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As of today, “seven states—Alaska, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia—have yet to sign on to the adoption of national academic standards and tests,” Heritage Foundation analyst Lindsey Burke points out in a new memorandum (‘National Education Standards and Tests: Big Expense, Little Value’). “They wou...
Thanks to the hard work and income generation of productive Oklahoma citizens, the Oklahoma Tax Commission reports that the state will have about $106.4 million more to spend than was estimated in December. OCPA recommends that lawmakers use this revenue in one of the following ways: &...
“We share a common belief that America’s long-term fiscal gap is unsustainable,” the members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility (the Bowles-Simpson commission) recently declared. “If left unchecked, will see our children and grandchildren living in a poorer, weaker nation. … Every modest sacrifice we refuse t...
Pension reform is gaining real traction at the state capitol this year, and OCPA’s Jonathan Small has been busy testifying before committees and educating lawmakers. Here are some of his ideas.
Despite all the talk of Oklahoma’s state budget “shortfall” (a word I’m not thrilled with), a plurality of Oklahomans still favors cutting the state income tax.“It appears that Oklahoma voters understand that income tax rates matter in regards to maintaining Oklahoma’s economic competitiveness,” says OCPA economist Scott Mood...
By Brandon Dutcher
Kudos to Gov. Mary Fallin, who made it clear in her State of the State address this month that “the growth of government shouldn’t outpace growth in the private sector.” Unfortunately, that is exactly what’s been happening in Oklahoma over the last few decades, as this nifty data tool from the Tax Foundation demonstrates.
Kudos to state Rep. Leslie Osborn for trying to bring some fiscal discipline to the OHLAP program. As Peter J. Rudy reported yesterday, “Rep. Osborn says she wants to ‘tighten up two criteria to give the program to children who need it, not an entitlement run amok.’ … Her bill would look at the parents’ income every year to d...
“Oklahoma taxpayers pay the bill every year for some state officials to lobby legislators, and several lawmakers say it is time to put an end to that practice,” John Estus reported on Sunday in an above-the-fold story in the state’s largest newspaper (“Oklahoma agency lobbying activities often on taxpayer dime”). Yes, without...
Yesterday in the Journal Record, law professor Andrew Spiropoulos analyzed a pernicious idea that is trying to gain a foothold in Oklahoma—something called the National Popular Vote bill. Spiropoulos, who is also the Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at OCPA, says “the bill seeks to gut one of the great innovations of our ...
By Brandon Dutcher
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed an executive order abolishing the Kansas Arts Commission, then announced the formation of a private 501(c)(3) organization to advance the arts in the state.“Our state faces a nearly $500 million budget shortfall and has nearly 100,000 Kansas who are unemployed. As we look to grow Kansas’ e...
“Having promised to govern as a consistent conservative,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott “appears to be doing just that,” reports Peter Roff, a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report. Gov. Scott has introduced a state budget that is “a model for what other reform-minded governors may want to do in their states.”The stat...
As we remember Reagan on what would have been his 100th birthday week, I marvel at the fact that so many people are still attempting to understand him. It’s as if they just can’t accept the idea that what you saw was what you got. Reagan had a firm set of convictions that government was too big, taxes were too high, and Ameri...
That’s the last year overall government spending in the U.S. declined from one year to the next. What was it Jefferson said about government? Its natural tendency is to grow, as liberty loses ground.
OCPA distinguished fellow J. Rufus Fears often points out that, though freedom is so entrenched in the United States that it’s sometimes taken for granted, this has not been the case in all times and places throughout history. Indeed, last weekend on NPR, Dr. Fears said the current chaos in Egypt serves to remind us that free...
“A state Senate committee has approved a bill to strip power from the Oklahoma State Board of Education and give the state school superintendent complete control of the agency,” the Associated Press reports. This much-needed reform is exactly what OCPA recommended.
I was reading previous years’ Governor’s Budget Books over the weekend, and decided it might be informative to total the amount of past state appropriations that went to state golf courses. From FY-2001 to FY-2009, lawmakers appropriated $6,530,000 for golf courses. This figure does not include the amounts for FY-...
As OCPA has pointed out before, President John F. Kennedy understood that tax reduction “sets off a process that can bring gains for everyone, gains won by marshaling resources that would otherwise stand idle.” That's why we are urging state legislators and Gov. Mary Fallin to reduce Oklahoma’s personal income tax rate from 5...
“Last spring, it looked like the Oklahoma state legislature was going to reject a school-choice bill to provide vouchers for learning-disabled students,” John J. Miller reports in the cover story of the newest issue of National Review. Earl Sears, a Republican, announced his opposition on May 19—a bad blow, because Sears is ...
Okay, I think I’ve got it now. A three-fourths supermajority of Oklahoma’s Republican-controlled legislature is going to raise taxes and increase your medical costs. But it’s all for a good cause: They want to borrow more money from your grandchildren in order to prop up a dysfunctional, single-payer medical welfare program t...
The reason taxpayers must support “limited government” is because the larger the government, the more inefficient and unaccountable it becomes. Take the example of a recent news report from WUSA Channel 9 in Washington D.C. Andrea McCarren reported that for several months her news crew kept track of the lights lef...
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