Sequester will hurt, but not as much as Obama tax increases

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: February 27, 2013

But contrary to Obama's claims, reduced government spending isn't necessarily economically destructive. Consider what's happened in Oklahoma. According to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, total state government expenditures, adjusted for population growth and inflation, were $4,378 per person in 2012, just one dollar more than the $4,377 expended in 2008 — and $283 per person less than what was spent in 2010.

If reduced or stagnant government spending hurt the economy, then Oklahoma should be feeling the impact. Instead, the state is outperforming most of the nation. As Gov. Mary Fallin noted this month, more than 62,400 net new jobs have been created in Oklahoma since January 2011, the fourth-highest growth rate in the United States.

Unemployment in Oklahoma has fallen 30 percent and our unemployment rate remains one of the lowest in the country. Oklahoma's median household income increased by a best-in-the-nation $4,000 in 2011. And the state's Rainy Day Fund now holds about $600 million, a near record.

Contrast Oklahoma's economy with the national economy during Obama's presidency, and you see a stark difference. Under Obama, federal debt has increased by more than $5 trillion, unemployment has remained near 8 percent for years, and national median household income has declined $4,300.

The lesson here is clear: Hammering the private sector with tax increases is economically destructive; reasonable reductions in government spending are not.

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