On debt repayment, Oklahoma couldn't be more different from D.C.
Jim Joseph, the state's bond adviser, says Oklahoma could borrow as much as $300 million for new bond issues without affecting the state's credit rating. We would argue that not issuing new bonds for projects such as Capitol repairs and a facility for the state medical examiner's office will adversely affect credit ratings by signaling that the state is deferring projects that will get more expensive over time.
The state does have a debt problem in one area — public pensions. Oklahoma ranks 33rd among the 50 states in its unfunded pension liabilities. That's actually an improvement.
What's not improving is the resistance to incurring more debt for capital improvements based largely on the perception that voters can't distinguish between Washington's profligate ways and Oklahoma's modest borrowing practices. Not all debt is equal. Leadership requires making the right decisions that may cause political heartburn.
In Washington, the issue is the metaphorical fiscal cliff. In Oklahoma, we should be worried about a literal cliff that develops because we failed to spend money to prevent it from developing.
Voices Photo Galleriesview all
- 21543Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10852Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 8707Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8666Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 8648Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 7837Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 7718Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister