Editorial: Fallin’s useless special session

Gov. Mary Fallin really wants a tax increase.

Fallin twice ran for governor and ran as a fiscal conservative. In other words, she used to believe in the Republican Party Platform, which is for a smaller, more efficient government, and tax cuts.

Fallin doesn’t believe in that anymore and since she is a lame duck, her true feelings for confiscatory taxation have surfaced.

Fallin is calling the Legislature back into special session to raise taxes. She wants to restore the unconstitutional $1.50 cigarette “fee” – which even the liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court recognized as a tax increase.

Fallin wants to save money but a special session will siphon more than $300,000 out of state coffers. And it won’t accomplish much because conservative Republicans won’t vote for a tax increase and liberal Democrats won’t vote for a tax increase in order to embarrass the GOP leadership.

Here’s a reform that would make sense but won’t happen because of opposition from Fallin and leaders in both parties. Instead of waiting until the last two weeks of the legislative session to pass a budget, why not work on the budget for the entire session? And instead of only an up-or-down vote on the budget, why not give lawmakers a chance to adjust the budget so they can vote for it with a clear conscience?

Oklahoma doesn’t have a revenue problem. Oklahoma has a spending problem.

This state is run by greedy agency chiefs who are more interested in growing their “kingdoms” than fiscal responsibility.

Fallin proposed around 150 new taxes at the start of the 2017 session. Democrats blame miniscule cuts in the state income tax years ago for the budget deficit (instead of the downturn in the energy industry).

A special session won’t solve any problems but will probably make things worse.