Executive Vice President

Trent England serves as Executive Vice President at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he also directs the Center for the Constitution & Freedom and the Save Our States project.

Executive Vice President

Share:

Call it the Tom Delay Disease. Even some strident conservatives, after serving years in office and rising through the ranks into leadership, can lose perspective. In 2005, then-House Majority Leader Delay insisted there was no spending left to cut. He claimed Republicans had “pared [government] down pretty good.”

Right now, within the Oklahoma Capitol, there are rumblings and grumblings about a quarter-percent personal income tax cut scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2016. These noises are not coming from the political left.

Oklahoman Democrats consistently oppose tax cuts. Oklahoma Republicans, on the other hand, talk about “right sizing government,” making it less intrusive, and—yes—cutting taxes. In recent elections, large majorities of Oklahoma voters have endorsed the latter message and rewarded Republicans with political power.

The quarter-point personal income tax cut scheduled to take effect January 1st will save taxpayers, collectively, about $50 million in 2016. To put that in perspective, state agencies spend nearly $40 million every year on “swag, advertising, and memberships.” State tax dollars also fund various fairs, expos, rodeos, and roping contests—hardly core functions of government.

Even at what many regard as the core of government services, potential cost savings abound. Reforming state employee health benefits, state-funded healthcare entitlements, and school district administration could save hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

There is fat, plenty of it, to trim in state spending. There are conservative elected officials, plenty of them, working on the next state budget. Whether they have the Tom Delay Disease or not, we’ll soon find out.

Executive Vice President

Share: