of living.

The gap between minimum wage and the cost of rent, groceries, medicine, transportation and everything else keeps growing. That matters whether you’re trying to work your way through school, support your child, or need a job to make ends meet on Social Security.

Thu
13
Jun
Edgar's picture

America Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Throughout history, our nation has drawn immigrants searching for opportunity and a share in the American Dream. But just as we are a nation built largely and impressively by immigrants, America is also a nation of laws that must be obeyed and properly enforced to maintain order and ensure the safety of all citizens. Unfortunately, our existing immigration system falls far short in that regard and desperately needs comprehensive reform.

For one of the more visible signs of a broken system, just look to the humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border, where the situation is rapidly getting worse each day and money is quickly running out to handle it effectively. It was recently reported that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) detained over 144,000 migrants at the southern border in May. During the same month a year ago, CBP apprehended roughly 52,000 individuals. Though that was a staggering number at the time, it pales in comparison to the latest report.

Thu
13
Jun
Edgar's picture

D-Day at 75: Honoring Courage

Over the course of world history, D-Day remains one of the most pivotal moments. Seventy-five years later, the world still remembers the incredible sacrifices made when Allied Forces courageously came together to confront Nazi Germany by storming the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944. As we pause to reflect on and honor the courage displayed that day, we remember an event that led to the liberation of Europe and destruction of the worst fascist state to exist.

Thu
13
Jun
Edgar's picture

America’s history deficit is worrisome, says AMAC

WASHINGTON, DC, June 7 -- There are those who dismiss George Santayana’s claim that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Among them was the late American author Kurt Vonnegut who is quoted as saying “we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what.”

“Whatever the position on the need to know our nation’s history, the fact remains that a knowledge of how the U.S. came to be and the stories of those individuals who made it happen are essential if our children are to grow up to be reliably industrious citizens.  But the sad news is that too few of today’s schoolchildren take an interest in the lessons of history.  And now there is evidence that their big brothers and sisters are apathetic, at best, about our past,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

Thu
06
Jun
Edgar's picture

Always Be Ready

Especially during this time of year, Oklahomans are on high alert for the possibility of severe weather. Just six years ago, my hometown of Moore was devastated by a massive and intense storm, which caused terrible damage and heartbreaking loss of life. Unfortunately, recent tornados and massive flooding have already dealt devastating blows to many communities across our state this year. After the destruction caused over the weekend, my thoughts and prayers are with those grieving the loss of loved ones in El Reno.

Thu
30
May
Edgar's picture

Freedom is the American Dream

Ever since our brave forebearers declared America’s independence, the United States has been a beacon of liberty, hope and opportunity. Indeed, America is still regarded the world over as a land where success can be achieved regardless of where you’ve come from. And that is because our forebearers trusted free people, free speech and free markets – all of which continue to undergird the “American dream.”  

The American dream never fails to inspire old and young alike, and I believe its promise will continue to motivate future generations to work hard and innovate. Because our country has always valued hard work, we seek to achieve and often succeed because opportunity exists here. But it’s important to recognize that free markets are fundamental to American opportunity and prosperity.   

 

Thu
30
May
Edgar's picture

For the Children: 2019 Legislative Session Marked by Both Victories and Defeats

The end of the 2019 legislative session has arrived. While there were some great ideas passed into law and a budget that provided additional funding to many worthy causes, there were also several issues left unaddressed.

For instance, the restoration of the refundability of the Earned Income Tax Credit – which would lift thousands of families out of poverty – did not receive consideration this year. Similarly, an “Oklahoma Plan” for using federal funds to reduce the uninsured rate never materialized, though there was an initiative petition filed by citizens to send this proposal to the voters.

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