View Full Version : Wanda Jo.......Representing



SouthsideSooner
03-18-2008, 11:13 AM
Guest columnist

Oklahoma City's poor forced to pay so millionaires can play
By Wanda Jo Stapleton

Special to The Times
Wanda Jo Stapleton
OKLAHOMA CITY "Free Lunch," by David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times, documents "how the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves at government expense (and stick you with the bill)."

That's why Oklahoma City residents recently experienced a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the superrich owners of the Seattle SuperSonics. A ballot measure that passed March 4 will raise $121 million in sales taxes to "fancy up" a practically new building in town with luxury skyboxes, rooftop gardens and more, in an attempt to lure the Sonics to Oklahoma City.

This scheme to enrich one Oklahoma City billionaire and several millionaires will gouge the poor by forcing them to pay more for groceries, utilities and other necessities. Cost to each average Oklahoma City resident will be about $150.

The Oklahoma City Council shamelessly called for this immoral election even though the cost of groceries is rising at twice the rate of inflation; Oklahoma is one of seven states to fully tax groceries and one of the worst places in the nation for hunger. One in five of our children is at risk of going to bed hungry, according to the Oklahoma Task Force on Hunger.

As a former state representative in South Oklahoma City, I know how poverty, especially in single-parent households, fosters hunger, desperation, truancy, school dropouts, gangs, graffiti, crack cocaine, killings, and more.

A USA Today story on June 12, 2006, headlined "Gang activity cited for jump in U.S. homicides," reported, "The Oklahoma City police cited fighting among rival gangs as a major factor in the jump in homicides there, from 39 in 2004 to 54 last year."

In 2007, the Oklahoma Legislature declared in House Bill 1895, "The state of Oklahoma finds that youth and gang violence continues to grow in Oklahoma, decimating the lives of many youths and families in both urban and rural communities," and that "the funding, resources and programs responding to youth and gang violence are decreasing."

I also know about elderly widows who were full-time homemakers, as society encouraged years ago. They are struggling to survive on their late husbands' meager Social Security, which is based on wages much lower than they are today.

Now, single parents and elderly widows will be forced to pay so the wealthiest can play.

What happened to morality?

Johnston points out that the preamble to the U.S. Constitution declares that government's job is to "promote the general welfare."

He also cites in his book the Pledge of Allegiance's precepts of "liberty and justice for all." He sums up one principle this way:

"A society that takes from the many to give to the few undermines its moral basis and must in the end collapse."

Opinion | Oklahoma City's poor forced to pay so millionaires can play | Seattle Times Newspaper (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2004288438_sonics18.html)

MikeLucky
03-18-2008, 11:24 AM
Morality??????? Seriously??????

From Wanda of all people..... That's almost laughable....

hipsterdoofus
03-18-2008, 11:29 AM
I still don't understand how its "so millionaires can play" - Aren't the improvements going to help the city? I guess we can look past that part...

betts
03-18-2008, 11:31 AM
Did Wando Jo never learn about the sales tax credit for those over 65 or a person with one dependent who make less than $50,000 a year? Or that the average cost to a resident is about $27? Interesting that it was picked up in Seattle.

redland
03-18-2008, 11:51 AM
Yes, it would be interesting to listen in on the Seattle Times editorial board discussing whether to run with this opinion piece. I'm not entirely unsympathetic to Wanda Jo's position since I think in general there is too much subsidizing of the wealthy in this country. However one has to add to the mix the eventual effect on the sociiety as a whole. In this case the city and many of its citizens (including some poor ones) will benefit from an expanding economy, increased construction and increased job creatiion.

Architect2010
03-18-2008, 11:51 AM
"will gouge the poor by forcing them to pay more for groceries, utilities and other necessities."

Those "poor" have been paying that same tax for over ten years!!! They aren't being forced anything, they've been paying this tax for a while now. Hmmm, that makes me mad. =/

ultimatesooner
03-18-2008, 01:54 PM
I like how she calls the ford center "a practically new building"

It has looked old and outdated on the inside since the day it was built because of how cheaply it was built. I don't think we are spending enough on the upgrades regardless of whether we get an NBA team or not

Kerry
03-18-2008, 02:13 PM
Rich people benefiting from the government? Does she mean Al Gore?

andy157
03-18-2008, 02:36 PM
Rich people benefiting from the government? Does she mean Al Gore?No of course not. She meant Dick Cheney.

OKCTalker
03-18-2008, 02:56 PM
Why does there always seem to be a soapbox nearby when the fringe element clears its throat?

bornhere
03-18-2008, 02:58 PM
I thought there had been some sentiment expressed here about letting this matter drop, but I must have been mistaken.

First of all, the Ford Center is five years old. I suppose in NBA wet-dream land a new arena gets built every year, with corridors paved with gold. It's a shame we can't spend - oh, what, a billion dollars? - on a new arena or upgrading the Ford Center, but the truth is we don't have enough poor people in Oklahoma City to pay that much sales tax.

