Two or three times in recent months reports have surfaced from State Treasurer Ken Miller, and carried here, that revenue collections had shown substantial increases over 2016. These led me to question if there was a real need to have the special sessions of the Legislature called by Governor Mary Fallin in 2017. Special sessions are rather expensive, especially when there is a projected revenue shortfall from the budget approved last year. We have been told that special sessions run a normal cost of about $30,000 per day, but not whether there are added costs to that number, such as travel and per-diem expenses.
Now there was another increase of state revenue reported in December plus increases in all but one month of 2017. Receipts have exceeded those of 2016 by $667.6 million. The one month without an increase was not listed, but logic would give the presumption that it would have been January, before the boom engendered by the inauguration of PRESDT became a reality. With a previously projected shortfall of $316 million, it would seem that the problem would have solved itself, and so it would not have been necessary to even have had any special session – let alone two.
It still confuses me how this state government, which has a constitutional requirement to not operate on a deficit, can continue to spend money, like there was no limit, and not seriously seek to cut waste wherever it is found. State Auditor Gary Jones has documented a number of very wasteful situations in the Oklahoma governmental operations, as he has stated in some of his speeches attended by me. But neither House, as a group, seems to be interested in taking action to reduce or eliminate the wasteful, and/or illegal operations and practices, nor does the governor.
On top of that, there are those who want to (and do) throw large amounts of money into questionable activities (giveaways or “bribes”) in hopes of bringing new business here. It would seem obvious to me that the brakes should be put on all such wasteful practices and we would be able to substantially cut taxes. Another detriment to securing new business activities would be the multitude of onerous and anti-business regulations that exist, many instituted by unelected agency managers.
It would be interesting to see just how many individuals and corporations have moved headquarters out of the state and, if their management would divulge, what actual reasons they used to justify the expense of the move. My memory is still clear that when the decision was made by the parent company to move the headquarters of Amoco Production Company to Chicago, Amoco President Randy Yost publicly stated that he did not want to move there, but simply “Oklahoma is not friendly to business” (as best in my memory).
And now it has been released that House Speaker Wright, R(INO?)-Weatherford, has submitted a House Resolution that would amend the State Constitution to lower the vote requirement to raise taxes from the present 75 percent to 60 percent. It would, of course, require a vote of the people in November to take effect, but that would just open the door to more taxation and probably more businesses and people deciding to move out and thus lower the tax receipts. Are they mindless down there?
For those currently uninformed the acronym RINO stands for Republican In Name Only and should be applied to anyone who campaigns on low taxes, with no increases and economies of operation (in accordance with the Republican Party Platform) and then violates those campaign promises when in office. It is sad, but there are far too many RINOs holding elective office all over the nation. That was what I presumed PRESBO meant when he promised to “drain the swamp” in the District of Columbia.
Along that line, it should be recalled that it was during the Administration of FDR, beginning in March of 1933, that residents of Washington, D.C., were first allowed to vote, and thus have a say in who the elective bosses were to be. Also, the time when the Civil Service laws were instituted – which allowed them to have total job security.
That was the beginning of the swamp because they were able to thwart the efforts of an incoming president. Before that, a new administration would normally replace all the bureaucrats with their own loyal people that they could rely on for support.
It was much better then.