David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. Trent is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” Trent has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of “Why We Must Defend the Electoral College” and a contributor to "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution" and "One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty." His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. He previously served as Executive Vice President of the Freedom Foundation in Olympia, Washington, where he developed and directed the Foundation's constitutional studies and activism programs. Trent was also a Publius Fellow of the Claremont Institute, a candidate for the Washington State House of Representatives and a legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation. Trent holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and their three children.

David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

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Key Points

1

Why would Oklahomans, those with the highest earning potential and during their prime earning years, move away? And where are they going?

Norman NPR-affiliate KGOU touches on the first question but not the second. 

Oklahoma’s population growth rate is at its lowest since 1990 according to new study from the Kansas City Federal Reserve. That’s because Oklahoma lost more residents to other states than it gained over the past three years, with college graduates leading the way.

But never fear, OCPA's Curtis Shelton took up the topic last year. Using a fascinating data set, he shows that Texas is winning away wealth from Oklahoma. And Curtis points out one big difference between the two states: Oklahoma taxes productivity and Texas does not.

An Oklahoman can move to Texas and, everything else being equal, get a fatter paycheck. As it happens, total Texas taxes aren't much lower than Oklahoman taxes. But taxes are not created equal. Texas tends to tax consumption rather than productivity. That gives taxpayers more say over how much they pay and, at the same time, avoids creating a disincentive on work and investment.

Basically, we have two choices. Either hope that liberals take over Texas and make their tax policy as bad as ours, or reform Oklahoma's tax structure to be competitive with our southern neighbor.

David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

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