To create the Taj Mahal-style arena some people consider entry-level for swaggering around Henry Hudson's with their ball caps on backwards pretending to be from a 'big league city,' some citizens with real money would have to step up and help fund arena improvements.

I've seen a number of posts here complaining about how 'the poor' just undermine everything that's cool about Oklahoma City. They're just so demanding, those poor.

The reason you have MAPS and MAPS for Kids at all is because a bunch of people named Ramirez and Washington and Walkingstick and Jones put down their penny on the dollar and helped pay for them.

They paid for the Civic Center remodeling projects that all ended up being named in honor of the wealthy white families that came in after the heavy lifting was done and threw a few thousand dollars on a pile of cash that was already in the tens of millions.

They paid for the new John Marshall High School which was moved away from them and out to a part of town where suburban whites wouldn't be 'offended' by it.

If Oklahoma City had to rely on the 'cool people,' ie, those who think anything tapping their bank accounts amounts to 'class warfare,' you wouldn't have any of this. It would have been simply unaffordable.

And in the end, I frankly have no idea what Al Gore has to do with any of this.

Easy180
03-18-2008, 03:05 PM
I thought there had been some sentiment expressed here about letting this matter drop, but I must have been mistaken.

First of all, the Ford Center is five years old. I suppose in NBA wet-dream land a new arena gets built every year, with corridors paved with gold. It's a shame we can't spend - oh, what, a billion dollars? - on a new arena or upgrading the Ford Center, but the truth is we don't have enough poor people in Oklahoma City to pay that much sales tax.

To create the Taj Mahal-style arena some people consider entry-level for swaggering around Henry Hudson's with their ball caps on backwards pretending to be from a 'big league city,' some citizens with real money would have to step up and help fund arena improvements.

I've seen a number of posts here complaining about how 'the poor' just undermine everything that's cool about Oklahoma City. They're just so demanding, those poor.

The reason you have MAPS and MAPS for Kids at all is because a bunch of people named Ramirez and Washington and Walkingstick and Jones put down their penny on the dollar and helped pay for them.

They paid for the Civic Center remodeling projects that all ended up being named in honor of the wealthy white families that came in after the heavy lifting was done and threw a few thousand dollars on a pile of cash that was already in the tens of millions.

They paid for the new John Marshall High School which was moved away from them and out to a part of town where suburban whites wouldn't be 'offended' by it.

If Oklahoma City had to rely on the 'cool people,' ie, those who think anything tapping their bank accounts amounts to 'class warfare,' you wouldn't have any of this. It would have been simply unaffordable.

And in the end, I frankly have no idea what Al Gore has to do with any of this.

They have paid something like $5 a month for over a decade and are eligible for that insignificant amount to be refunded come tax time...W/o the refund your argument would be a little more effective

Before you argue that $5 or $10 a month is hard on them...I say 75% of the folks in that income bracket get paid enough to carry cell phones

bornhere
03-18-2008, 03:10 PM
Cell phones? Oh, well... I rescind my entire point.

Easy180
03-18-2008, 03:17 PM
Cell phones and refunds you mean :tiphat:

Karried
03-18-2008, 03:18 PM
I'm buying her a one way ticket to Seattle... she'll get along fine there.

Kerry
03-18-2008, 03:30 PM
I was going to post another comment but screw it - I already wasted too much time on this topic. Next.

johnnyincog
03-18-2008, 04:02 PM
was wanda jo a character in atlas shrugged?

Bob&Frank&Ted&Bob&Alice
03-18-2008, 04:15 PM
I'm buying her a one way ticket to Seattle... she'll get along fine there.

Meow.

What a sweet thing to say. I thought you mentioned you were
a bleeding heart liberal?

SouthsideSooner
03-18-2008, 05:55 PM
Meow.

What a sweet thing to say. I thought you mentioned you were
a bleeding heart liberal?


It must suck for Alice to have to hang around the rest of you azzholes.

Bob&Frank&Ted&Bob&Alice
03-18-2008, 06:11 PM
Actually.

I've missed it.

Karried
03-18-2008, 07:39 PM
Originally Posted by Karried http://www.okctalk.com/images/vbe2blue/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.okctalk.com/okc-metro-area-talk/12393-wanda-jo-representing.html#post133858)
I'm buying her a one way ticket to Seattle... she'll get along fine there.

What a sweet thing to say. I thought you mentioned you were
a bleeding heart liberal?


No, I said I've been called that because I'm from California.

I think Wanda would be happier in a state where many other like minded people live... it's no secret that Seattle feels the same way as Wanda does in regards to supporting a pro team.

OSUFan
03-19-2008, 07:56 AM
Actually the don't feel like Wanda Jo. I think every stadium they have has public money in it.

betts
03-19-2008, 09:21 AM
Apparently one of our television stations featured her last night. I'm sure they didn't check her facts either. The credulousness of our media, including the NY Times, should be an embarrassment as well.

OKCDrummer77
03-19-2008, 09:47 AM
^^ It was Channel 4, which is owned by the NY Times.