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Bond debt bravado

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: June 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm •  Published: June 7, 2013

State Sen. Josh Brecheen and House Speaker T.W. Shannon noted this week that Gov. Mary Fallin recently signed into law their bill aimed at limiting the state’s bond indebtedness.

House Bill 2195 says no more than 5 percent of the annual average of the past five years’ general fund receipts can be used to pay off bonds.

Shannon, R-Lawton, cited spending in Washington and said HB 2195 indicates his office “will not be responsible for endangering the future prosperity of Oklahomans through reckless spending and mounting debt.”

Shannon’s regular invocation of spending by Congress provides red meat for conservatives, but it’s a bit misleading. Our debt service is manageable, and then some. Paying off our state’s bonds would require about 1 cent of every dollar generated by the state economy. Conversely, erasing the federal debt would take $1.07 for every dollar the U.S. economy produces.

Brecheen, R-Atoka, says he and Shannon reject the “debt is wealth” mentality seen in other states. Fine. But rejecting all new debt, period, as they have, while

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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