Typically, when we reach out to ask you to contribute to Oklahoma Policy Institute, we list all the good reasons we believe you should support our work with a tax-deductible donation. But it’s become an end-of-year tradition for us to share a reminder that other people may believe differently. Here are five things you may believe that should lead you NOT to donate to OK Policy.
1. Facts don’t matter
On the state policy issues that matter to most people – from the budget and taxes to education. health care, poverty, and criminal justice – OK Policy puts out reliable information and analysis, driven by data and facts. Resources such as our Online Budget Guide, County Fact Sheets, and Legislative Primer, as well as our daily In The Know, are among the fact-based sources of information that other people count on to understand public affairs in Oklahoma. But if facts don’t matter to you, do not donate to OK Policy!
2. There’s only one side to every debate
When one side holds a near monopoly of power in a state, other points of view can struggle to be heard. Through our blog posts, op-eds, columns and presentations, OK Policy is often that lonely voice offering a different perspective, whether it’s making the case for expanding health coverage, arguing for a fairer tax system, or opposing the expansion of predatory consumer loans. But if you believe there’s only one side to every debate, then you should most definitely NOT donate to OK Policy.
3. You don’t need to know how the state budget works
OK Policy works to explain the budget process, show where state revenues come from and how they are spent, and track budget trends over time, guided by the belief that an informed citizenry is vital to a healthy, functioning democracy. With a shrinking Capitol press corps, many people count on OK Policy to shine a light on what’s happening behind the curtains. But if you prefer to remain in the dark, then making a tax-deductible contribution to OK Policy is most certainly a bad idea
4. 49th is quite OK
In Oklahoma, one in six of us, and more than one in five children, live in households that earn too little to stay above the poverty line. On a whole range of health and social indicators, Oklahoma ranks among the states with the worst outcomes. One of OK Policy’s core convictions is that we need purposeful strategies aimed at expanding opportunities for all Oklahomans. We put forward thoughtful, practical policy proposals that will lead to a more prosperous, healthier state. But if you think we just need to work harder to outdo Mississippi in the race to the bottom, donating to OK Policy is probably not a good idea.
5. There’s no more work to do
Last year the Legislature approved new revenues for teacher pay increases and a few other priorities. It was an important first step in addressing some of the damage caused by years of stagnant funding and shrinking services. But so long as we remain last in our region in education funding, are among the lowest in the nation for mental health funding, and have nearly the highest rate of people without health insurance, OK Policy will make the case that we must continue to improve funding for public services that are the bedrock of healthy communities, thriving families, and a strong economy. If, however, you think there’s no more work to do, do not donate to OK Policy.
Kidding aside, we sincerely hope you will make a tax-deductible one-time or recurring year-end donation to OK Policy to help ensure that our work continues to have an impact in 2019. We greatly appreciate your support, and we wish you all the best during this holiday season.