Editorial: Don’t raise state taxes in session

Gov. Mary Fallin called a special session to raise taxes.

Fallin, now officially a “tax and borrow” Republican, signed an unconstitutional bill to raise the tax on cigarettes at the tail end of the regular session Incredibly, the Oklahoma Supreme Court admitted that the cigarette vote was not a “fee” but a “tax increase” and should have had a supermajority vote to pass. It was also originated in the Senate (spending bills are supposed to be from the House) and was wedged into the last week of the session, which also is illegal.

As greedy agency heads and the liberal news media scream bloody murder over the loss of the cigarette tax increase, Fallin and some of the Republican leaders want to find some taxes that the public could swallow in order to grow state government.

Fallin has no plan for cutting spending. Like the Democrats, Fallin wants to take more money from Oklahoma families without the hard work of cutting waste in state agencies.

Conservative Republicans – and there are only a handful of genuine conservatives – will try to block any tax hikes. They can legitimately argue that revenues are rebounding and that there is a lot of fat in the operation of state agencies.

Almost all politicians in Oklahoma these days run as “fiscal conservatives.” They are elected and then they turn their back on that ideology.

How is a Republican who votes for higher taxes any better than a Democrat? Perhaps he or she should switch parties in a rare display of honesty.

That’s not going to happen.

In the meantime, Democrats who promise more spending without tax increases are winning 80percent of the special elections. Fallin is acting like ex-Gov. Brad Henry more and more each day.