High-tax states wouldn't mind an economy like Oklahoma's

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: April 12, 2013
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Opponents of a tax cut, including legislative Democrats, decry the tax cut plan as providing just $39 per year for a median-income family. Yet if that $39 per family, a collective $169 million annually, can make such a dramatic improvement in government (according to tax-cut opponents), how much more impact would that money have if left in the private sector?

The argument for tax cuts isn't that they will dramatically enrich individuals, but that they will increase the size of the private sector, which allocates money far better than any government agency. That, in turn, creates jobs that actually reduce unemployment, boost wages and lower poverty.

In recent years, total state tax collections have often increased after income taxes were cut — thanks to economic growth that proponents argue is a result of those tax cuts.

Obviously, lawmakers must weigh the need for increased government spending on things like schools, roads and prisons against the need to maximize money in our state's private sector. They ultimately may favor state spending over tax cuts this year, and consider tax cuts again in future years.

Still, given the healthy state of Oklahoma's economy today — after significant tax cuts have been enacted in recent years — it's worth remembering: There are many higher-tax states that would love to trade places with Oklahoma right now.

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