Oklahoma City —
Again, given the low income levels landing people in Oklahoma’s top income tax bracket, those interested in a rate reduction are not merely an insignificant or overly partisan sliver of the state population.
Given the state’s budget situation, and the backlog of needs that accrued when lawmakers had to cut spending during the national recession, we’ve questioned whether a tax cut should be on the front burner this year. Fallin’s proposed budget illustrates the trade-offs that must occur to cut the tax rate while balancing the budget at a time of revenue decline. In general, though, low income tax rates encourage successful people to live in a given state. Neighboring Texas, an economic engine for the nation, has no personal income tax.
We’ve also agreed in principle with OK Policy’s contention that the top income tax rate shouldn’t kick in as such low-income levels. Rather than painting the rich as undeserving beneficiaries of tax cuts, why not make sure more lower-income people aren’t taxed at the highest rate?
To their credit, both OK Policy and Inman also advance solid arguments to justify increased spending in certain areas rather than enacting a tax cut. If they want to do more than provide sound bites, they should focus on rational, policy-based arguments — not crass appeals to class division based on a mathematical sleight-of-hand.
The Journal Record, Feb. 10, 2014
E-cigs have not been proved safe
At first whiff, electronic cigarettes don’t seem like such a bad idea. They can look like cigarettes and produce a vapor that can be inhaled like a cigarette, but there’s no burning tobacco involved. They deliver a dose of nicotine so, like patches and gum, it sounds like a reasonable product to help smokers quit.