ScissorTales: Success — public or private — should be applauded

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: December 1, 2012
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She did build that!

Here's another one for President Barack Obama's “you didn't build that” file. As a mother of four, North Carolina native Brandi Tysinger-Temple started sewing clothes for her children and eventually sold extra items on eBay, then on Facebook. Response was strong and the business grew. From its humble origins in a spare bedroom, Lolly Wolly Doodle today fills a 19,000-square-foot facility and employs more than 100 people in Lexington, N.C. The business has more than 375,000 Facebook fans. In a town with an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent, Lolly Wolly Doodle is creating jobs the old-fashioned way — by identifying a consumer need and meeting it, not through the crony capitalism too often promoted by Obama. Tysinger-Temple's success is an inspiration to those who still believe in the American dream, and a rebuke to government planners who think they know better.

Tax flight

President Barack Obama touts a tax increase on the rich as a way to lower the deficit. He should take note of Great Britain to see how well that theory works in practice. The Telegraph reports the number of British millionaires fell from 16,000 to just 6,000 after the government imposed a 50 percent tax rate for that group. It's believed many left the country or took other steps to minimize tax exposure, reducing government revenue by 7 billion pounds. Government leaders plan to cut the rate to 45 percent; since that announcement, the number of millionaires has risen back to 10,000. However, the newspaper reports that figure is still “far below” the number recorded even at the height of the recession and financial crisis. Will the same thing happen in the U.S. after a tax hike? Perhaps not, but history suggests otherwise.

Tale of two

times for TU

Best of times: The Tulsa University Golden Hurricane will play Saturday for the Conference USA football title, capping a 9-3 season. Worst of times: TU's athletic director may not be at the game. Ross Parmley was suspended Tuesday just hours after joining Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett in a celebration of the football team's success. The FBI said Parmley is an “admitted gambler” involved with an Oklahoma City bookie now under investigation. Parmley has been AD for less than a year — much longer than the 74 days TU President Geoffrey Orsak served before getting fired in September for undisclosed reasons. It's been a rough year for TU's administration, but the team deserves plaudits for its success on the field. A 9-3 record and a berth in the conference championship game are accomplishments to cheer about.

Tough forecast

The Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System is a bad news-good news-bad news story. The bad news: The fund, previously rated among the nation's worst-funded, saw its unfunded liability increase last year. The system is now only 54.8 percent funded; its unfunded liability grew from $7.6 billion to $8.4 billion. The good news is that the system is still expected to eliminate its unfunded liability in 22 years, thanks in large part to a law requiring full funding of benefit increases. The bad news: That projection relies on 8 percent market growth on investments each year — something that hasn't occurred recently and may not occur for some time. In fact, this year's decline is tied to investment losses in 2008 and 2009. Lawmakers have done much to improve the system, but its future and the long-term security of teachers remains uncertain without broad national economic recovery.

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