The Weekly Wonk – December 9th, 2011

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk is dedicated to this week’s events, publications, and blog posts.

This week the OK Policy Blog warned about proposals to cut taxes that would actually shift more costs onto low and moderate-income Oklahomans.  OK Policy was quoted in two stories by NewsOK explaining the devastating implications of eliminating or reducing the state income tax.  For additional information and research on the income tax debate, see our tax reform information page.

Urban Tulsa Weekly used our work in a story about Oklahoma’s serious problems with predatory lending.  OK Policy analyst Kate Richey appeared on Dr. Bruce Prescott’s “Religious Talk” radio show to speak about the need for affordable credit in Oklahoma and the financially draining impact of high-cost lenders.  Kate also wrote in the Oklahoma Gazette this week about startling disparities in unemployment between white and black workers in the state.

Lastly this week, State Treasurer Ken Miller wrote in the OK Policy Blog about the rhetoric versus the reality on tax incentives.  We also discussed a new report showing how large corporations avoid state taxes.  OK Policy gave a presentation about the status of various aspects of the federal health care law.  Click here for a copy of the presentation and here for coverage from OETA.

In The Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Day

  • 31 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma women aged 18-35 years who reported being sexual assaulted in their lifetime, 2006.
  • 100,213 – Number of Oklahoma children living in homes where the householders are grandparents or other relatives in 2010, 10.8 percent of the children in the state.
  • 60 percent – Percentage discount on the average foreclosed property’s price versus the average property’s price in Oklahoma, the largest percentage of savings of any state in the country as of October 2011.
  • 61,000 tons – Amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted annually by the three oldest coal-fired power plants in Oklahoma, currently out of compliance with the Clean Air Act.  SO2 is a toxic gas that is known to affect lung function when inhaled.
  • 18 percent – Percentage drop in the total mail volume of the U.S. Postal Service between 2000 and 2010




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