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Economic Freedom
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When It Comes to Cost of Living, Red States Win

December 11, 2017 - 3:39pm CST

By Byron Schlomach Blue states generally offer richer social benefits on paper. So at first glance, it seems like you’re better off being poor in California than in Mississippi. On the other hand, some in blue states have complained about how red states get more money from the feds per dollar of f... READ MORE

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Did Harvey Weinstein Benefit from Oklahoma’s Hollywood Handout?

November 3, 2017 - 3:12pm CDT

Photo by Georges Biard / CC BY-SA 3.0 Businesses mostly maximize profits. Big businesses often discover one way to do this is to get special tax deals for their particular industry. Hollywood is a big business, and has followed this game plan in state capitols, including in Oklahoma City. Current s... READ MORE

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The Facts about Revolving Funds

November 1, 2017 - 3:20pm CDT

While recent legislative appropriations have remained relatively stable, total state spending has increased nearly every year. Much of the non-appropriated spending comes from the revolving funds designated for certain state agencies. Revolving funds are not part of annual legislative appropriation... READ MORE

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TSET Promotes Alcohol Consumption, Other Risky Behaviors

November 1, 2017 - 2:26pm CDT

By Trent England Why does a state agency award grants for “alcohol use prevention” while promoting bars? And why would any state agency spend money to promote “drag shows” and other raunchy programs at nightclubs? OCPA’s Center for Investigative Journalism recently reported that Oklahoma’s Tobacco... READ MORE

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Use TSET to Protect Vital Services

October 25, 2017 - 9:39am CDT

In the final hours of the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers desperate to find revenue passed Senate Bill 845 to impose a $1.50 per pack tax on cigarettes. (To get around constitutional limits on legislative power, they labeled the measure a “fee.”) The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously struck do... READ MORE

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Contra Oklahomans’ Preference, State Government Continues to Grow

October 18, 2017 - 1:22pm CDT

As chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, Rep. Leslie Osborn was one of the legislature’s budget negotiators earlier this year. She used that position to make the case for a litany of tax increases, claiming that Oklahomans are “tired of us doing things the way we’ve always done t... READ MORE

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Rainy Day Fund Raid Was Unconstitutional

October 18, 2017 - 1:18pm CDT

After draining all $240 million out of Oklahoma’s Constitutional Reserve Fund, Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger decided to ask the state Attorney General whether doing so was legal. Recently, the Oklahoma Attorney General issued an opinion that, with minor caveats, claims to legitimize Doerf... READ MORE

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Illinois—Not Kansas—Is a Cautionary Tale for Oklahoma Policymakers

October 18, 2017 - 1:11pm CDT

A guided tour of a blue-state basket case In light of Oklahoma’s recent (and much overstated) budgetary woes, some are now pointing to Kansas’s recent fiscal experiment, which featured tax reductions in an attempt to boost economic opportunity, as some sort of cautionary tale for states failing to ... READ MORE

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Free Market Friday: Another Red River rivalry

October 13, 2017 - 8:31am CDT

Each year in October, Oklahoma’s eyes turn south of the Red River to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas for the annual football rivalry game between OU and Texas. Texas has won 61 of those games, OU has won 45, and five were ties. Unfortunately, thanks to the tax, regulatory, and policy advantages Texas hol... READ MORE

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Cost Avoidance #11: Time to reform TSET

October 5, 2017 - 2:39pm CDT

#11) Time to reform TSET: Stop Spending on Night Clubs, Billboards, and Overpaid Executives The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust was set up to help Oklahomans stop smoking and to pay for smoking-related healthcare, but it has lost its way. Today, TSET pays for billboard campaigns about drink... READ MORE

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