Recent Articles

Working families got a little of the help they needed this session

Families are the backbone of our society and economy, but too many Oklahoma families cannot keep up. Many Oklahoma jobs pay less than a quarter of what it takes to support a family. [More...]

Wait and Hurry Up: Oklahoma’s Inside-Out Budget Process

Because budgets affect us all, both immediately and into the future, they should be made in public view with public input. While most states show this is easily accomplished, Oklahoma’s leaders neither inform nor engage the public in their budget deliberations.  [More...]

State budget actions tell us how well our democracy is working

Oklahoma is one of few states where there is currently no introduced budget and limited discussion of budget priorities. Oklahoma is likely to once again wait until late in the legislative session to introduce a budget and then to bypass regular legislative rules to pass a budget in just a week or two with little to no public debate. [More...]

“A Day Without Taxes … or, Be Careful What You Wish For”

Twelve years ago, I wrote this article to make a point about the essential role taxes play in our everyday lives. Since then, however, the real Oklahoma has moved closer to the one I feared in my dream. [More...]

We have better options than a costly and poorly-targeted income tax cut

Lawmakers should set aside both of these bills and have a broader discussion about whether it's more important to broadly cut taxes than to provide public services, invest in our state’s future, save for the next economic downturn, or provide better-targeted tax reduction. [More...]

Want to reduce Oklahoma’s public services, hurt local business, and shrink our economy? Eliminate the corporate income tax!

Oklahoma’s corporate income tax is good public policy. Forty-four states have corporate income taxes like Oklahoma’s, and all but two of the remaining states tax business revenues. [More...]

This year we can improve our social insurance programs to encourage work and support working families

Every one of us will suffer if we don’t help those whose income, health, and food security have been most damaged by the pandemic. We have the means to provide that help, but we must find the will. [More...]

Our new benefits simulator helps families understand assistance programs and helps support better policies

OK Policy’s simulator is a menu-driven Microsoft Excel worksheet in which users input details about a family to see how assistance programs help them at various hours of work and hourly wages. [More...]

Revenue estimates don’t make budgets. Leaders do.

The State Board of Equalization provided the revenue certification that will serve as the basis for Oklahoma’s budget year that starts July 1, 2021 (FY 2022). The news was better than expected, but doesn’t suggest the state’s long-term budget slide is over. [More...]

New report shows the importance of assistance programs to Oklahoma families

The report shows how many Oklahomans need assistance from these programs and how the programs lift many out of poverty. It shows how programs interact to make resources available to families. [More...]