Everybody remembers The Wizard of Oz. You know the story, Dorothy gets sucked up in that Kansas twister and ends up in a fantasy world. The story has plenty of great moral lessons, including being smart, having a heart, and gaining courage, something that is somehow lacking in the Alabama Legislature. Where it’s filled with people who lacks the smarts, does not have a heart, and does not have the courage to do the right thing. Which is to redo the upside tax code which needed fixing since the 1901 constitution was written.
So, this Sunday Discussion is going to compare the problems inside the Alabama Legislature and government to this classic movie. And oh boy, there are plenty of things I can compare between this classic movie and a corrupt government, let’s go!
Dorothy and Toto
First off, let’s compare the main characters, Dorothy and Toto, to the Alabama government. Dorothy and Toto have no idea where they are after being in that tornado. Sure, they get some help from strangers like the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Lion. But, it takes the wrongdoings of the Wicked Witch of the West and the melting of her to get Dorothy and Toto back home, or at least waking up from being knocked out. In comparison, anyone who moves to Alabama and is not an extreme right wing / tea party nut job comes into the state just like Dorothy and Toto.
These people wonders why we have elected leaders who are corrupt and are on a mission to downsize the Alabama Government so much that the feds have to come in and take over. People like me who are independent or are Democrats are mostly left feeling alone and needing someone to talk too, just like Dorothy and Toto in the movie. Sure, they meet other people, but they get taken for a ride and are almost destroyed just like in the movie. Keep reading, this post just gets better!
Wicked Witch of the West
In the movie, the Wicked Witch wants those ruby slippers so bad she almost kills Dorothy. And she has plenty of evil puppets to make sure she gets her evil deeds done. In comparison, the legislature is just like the Wicked Witch, wanting to take more tax money from the poor and elderly while taking less tax money from the rich.
Sen. Bill Hightower has introduced a flat tax bill that would impose a flat 2.75% state income tax for individuals and a 4.59% tax for corporations. The problem, mostly all deductions for individuals would disappear. And anyone earning less than $12,600 for a family of four, where they don’t pay a state income tax, would be forced to pay taxes. At the same time, most deductions for corporations would stay in place. So cool, make poor people pay more taxes while the rich pay less in taxes. It’s just like the Wicked Witch winning, killing Dorothy, and getting those ruby slippers. See the connection?
Great and Powerful Oz
In the movie, Oz is hiding way back in a building and behind a curtain. He wants to be so powerful that he scares the people living in Oz to not question his authority. In comparison, the Alabama Legislature is just like Oz. They are passing unconstitutional bills, and making sure they can be more powerful and corrupt, and they scare anyone who wants to question their authority. Mike Hubbard, who is facing corruption charges, is the biggest Oz lookalike.
He wants no one to question his authority, and he pretty much runs the show. Including closing down the state house session early, just so he can go meet with his lawyers. He also likes to talk down to any other legislator who thinks he is doing the wrong thing. In the movie, Oz eventually does the right thing. But, I don’t think Mike Hubbard will be doing the right thing anytime soon, other than making sure he does not drop the soap in prison.
In the movie, the Scarecrow wants a brain. Man, that is something everyone needs, especially our legislators! For example, some in the legislature signed and passed a resolution that tells the governor not to expand Medicaid under any circumstances. I mean, leaving billions on the table while the poor can not get the medical help they need is something someone would do without a brain. Another thing to do without a brain, de-fund more public schools by expanding the Alabama Accountability Act. Sure, give tax breaks to the rich folks so they don’t have to spend the money for private schooling, genius!
Another thing to do without a brain, pass laws that are unconstitutional and will require taxpayer money to defend in court. Rep. Terri Collins introduced the fetal heartbeat bill that would also require an trans-vaginal ultrasound. Another legislator introduced the People’s Trust Act that would allow the state to skip a $15 million payment for one year. And there are other bills that would discriminate against gay people in Alabama. Enjoy spending taxpayer money losing! Also something from people who don’t have a brain. The Patient Save Access Act would allow medical marijuana in Alabama, it probably won’t see the light of day.
The Tin Man
In the movie, the Tin Man wants a heart. We need a heart to survive, but we also need a heart to do the right and moral thing. Something the Alabama Legislature and political leaders don’t want to do. For example, Chief Justice Roy Moore lacks the heart to allow two people of the same-sex to get married, and will fight to keep the ban even if the US Supreme Court rules to allow same-sex marriages in all 50 states in June.
Another person who lacks a heart is Attorney General Luther Strange. While he is spending taxpayer money to defend unconstitutional laws that breaks up families and allows the rights of others to be taken away, he wrote a op-ed saying not allowing gambling, new taxes, and the allowing of unearmarking funds would solve the general fund deficit. What he didn’t say is most of the earmarked funds goes to education and schools, and unearmarking them to fund prisons is the most heart-worthy thing to do, how awesome is that!
The Cowardly Lion
In the movie, the Cowardly Lion wants to have some courage. And everyone needs some courage! I give credit to some in the legislature who has the courage to try to do the right thing. For example, Del Marsh will be introducing a bill to allow a lottery in Alabama and allow the Poarch Creek Indians to have casinos gaming. The bill would also allow the state dog tracks to have casino gaming as well. The gaming would be taxed to help the general fund. You think this will pass and be good, think again.
Sadly, many churches and so called Christian leaders lack the courage to allow this to pass. Even if this bill does pass the legislature, the people of Alabama must vote on this and approve it to become law. You know that many church leaders along with the The Alabama Citizens Action Program are already organizing their people and members to tell people to vote no on this. Let’s see, vote no on gambling or new taxes, but make sure the cuts are so severe the state government will shut down, that is Christians for you in Alabama!
The Flying Monkeys
In the movie, the monkeys are the Wicked Witch’s puppets. They do what the witch wants them to do. In comparison, most of the people of Alabama are the evil Flying Monkeys. Think about it, we just do what our elected officials wants us to do. If the officials tells them to reelect them, they do it. If they tell them to support major cuts, they support the cuts. If they tell them to rise up and complain, they do it as well. We are their puppets, like in the movie!
Here is something to think about, if you are like the Flying Monkeys, and just do what the elected officials tells you to do, you are a part of the Alabama Government problem. You just can’t always just do what someone else tells you to do, sometimes you need to do something different. Like vote for another candidate or a dreaded Democrat, or just refuse to do what the elected official wants you to do. Being different is a good thing, something more people needs to do!
The Tornado in the movie sends Dorothy and Toto to another world. But you don’t see a lot of damage in the twister. The tornado in the movie is just like the tornado Alabama could be facing with the nearly $700 million general fund deficit. Our glorious legislators are looking at nothing to raise some revenue, other than gambling. So, most likely the Alabama twister is about to gobble up Montgomery and the state and destroy everything in its path.
What will be destroyed? Prisons, mental health, state parks, state troopers, state health, courts, National Guard, human resources, EPA, senior care, and anything else not education/schools in Alabama. This will only force the feds to come in via their own tornado, and force the state to shutdown or go bankrupt! The cleanup after a tornado can take a long time to complete. Sadly, the cleanup after the Alabama cutback tornado might never be cleaned up and corrected.
So, what do you think? Is the Alabama government like the Wizard of Oz movie? I think so! Some of us might be wishing we were wearing those ruby-red slippers in the movie. And instead of saying “there’s no place like home.” I would be saying “there’s needs to be real change.” I can keep hitting those slippers together, but I don’t think you will see any real change anytime soon in the Alabama government. Maybe slippers like those or a tornado can transport me to another state?
Categories: Discussion Talk Stuff