The Norman Transcript

Letters

February 2, 2014

The insanity of 2014 tax cuts

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

At the recent Budget Summit, after listening to a litany of state services in serious trouble now and a projected $172 million budget reduction for the year, Preston Doerflinger, budget director to Gov. Fallin, asked the audience how many thought the GOP run government was taken care of our state financials well.

When no one raised a hand he looked stunned. The audience was stunned that he asked that question.

Gov. Fallin is saying she would be in favor of a “reasonable” further reduction in the income tax rate and both House Speaker T.W. Shannon and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman have signaled their willingness to support it. Several GOP members in the House and Senate have proposed a plan to cut the income tax in steps down to a 4 percent rate by 2018.

The Norman Transcript 1/20/2014 reported Rep. Leslie Osborn comment that “Nearly every time we have lowered the (tax) rate, we have seen a commensurate rise in tax revenue to the state’s coffers to fund core services” despite the pathetical state of our current services brought about in part by their previous tax rate cuts. How can they say what they are saying, even a Jan. 19, 2013, Oklahoman editorial recommended they work on the budget instead of income tax cuts.

I am not saying anything new as so many others have spoken of the insanity of these tax cuts. It cannot be better said by someone who knows than David Blatt, Oklahoma Policy Institute Director, who said “It defies credibility to say we can afford cutting taxes even deeper when class sizes are rising, corrections officers are risking their lives in overcrowded prisons, and we still don’t have enough foster homes to protect our most vulnerable children.

These are preventable tragedies, but only if we stop the march of unnecessary tax cuts, take sensible steps to curb unnecessary tax breaks, and invest in Oklahomans.”

Chadwick Cox

Norman

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