Last weekend I was privileged to give a presentation to a group of
individuals who have become engaged in following political activities
due to the recent occurrences in national politics.
It is my belief that these developments will give rise to a large
number of citizens who become involved in the political scene, stay
engaged and work to make a difference for years to come. There is no
doubt that a number will run for office and I believe they will effect
progress in returning government to a more limited role such as that
envisioned by our founding fathers.
I wanted to share with them some of my observations and talk about
principles which differentiate between true citizen statesmen who
provide a service to their fellow citizens and professional
politicians who have wreaked so much havoc. I feel it is important for
people to take a stand on these issues before seeking office. They
need to know what they believe and use a checklist to ensure they are
not deviating and becoming a part of the status quo - and thus they
can continue to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
Citizen statesmen must engage in universal opposition to tax and fee
increases. Money is the fuel which creates big government. In today's
world there are already hundreds of different fees and taxes which are
forced on the citizens. We must draw the line here. There is a calling
for citizen leaders at all levels of government to oppose any efforts
to increase the size of government by opposing fee and tax increases
and to work for tax reduction.
Forward thinking leaders will oppose attempts to issue debt. Issuing
debt is a way for politicians to provide temporary solutions to
current problems and in so doing make it very difficult for future
generations to reduce the size of government. This is one of the most
abusive practices and is practiced by politicians of both parties.
Ethical legislators will insist on a separation of form and function
in the budget making process. Legislatures who earmark money are
bypassing a system of checks and balances and are greatly enhancing
the opportunity for corruption.
Elected officials must energetically assist the effort to increase
transparency. Technology is already in place to allow citizens to hold
government accountable as never before. Policy leaders must have the
courage to allow this to happen and the energy to enforce its
application as soon as possible.
Perhaps the hardest but one of the most necessary roles policy makers
must be successful at is cutting government spending. Unlike a private
business, the government will never go away and thus does not have an
instinctive need to streamline and reduce waste. It is their
responsibility to follow the rapidly developing high-tech industry and
aggressively apply technology advancements to streamline spending as
soon as possible.
Finally, a citizen statesman should seek office not because of
personal ambition or to become a career politician, but from
dedication to making a difference and being a part of solution. If a
policy leader finds that their desire for political advancement
influences the way they govern, then they have likely become part of
State Representative Jason Murphey
Chairman Government Modernization Committee
State Capitol Building - Room #400B
2300 North Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
1(405) 557-7350 (Office)
1(405) 315-5064 (Cell)