I read this article in the Tulsa World, and my blood pressure shot through the roof. I instantly grabbed my laptop to respond to the nonsense being thrown around about SQ 779.
For the record (and I’ve said this before), I’m on the fence about SQ 779. It has its pros and cons, like anything else. At the moment, I have no idea how I’m going to vote on it. For the moment and for this post, I’m sticking a pin in this and will revisit my personal thoughts on it later.
I’ll just go through the article and hit the points that made me see red.
Jonathan Small of the Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs told a local Republican gathering the 1 percent education sales-tax proposal is a political ploy calculated to give the state’s GOP leadership a “black eye” and send the state “back to the Dark Ages of Oklahoma.”
So the fact that the GOP-controlled legislature has done nothing for years is okay, but being made to take matters into our own hands by putting a state question onto the ballot to fund teacher raises, etc. is embarrassing to them?
“Hey, sorry folks. We just can’t figure out how to adequately fund education and other state agencies. But don’t you dare try to do it for us!”
I guess as long as they keep punching themselves in the face it’s okay. We just best not point that out.
“There is more to the ‘Boren tax’ than just teachers’ salaries,” Small said. “If you listen to the message of David Boren and you listen to the message of the left, their message is that Republicans have cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut so much that there’s not enough money available for government.”
Um, they have. Were we not supposed to notice or say anything? Oops. Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, I guess we’ll just have to talk about all the cuts they’ve made and tax breaks they’ve given out, but are just stumped as to how to pay for education and other state necessities. Can someone please explain to them just how this works? That in order to pay for things, money has to be coming in? What are they doing over there at the Capitol? Are they running around looking for a leprechaun and his pot of gold? I just don’t get it. Clearly, they don’t either. But how dare we point out how inadequate they are at balancing budgets!
The tax initiative, he said, is to impress upon voters that “somehow Republican leadership has failed” and to undermine confidence in the GOP’s “pro-growth policies” — many of which, it should be said, originated with and are promoted by Small’s employer, the OCPA.
They have failed. Miserably. And our schools are paying for it, in a very painful way. I would like to ask Mr. Small what ‘pro-growth policies’ are being undermined. And did they even work? I’m thinking probably not. Well darn. That black eye keeps getting more and more swollen.
OCPA representatives have maintained that state revenue is sufficient for common education and other basic services if managed properly. They advocate a number of measures, including elimination of wind-energy tax credits and shutting off state support of tourism.
Well, I guess they haven’t managed it properly. All those unfunded mandates and the growing student population, etc.
This is the first I’ve heard of OCPA being for eliminating wind-energy tax credits. If that’s the case, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet, considering how the GOP jumps to when OCPA speaks.
As for cutting off state support of tourism, would that make a difference? I mean with the way things are going with how mismanaged our state is, who would want to visit?
- (Mayor Dewey) Bartlett said he opposes the tax largely because of the impact it could have on local governments. Oklahoma municipalities depend mainly on sales taxes for operating revenue, and the additional 1 percent would bring the combined state and local sales tax to 10 percent or more in most towns and cities.
“That ends any conversation if we need to ask for a sales tax increase sometime in the future,” he said.
Okay, this is the second time I’ve read about ‘them’ wanting to raise sales tax in the future, and they won’t be able to because of SQ 779. Again, what is it they have planned?
I probably don’t want to know. My blood pressure really can’t take much more of this.