Jay Cronley does not normally venture into political commentary, but on January 10 he did. His column entitled, “Re-Vision Tax Plan Boggles the Mind” serves as an excellent example of why so many Americans and Tulsans are fed up with the system or how things get done.
With $770 million on the line to be spent, Cronley asks “Who stands to profit the most off some of this stuff?” That questions needs to be answered in advance. Whatever the task, city managers know who they will look to for performing the work. They need to tell us who will make what.
We don’t need a Route 66 shrine for $10 million. The Oklahoma Historical Society already has one in Clinton, Oklahoma.
Nor do we need an $18 million BMX national headquarters.
What is needed are jobs to replace those lost in the oil industry recession. That brings us to what the super-majority Republican legislature has not done. They spent too much time arguing about Common Core and the Ten Commandments Monument.
They should have opened an economic development office in California and forced reform into public education.
All Oklahoma school districts should have a minimum of 500 students or be consolidated. All school districts should be forced to sell surplus buildings that have been vacant for two years.
By not moving the state forward, people are becoming anxious and it allows individuals like J.J. Dossett to win a very Republican state senate seat in Owasso.
It allows and encourages Dan Boren, former Second District congressman, to seriously consider running for governor. And don’t believe for a moment that Dan’s father David Boren doesn’t get involved in the governor’s race. Just tell that to Steve Largent when he ran against an unknown state senator Brad Henry. It was David Boren who brought Barry Switzer back to OU to counter Largent’s football prowess, by taking Henry around the state on Friday night high school football games.
If Oklahomans were honest with themselves, they would find ways to totally eliminate the state income tax and improve education. We cannot get new business to the state because of the income tax and families will not relocate to communities with failing schools.
One idea that comes to mind is a local gasoline tax – say ten cents. At today’s low prices that is manageable. If the price of a gallon were to rise to $2.50 or $3, the tax would go away. Tulsa needs a dedicated transportation revenue source and this might work. No Oklahoma city uses the tax although other states do. This tax would not be as regressive as David Boren’s proposed education sales tax.
The thing to remember in the Boren proposal that would provide $615 million is that there are no reforms included – just more money for a broken system.
If one looks at how poorly the national government is run and the little Tulsa has to show for electing the “business gettingest” mayor, people have a right to be skeptical of massive new projects financed with borrowed money. We will never tax or spend our way to prosperity.