Progress linked to wise investments, not tax cuts

Published: April 27, 2012

Oklahoma's political leaders are apparently intent on lowering, or eliminating, the state personal income tax. Despite much talk of “paying” for this by modifying tax breaks, it's more likely (if these leaders are successful) that Oklahoma will see a reduction in public revenue and thus services in a number of areas.

Oklahoma is a sort of social caboose in the federal system. We're often ranked low, or high, in a number of areas. We have among the highest rates of obesity, high rates of infant mortality, low rates of high school completion, among the lowest rates of safe bridges, a scandalously poor human services system, etc. We're a poorly funded and poorly invested state.

I can think of only one recent progressive development in Oklahoma: the civic and economic renaissance that Oklahoma City is experiencing. This is due to actions and policies that are the exact opposite of what the state's political leadership is seeking. Local citizens, with consistent local leadership, have three times voted to increase taxes for limited and well-targeted goals. Some of this came during a period of hard economic times. The city has invested in itself; the progress is there for all to see.

Richard Wells, Norman

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