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Consider the source of Laffer plan criticism

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: December 7, 2012

To prevent suburban sprawl, Good Jobs First suggests 10 “Smart Growth Principles” that include “compact building design,” directing development “toward existing communities,” and preserving “open space.” That means confining citizens to smaller dwellings in compact urban areas where they don't want to live while blocking new construction in the areas they do.

In their critique of Laffer, Good Jobs First declares that efforts to significantly lower tax rates provide “a recipe for economic inequality, wage suppression, and stagnant incomes, and for depriving state and local governments of the revenue needed to maintain the public infrastructure and education systems that are the true foundations of long term economic growth and shared prosperity.”

In Oklahoma, our top income tax rate of 5.25 percent kicks in at $8,700 (or $15,000 for married couples). How does slashing taxes and increasing take-home pay for people qualifying for welfare amount to “wage suppression”? Good Jobs First's true concern is likely the second half of that sentence — that government would have less money.

Good Jobs First's policy prescriptions would boost union and government power at the cost of individual freedom and citizens' economic mobility. Proposals based on Laffer's theories may not be perfect — we support a lower tax rate but question the wisdom of full state income tax repeal — but his ideas would empower citizens far more than those promoted by Good Jobs First.

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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