The Norman Transcript


July 12, 2014

A pattern is emerging

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Over the past several weeks, three seemingly unrelated events caught my attention.

First, near the end of the legislative session, the House and Senate passed with much fanfare and publicity legislation giving many state employees a raise. Mere days after this, they very quietly passed a budget that reduced state agency appropriations by virtually the same amount. The raise, averaging less than a dollar per hour, would therefore be financed by agencies cutting services, leaving positions vacant or both.

Second, just before the end of the session, the Legislature passed and Governor Fallin signed into law a measure prohibiting any Oklahoma government entity — i.e., municipal, city, town, county government — from increasing the minimum wage above that set by the state. This effectively eliminated any possibility that the most poorly paid workers in Oklahoma would receive any sort of raise in the foreseeable future.

Third, last week a two paragraph report appeared on page six of the Norman Transcript. The Oklahoma State Treasurer reported that tax collections were well short of projections because there was a significant shortfall of corporate tax receipts versus estimates. The reduction of corporate and business taxes and the so-callled death (inheritance) tax have been a priority of Governor Fallin and legislative leadership to make Oklahoma more “business friendly.”

At first brush, these stories appear unrelated. At the same time, these events could be viewed as parts of a strategy and a disturbing deliberate pattern. It is possible that Oklahoma state leaders are systematically engineering favorable conditions for corporations, business and the rich by ignoring and slighting needs of the vast majority of Oklahomans. Of course, this is my opinion. I could be wrong.



Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Natural beauty makes way for parking

    Editor, The Transcript: In support and response to an editorial in The Transcript on June 28 by Pam McIntosh, I am writing this article. In the early ‘70s, many years ago, I lived in what was known as the Sooner Mobile Home Park on South ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Trees do job too well

    Editor, The Transcript: State Rep. Richard Morissette should stick to the concrete and asphalt world, where all of nature has already been killed and people live in fear of living things. Leave our beautiful cedar trees alone....

    July 20, 2014

  • Young people barred from education

    Editor, The Transcript: State universities were created to be the avenue of middle class opportunity in America....

    July 20, 2014

  • Common Core fallacies

    Editor, The Transcript: The article ‘Radioactive’ that discussed Common Core (Transcript, July 14) quotes the fallacy from Republican governors that Common Core is a Federal program; it is not. Many conservatives, especially those labeled ...

    July 19, 2014

  • A pattern is emerging

    Editor, The Transcript: Over the past several weeks, three seemingly unrelated events caught my attention. First, near the end of the legislative session, the House and Senate passed with much fanfare and publicity legislation giving ...

    July 12, 2014

  • Voting for our priorities

    Editor, The Transcript: Ok, let me see if I’ve got this straight. When the federal government ended its program of providing $13-$16 million in surplus equipment each year to fire departments, our state and congressional leaders ...

    July 11, 2014