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WHAT OTHERS SAY: After election, it's time for officials to get to work

Friday, November 9, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST

The election is over, and one thing seems obvious — the status quo won by a landslide.

We will have the same president, the same party controlling the Senate, and the same party controlling the House of Representatives. Our governor will stay in office, and control of both houses in the state legislature remains with Republicans.

We hope that when all of the officials go back to work they will not continue to govern as they have for the past four years. Maybe after the dust settles they will put the people’s business ahead of the business of re-election and start addressing some of the problems we have in our county, state and nation.

In Missouri, the voters turned down a tobacco tax and passed a proposition that prevents the administration from working to create an online insurance exchange. The first is evidence of a strong anti-tax attitude, and the second is evidence of an equally strong anti-“Obamacare” stand.

So, the new legislature is left to find a way to fund the state’s needs. Legislators will need to work together (in Missouri’s case, it’s not “across the aisle,” but across chasms within the Republican Party itself) to find answers.

The tobacco tax would have brought in millions of dollars for education, but that is not the only loss for the state.

The last General Assembly allowed benevolent tax credits, which bring in much-needed revenue to support social services, to die along with other genuinely questionable tax credits. Legislators were also unable to provide a good fix for the out-of-state vehicle sales tax that was struck down in court.

The legislature also needs to quit finding ways to poke at President Barack Obama’s health care program. The hollow vote on Prop E will do nothing to stop Obamacare — with the president’s re-election, that is even less likely — but it will hamstring the state from providing needed input on the health insurance that will be available to state residents.

Like Obamacare or not, Missourians need to have the same opportunities for health care as other Americans, and we ought to have a say in how that is provided instead of turning the whole thing over to the federal government.

Copyright Springfield News-Leader. Reprinted with permission.


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