Monday, March 24, 2014

Majority of Oklahomans Oppose Tax Cuts!

Will the Republican Governor and Legislature Listen?

Oklahomans are waking up to the fact these Republicans in State Government will bankrupt state entities in order to give their wealthy donors more tax cuts.  Voters are not happy as recent polling is starting to show:
Voter Support for Income Tax Cuts Falls

A new poll shows falling voter support for Oklahoma personal income tax cuts. 
Approval of income tax cuts fell from 52 to 46 percent. When surveyed voters were asked if they approve of cuts an analysis says would largely benefit the top 1 percent of Oklahoma households, less than one-third did. 
"There really is nobody at this point, no constituency out there clamoring for tax cuts," said Oklahoma Policy Institute Executive Director David Blatt. "At the same time, you have a legislature that still seems hell-bent on passing a tax cut whether anybody's asking for one or not." 
Tax cut support among voters is even lower when asked which public services they favor cutting to support lower income taxes.
The poll also asked voters whether an educated and well-trained workforce or low personal income tax rates were more important to economic growth in the state. 
"People understand that it's an educated and well-trained workforce," Blatt said. "Seventy-four percent responded that an educated workforce is what's needed to create economic growth, compared to 17 percent who said low personal income tax rates." 
The poll of 610 registered Oklahoma voters was conducted earlier this month by Washington, D.C.-based Global Strategy Group.
From OK Policy Email, 24 March 2014:
Less than half of Oklahoma voters now say they support income tax cut plans, and opposition jumps to more than 60 percent when voters learn more about the plan. OETA reported on implications of a study that ranks Oklahoma near the bottom in the nation for family financial security
From Together Oklahoma Email, 24 March 2014:
Oklahomans Agree...
A new public opinion poll shows that less than half of Oklahoma registered voters now support the plan to reduce the state’s top income tax rate. Huge majorities oppose cutting funding for services like education, public safety, and health care to pay for tax cuts. Oklahomans know that isn't a good trade.
The poll shows that Oklahomans are starting to pay attention, but chances are high that our legislators haven't got the message. We are the anti-tax cut majority, but we won't be heard if we don't speak up! 
Tell your legislators: "Fund my services, don't cut my taxes!"
Haven't talked to my conscientious objector State Rep since he was elected and not about to start now.   The man joined the National Guard to have them pay for college and when he found out they were being deployed declared CO status not once but on two separate occasions.  He also lied about where he was living.  First time he ran we had a State GOP Chair who agreed a GOP CO should not be elected along with State House office holders. Then the hard right took over Oklahoma GOP and he got the support of the State Party.  Because he has an (R) behind his name some people here vote for him without any hesitation.   He has accomplished one thing -- help lead me to support Democrats for good.  Cannot take the hard right and their 'my way or no way attitude' which is prevalent in their ranks.

Maybe there is hope after all since people are waking up on tax cuts maybe they will wake up to the fact that our statewide Republicans in some offices in state government are costing taxpayers a lot of money.  Sill waiting for someone to explain why our state Attorney General is wasting tax dollars supporting a law suit by a Republican Major donor David Green who heads Hobby Lobby before the SCOTUS on the ACA mandate for birth control.  

Like many Oklahomans we are getting tired of social issues being the end all be all.  Many of us are upset that vouchers and charter schools are being pushed by the OK State School Superintendent Barrisi at the expense of public schools using text books from Bob Jones University which has been proven to be a fringe University years ago along with Beka Books.  These schools are teaching creationism and substituting conservative ideology for science.   At the same time we are seeing school funding cut by the OK legislature since taking over in January 2009 by over $600M -- why?  Have they gone that far right that normal voters are starting to wake up?  We can only hope!

Now will the Governor finally wake up and realize that Oklahoma cannot afford a tax cut?  We have our serious doubts since major donors are pushing for more tax cuts:
“Lets take this opportunity to show the country that lower taxes and limited government do work,” Fallin said. “We believe in them for a reason. The Oklahoma way and not the Washington way is the best way to support economic growth and help the middle class, Oklahomans and Americans.” 
Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said the $7 billion budget contains $71 million in budget cuts. Cuts would include $47.7 million from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and $49.4 million from the Regents for Higher Education. 
In response to the budget released by the state, University of Oklahoma President Boren released a statement. 
“This budget will be very damaging to the future of our state if it is not modified in the weeks ahead. How can we afford another tax cut when we are already shortchanging the education of our children and grandchildren? Failure to adequately support higher education and all of education will discourage the creation of new jobs and investments in our state. Investors are looking for a highly-educated and trained work force. It is a tragic mistake to invest less per student in education than is being invested in surrounding states.” 
David Blatt of the Oklahoma Policy Institute responded that as Fallin calls for another tax cut, the budget is already $572 million below Fiscal Year 2009 after inflation. Oklahoma has jumped from a budget shortfall in a national recession to an equally serious shortfall of our own creation, he said. 
“Especially troubling is that at a time when Medicaid needs new funding just to continue existing services, the governor suggests cutting state funding for Medicaid while continuing to refuse federal funds,” Blatt said.
If the Governor was truly for limited government, she would tell the hard right there is a moratorium on social issues and quit wasting our tax dollars joining lawsuits against ACA which has been declared the law of the land by SCOTUS.  Gov Fallin knows in her heart the right thing to do for Oklahomans would have been to take ACA Exchanges but she caved to the hard right and now our Medicaid recipients are going to be cut even more along with education.  This is not responsible governing but putting your reelection ahead of what is best for the State of Oklahoma.  Count her as another Republican I was wrong about -- they are mounting up as they put re-election over doing the right thing -- shame on the whole bunch of them.  It is a joke that they say they are for limited government but want to tell the rest of us what we can do -- my way or no way attitude is on full display.

The experiment to put the Republicans in charge of states has failed -- please join in returning common sense to our state government -- no more social issues and fully fund education and infrastructure at the state level.  Today's Republicans have trouble with the facts when it comes to tax breaks:

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