As mentioned here before, it is a bad thing for hard working Oklahomans if the legislature is in session.
Despite all the promises and all the rhetoric of the conservatives in our state house, Oklahomans will soon be inundated with a number of burdensome and incomprehensible tax plans which, as we will see, is a permanent solution to what is most likely a temporary problem.
When oil prices return to their previous levels, will the taxes be removed? Of course they won’t; and in that event, the state government will find new ways to spend that revenue, necessitating another set of taxes for when another budget crisis comes up. A sad, yet predictable cycle.
Conservatives are resorting to progressive solutions to solve problems, a frustrating thing for Oklahomans who elected them to run our state in a conservative way.
This crisis goes far beyond a budget. It has to do with the faith and trust Oklahomans put into their legislators to responsibly handle tax revenues which are entrusted to them. And it will inevitably result in a lack of trust in our so-called “conservative” values.
It is a very easy thing for someone, especially a legislator – usually as a candidate – to espouse conservative principles to an audience very willing to listen. It is a far more difficult thing to stand on those principles when times get difficult, to make decisions that are politically harmful. The constituents don’t really know what conservatism means either; they demand services of government such as education and healthcare, and in the next moment expect the state to cut back on both taxes and activity. We cannot have both.
It is a sad fact that we will complain and groan about new taxes for a short time, but very quickly they will be absorbed and forgotten, like they always are. But cuts in the state services are not so easily forgotten, especially with regards to educational cuts. Such is the équation fatale; by election time the taxes will be forgotten, but cuts to services will not be.
It is very easy to think of the state government as some sort of defense against the monster of the federal government. And, to be fair, it sometimes is. However that becomes very difficult to think when our state engages in very similar practices!
Beyond this, Boren will get his sales tax in November to fill the coffers of his school; Tulsa is already stuck with the absurd Vision plans, and the whisper is that there will be a MAPS 4 in Oklahoma City. Where will it end? Perhaps those sorts of plans have a place in good economic times. But this is not the time for such frivolous projects. The council of OKC should be ashamed of itself if it is seriously considering a fourth MAPS at this time.