Proposed federal tax increases no cure for weak economy

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: November 18, 2012

Clearly, taxes influence behavior, and an increased burden has negative consequences. Obama tacitly acknowledges this because he argues middle-class tax cuts should be extended. But if tax increases harm working families, why does he think there's no consequence when rates are hiked for those who employ middle-class families?

It is true Oklahoma's economy is faring well. State general revenue fund tax collections for October totaled $439 million, an increase of $30.9 million compared with a year ago. But state Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger correctly warns that national events could soon overwhelm positive local trends.

Obama's economic policies are having detrimental consequences that will only get worse if he succeeds in further raising taxes. In the private sector, the result will be felt in citizens' lost income and security; in state government, it will be seen through associated declines in tax collections and reduced funds for schools, roads, and public safety.

It's ironic that advocates of increased state government spending — and yes, they do exist even in Oklahoma — may see their ambitions thwarted by the economic policies of a president who agrees with them. But it will be tragic if countless citizens financially struggle and have reduced quality of life because a president's ideological rigidity blinded him to economic reality.

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