Modernize pensions. Miller wants to offer a portable pension benefit option for future state employees, “to meet the needs of a modern workforce.” Adding this option is fiscally responsible and would bring Oklahoma in line with the private sector, federal government and a number of other states. Other pension tweaks are vital as well.
In his Dec. 20 newsletter, and in remarks made recently to The Oklahoman's editorial board, Miller laid out a wish list that aligns well with conservative governance. The treasurer's plea for caution on income tax cuts last year made him appear relatively moderate, but true conservatives believe in good stewardship as well as low taxes and spending restrictions.
In this sense, Miller is a true conservative. By his own admission, his wish list is “probably a bit ambitious.” But, he adds, “Oklahomans have been much more nice than naughty and giving them a more fiscally responsible government can't be nearly as hard as trying to get two front teeth.”
Getting Father Christmas in Washington to be a good fiscal steward is like pulling teeth. But Oklahoma doesn't have to follow that example. And it would not be doing so by issuing bonds.
True conservative leadership recognizes that some debt is as sweet as a candy cane and that fiscal pragmatism is always cleaner than rigid lumps of partisan coal.