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WaPo Hating on My Home State

The Washington Post has apparently decided that they’ve hade enough of people who don’t like Obama, so they are setting their sights on the only state in the union that overwhelmingly rejected Obama & his policies back in 2008. Oklahoma was the only state in the union where not a single county voted for Obama. (The closest any county came was still a 12 point gap for McCain.) So the WaPo says Oklahomans are hypocrites for taking federal money.

Their reasons are ludicrous. They cite the existence of federal highways as an example of huge federal spending in the state. There are three.

  • The one we call I-35 is somewhat parallel to an old trading route that most people learned about in 5th grade called the Chisholm Trail. It wasn’t about Oklahoma porking the hell out of the federal government, but about getting cattle from Texas to the stockyards and rail lines in Kansas to feed the people in the East.
  • The one we call I-40 parallels much of that little road some might have heard of – Rt. 66, a road meant to facilitate travel and trade between Chicago and Los Angeles. It’s also a major east-west route from North Carolina to Southern California that just happens to be a tad easier to cross in the western portions than other areas in the Northern Rockies.
  • The one we call I-44 is also connected to following the old Rt. 66 path in the northeast part of the state. However, it was a series of toll roads that were built before it was designated a federal interstate.

Most of the spending the WaPo cites as evidence that Oklahoma benefits from too much federal government is related to military spending. Their first target: Tinker Air Force Base. There aren’t too many places in this country where there’s enough space to be near a reasonably major city and still secure 9 square miles of space. While it’s an Air Force base, it also serves the other branches. So we’ve got multiple military branches making use of one facility in a state where employees and land are cheaper than many other states. It’s previously been home to key military weather services. Another place that takes up space? Fort Sill. Especially for the fun stuff they do with artillery. We heard that stuff from 70 miles away. I’m not naive about military pork and political favors, but as it goes, I’m all for consolidating what we can in areas where the labor and property are cheap. That’s called getting the most for your money.

I think the bias in this hit piece is best illustrated by the fact that they spend two paragraphs with the mayor of Oklahoma City citing the benefits to having federal jobs in the area. But only one sentence sums up the key issue if the GOP has the nerve to cut a number of those jobs: “Given what he called the area’s entrepreneurial bent, the mayor said, his city would probably withstand large cutbacks in federal largess ‘better than most places.'” That’s certainly not a spirit that Obama’s adoring fans the WaPo wants to promote.

7 Responses to “WaPo Hating on My Home State”

  1. Jay says:

    It’s only natural they hate us. I can’t think of a much more opposite place to DC than my hometown of OKC.

    And to think, I work at Tinker (for a non-AF agency) and once upon a time went to artillery school at Ft. Sill.

  2. The Second Anonymous says:

    WaPo is a troll.

    “Federal money” is the tax that tax payer PAID. If they hate the fact that certain states get “too much,” they why don’t they complaint about the unfairness of the silly federal tax system. Or the fact that tax payer do not even have the right to opt out of this crap altogether.

  3. Jake says:

    “There aren’t too many places in this country where there’s enough space to be near a reasonably major city and still secure 9 square miles of space.”

    Not to mention 9 square miles of land that’s already flat and needs very little work to make it suitable for a very large military airfield that’s also one of only three major logistics centers.

    And how do they get the idea that just because the state didn’t vote for Obama that it shouldn’t be taking federal money for installations that are in the state and are a) purely a federal responsibility in the first place, and b) predated his election by over 60 years in one case and over 140 years in the other? In fact, Fort Sill predates Oklahoma’s statehood.

    It’s a desire for vengeance, pure and simple.

  4. Matthew Carberry says:

    The Constitution makes military spending explicitly Constitutional. No conservative or Constitutional libertarian I know of argues that.

    The Constitution also explicitly authorizes Congress to create and manage “Post Roads”.

    So I don’t have a real problem justifying the Interstate highway system, at least in it’s original basic form, on either grounds. It is a legitimate Constitutional expenditure of Federal tax dollars to maintain bases and the means to move troops and mail within the United States. If we want to get rid of those parts of the Connie, we need to amend it.

    (Of course it’s fair to discuss the necessity of particular roads and bases )

    On the third hand here out West, if the Feds are going to hold massive (65% plus on average) percentages of our state lands out of our private and state economies for the “good of the nation” then the “nation” damn well better pay for them.

    When folks in Illinois and Rhode Island bitch about red states “taking more than they pay” they need to note that they have only single digits of their lands denied to them for real income generation (the token payments we get don’t count). Devolve those Western lands back to the states to be sold or leased to private industry and watch the balance of tax payments quickly go the other way.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Even though those roads benefit the nation far more than they benefit the local population, we’d find a way to manage them anyway. Because that’s just how we roll. And yeah, we get money for military bases in areas where there’s a lot of nice flat land at a good price that also happens to be centrally located to respond anywhere in the United States. Damn liberals. They will protest the military facilities in Berkeley and then complain about them here.
    Fine. They want to get all pissy about Oklahoma, bring it. I like the idea that they think we’re all some kind of backwoods yokels. Keeps the unsavory types out.

  6. Stephen says:

    I grew up in the panhandle of Texas and spent lots of time driving to Oklahoma City. Speaking as a Texan, all that tax money sure never made I-40 from Amarillo to OKC very smooth.

    I agree with Matthew. For the purposes of national defense and delivery of post, the interstate highway system is one thing the federal govt absolutely should be spending money on.

  7. counsel says:

    WaPo… Biased reporting they swear isn’t… Sort of like the duck that walks on two feet and talks-the WaPo just keeps swearing it is a duck…

    Where has factual reporting gone?

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