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Economic Freedom
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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

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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

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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

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AN ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUE OF THE RECENT S&P BOND RATING DOWNGRADE OF OKLAHOMA

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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