Conservatives see these results as the logical outcome of the stimulative effect of tax cuts. Critics will disagree, but they can't deny that dire predictions about past tax cuts have not borne out, or that the financial challenges of recent years were caused by a national recession whose consequences would have been the same no matter what income tax rate prevailed in Oklahoma.
Fallin's current income tax plan is in line with previous cuts that gradually reduced Oklahoma's top rate by 25 percent since the 1990s. By making her tax reform goal more modest this year, Fallin has likely made it more attainable.
But as laboratories of democracy, the 50 states compete not only for businesses and job creation, but also in policy development and implementation. Should Louisiana and Nebraska adopt tax reforms similar to those Fallin touted in 2012 — and experience increased economic growth as a result — her 2013 tax proposal may still be seen as having fallen short, even if she does get to sign it into law.