An irresponsible solution for Oklahoma’s budget shortfall
By John Tidwell
It’s time for a dose of honesty with the citizens of Oklahoma. The 56th Legislature is focused on raising taxes to fix a budget shortfall that is totally self-inflicted. Oklahomans deserve better than broken promises and higher taxes.
I find myself — along with thousands of other Oklahomans who have worked for decades in our state to pursue economic opportunity, innovation and investment — dismayed by the singular goal of our Legislature right now to pass bills that are “revenue raising.”
That’s bad news for Oklahomans, but even worse would be to accept one proposal for addressing the budget: to enact a job-killing tax increase on Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry. This short-sighted approach does nothing to curb the irresponsible spending that put us in this position.
Aside from the energy jobs it would impact, raising taxes would also have a devastating effect on service industries, from IT to food service, and would hurt thousands of Oklahoma families. Such a devastating action is akin to having a cut on your finger that needs minor first aid and deciding to amputate the finger because you were out of bandages.