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Economic Freedom
Free Market Friday: A tale of two sectors

June 23, 2017 - 8:22am CDT

Here’s a tale of two sectors. Sector One is in a slump, due to declining prices. Its income has fallen significantly – by nearly 60 percent – and there’s no sign of dramatic improvement any time soon. Sector One faces cash flow concerns and capital and financing concerns. So, Sector One faces reali... READ MORE

Free Market Friday: Lessons from Illinois

June 16, 2017 - 8:05am CDT

Oklahoma just completed, with much gnashing of teeth and moaning, a budget year with a shortfall of nearly $1 billion. Imagine, though, facing deficits that total $30 billion or more – and that’s before you even start discussing a $250 billion pension debt. Such is the case with Illinois, where law... READ MORE

State Treasurer’s Office Releases 2017 Legislative Session Report Card

June 12, 2017 - 1:18pm CDT

The State Treasurer’s Office released its annual Legislative Session Report Card today. OCPA, one of several groups asked to assign a letter grade to the 2017 session, gave the Legislature a C+. Given that Oklahoma’s total state government spending is at an all-time high, it’s disappointing that ma... READ MORE

Free Market Friday: Lessons from Connecticut

June 9, 2017 - 8:24am CDT

Oklahoma is in a recession compared to 2014, after more than 21,800 energy and manufacturing jobs have been cut, when Oklahomans have lost more than $13 billion in taxable income and reduced their purchases subject to sales and use tax by $4.1 billion just to survive. Throughout the entire 2017 leg... READ MORE

Blue State Blues

June 6, 2017 - 8:50am CDT

Oklahoma liberals want higher taxes. House Minority Leader Scott Inman says his caucus hasn’t just been asking for tax increases, “We’ve been screaming it.” The liberal argument is simple: More revenue should make it easier to craft a state budget, right? Connecticut offers a cautionary tale. Acco... READ MORE

Free Market Friday: Getting real about government spending

June 2, 2017 - 1:15pm CDT

From the first day of the 2017 legislative session until its closing moments, most lobbyists and many politicians told us our state has a structural deficit leaving it in dire need of new recurring revenue, which is to say, major tax increases. As Oklahoma’s own Paul Harvey used to say, here is the... READ MORE

Free Market Friday: The veiled budget

May 19, 2017 - 9:14am CDT

To hear some at the state Capitol talk, every agency is on starvation rations due to the state budget shortfall. The executive branch made presentations offering a doom-and-gloom picture of government agencies implying that if funding remains flat for the largest seven agencies then the other 60 age... READ MORE

Oklahoma State Budget Crisis? I Should Say So

May 19, 2017 - 8:45am CDT

By J. Scott Moody and Wendy P. Warcholik When it comes to government spending in Oklahoma, the 800-pound gorilla in the room that everyone ignores is this simple question: Should government grow faster than the private sector’s ability to pay? To answer that question, a little history needs to be ... READ MORE

OCPA Offers Balanced Budget Plan with a Teacher Pay Raise

May 16, 2017 - 11:57am CDT

With just over a week until the end of the regular legislative session, some lawmakers have proposed massive tax increases, including a plan to cap personal itemized deductions that would dramatically increase personal income taxes on many Oklahoma families and small businesses. OCPA released today... READ MORE

Three Cheers for 'Cost Avoidance'

May 15, 2017 - 3:15pm CDT

By Jonathan Small Most Oklahomans know there are really only two ways to deal with the state’s budget shortfall. We can either trim expenses—especially those that can be reduced by some real reforms—or raise taxes. Of course, every time our state raised taxes in the past, that only delayed confron... READ MORE

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