AfP Oklahoma's Jolly reflects on the 2012 legislative session

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Americans for Prosperity Oklahoma director Stuart Jolly speaks out on the legislative session just past:

UPDATE: Oklahoma's Income Tax Reduction Battle & Budget Agreement: Disappointing!

I've racked my brain looking for another word to describe what occurred this legislative session, and sadly, the only word that keeps coming to mind is "disappointing." The Oklahoma House and Senate leaders came to a budget agreement, but for the most part, this budget looked an awful lot like last year's budget, the budget before that, and the previous 8 years' budgets of the previous administration in terms of size and spending. Where were the tax cuts? The consolidations of inefficient agencies? Spending cuts? Disappointing.

Consider this: Every Republican in our state legislature ran on a "lower taxes and limited government" platform, but for the most part still managed to grow government spending and didn't cut taxes. Disappointing.

Now, there are several reasons for the results of this legislative session...and none of them are acceptable. Personality conflicts, lack of leadership, policy distractions, and political expediency are just a few that got in the way.

My recommendations for the 2013 Legislative Session:


  • Focus! Focus on what's good for ALL Oklahomans and do the right things for the right reasons.

  • Cut income taxes for all Oklahomans, including small businesses. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the engines behind a great economy, and a broader, fairer tax base works best and stimulates economies.

  • Submit and vote on budget issues early in the session - not in the last week of session.

  • Better yet, go to a 2-year budget cycle. This would allow more time to truly analyze agency spending and provide real reviews on spending policies implemented two years earlier. Currently, decisions are being made on past spending decisions that are barely implemented before new decisions are made.

  • Being a Fiscal Conservative means cutting spending, eliminating waste, and not funding things that are not a government's job to fund. Do we really want the state to fund a TV station when my TV already has 1000 stations? Or spend 2 million taxpayer dollars on horse racing? Winners and losers in the market place should be based off a product or service provided - and not the quality of your lobbyist.

Bottomline: "It's the spending, stupid!" The government's role is simple: Create an environment for businesses to grow and families to prosper. Government's role should not include paying businesses to provide jobs or picking winners and losers in the marketplace by providing tax breaks to special interest groups. A business will hire when there is a reason to hire or profit to be made. If a bad product is produced, it is not the government's job to keep them in business. However, we're not naïve, and of course there are services that still need to be provided such as roads/bridges, safety and security measures and a short-term safety net for those who fall on hard times.

My advice: Focus on what matters most in this state: Passing measures that create an environment where businesses and families can prosper most, and stop wasting our hard-earned tax dollars on wasteful, inefficient, unproductive spending.

I appreciate the role that groups like AfP and OCPA play in holding our elected officials' feet to the fire. Conservative Republicans control both houses of the legislature and all statewide elected offices. They are without excuse. The way is clear to implement the limited government ideals we profess to hold.

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1 Comments

Born Free said:

"Consider this: Every Republican in our state legislature ran on a "lower taxes and limited government" platform, but for the most part still managed to grow government spending and didn't cut taxes. Disappointing."

They sound like Charlie Christ and Dick Lugar Republicans. If good people could toss the bums out there, they can do it in Oklahoma.

So get busy.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 8, 2012 12:31 AM.

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