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Economic Freedom
Which Governors are Leading on Tax, Spending Issues?

July 17, 2017 - 3:15pm CDT

ALEC recently released its State of the States 2017 report, which analyzes economic policy proposals in governors’ state of the state addresses from across the country. It includes a “best of the best” and “worst of the worst” list, each featuring six governors. This year’s best of the best inc... READ MORE

Rating Agencies Used As Weapons Against Taxpayers

July 14, 2017 - 8:37am CDT

Citing a decline in "financial resilience,” Fitch Ratings recently downgraded the ratings on Oklahoma bonds. And earlier this year, both Standard & Poor's Global Ratings and Moody’s lowered their ratings on the state of Oklahoma’s bonds. Some now want to use these downgrades to justify tax hike... READ MORE

A Closer Look at S&P’s Bond Rating Downgrade of Oklahoma

July 13, 2017 - 3:15pm CDT

By William Freeland and Jonathan Small Earlier this year, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded Oklahoma government debt a notch. According to a March 1, 2017, “ratings action” memo: “S&P Global Ratings lowered its rating on the state of Oklahoma's general obligation (GO) bonds and appropriation d... READ MORE


July 13, 2017 - 11:18am CDT

By William Freeland and Jonathan Small Executive Summary Standard & Poor's (S&P) recent downgrade of Oklahoma state government debt should be considered with a healthy degree of skepticism. S&P has a dubious track record of accuracy, objectivity, and impartiality in bond ratings. Rather than r... READ MORE

What Drives Income Tax Revenues: Tax Rates or Economic Growth?

July 10, 2017 - 2:52pm CDT

Oklahoma’s marginal personal income tax rate has been reduced to 5% from 5.65% in 2007. Over those ten years, revenue from the personal income tax has fluctuated. The state collected $166,981,275 more from this tax in 2016 than in 2007, a 6.02% increase in tax collections. Examining the data suggest... READ MORE

Income Taxes & Team Success

July 10, 2017 - 11:46am CDT

By Mike Brake Want to help the Thunder win an NBA championship? Eliminate the state income tax! Okay, it’s not quite that simple. But a new study by a University of Illinois economist finds a clear correlation between state income tax rates and the winning (or losing) records of professional sport... READ MORE

State Policy Rankings Show Where Oklahoma Can Improve

July 5, 2017 - 1:49pm CDT

The interim between legislative sessions offers the opportunity to step back and consider the long-term policy direction of our state. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) launched a helpful website this year to complement its yearly print publication, Rich States, Poor States, which com... READ MORE

Free Market Friday: A tale of two sectors

June 23, 2017 - 8:22am CDT

Here’s a tale of two sectors. Sector One is in a slump, due to declining prices. Its income has fallen significantly – by nearly 60 percent – and there’s no sign of dramatic improvement any time soon. Sector One faces cash flow concerns and capital and financing concerns. So, Sector One faces reali... READ MORE

Free Market Friday: Lessons from Illinois

June 16, 2017 - 8:05am CDT

Oklahoma just completed, with much gnashing of teeth and moaning, a budget year with a shortfall of nearly $1 billion. Imagine, though, facing deficits that total $30 billion or more – and that’s before you even start discussing a $250 billion pension debt. Such is the case with Illinois, where law... READ MORE

State Treasurer’s Office Releases 2017 Legislative Session Report Card

June 12, 2017 - 1:18pm CDT

The State Treasurer’s Office released its annual Legislative Session Report Card today. OCPA, one of several groups asked to assign a letter grade to the 2017 session, gave the Legislature a C+. Given that Oklahoma’s total state government spending is at an all-time high, it’s disappointing that ma... READ MORE

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