The Weekly Wonk: February 17th, 2012

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 we posted a new report debunking highly misleading analysis that phasing-out the state income tax would spur economic growth.  Our work was cited in a StateImpact OK article on the state’s tax reform debate.  We announced that Megan Williams Benn has joined our team as an outreach coordinator leading our work to protect our tax base and ensure adequate funding of public services.

Also this week, we corrected a false claim about Oklahoma’s tax system that has been repeated by Governor Fallin and the state’s major newspapers.  An overview of bills filed this legislative session revealed the session looks better for immigrants but worse for the poor.

Our director, David Blatt, spoke at a town hall meeting in Oklahoma City on the economic impact of public health epidemics to the state.  Finally, two upcoming events in March in Tulsa and Oklahoma City will explore the racial wealth gap in Oklahoma.

Numbers of the Day

  • 1 – Number of people who die on average each day in Oklahoma from an injury inflicted by a firearm.
  • 1,934 – Number of House and Senate bills filed for the 2012 session of the 53rd Oklahoma Legislature, compared to 2,137 bills filed for the 2011 session.
  • 5.2 – Number of children out of every 1,000 who entered the foster care system in Oklahoma in 2009, compared to 3.4 children nationally and 10th most in the country.
  • 2018 – The year by which Oklahoma is expected to have the highest obesity rate in the nation.
  • 70,800 – Number of Oklahomans employed in construction in July 2011, up 6 percent from the previous year.

In The Know, Policy Notes

  • The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy explains why Arthur Laffer’s claim that n0-income tax states are doing better than other states is junk economics.
  • The Thomas B. Fordham Institute gave Oklahoma an ‘F’ for public school science curriculum standards, writing that they “could not have been written—or vetted—by anyone with a working knowledge of the natural world.”
  • David Cay Johnston corrects three big lies about America’s tax system.
  • The New York Times reports on how even critics of the safety net increasingly depend on it.
  • Economic Policy Institute reports that the unemployment rate for African Americans and Latinos in the United States is still devastatingly high and in double-digits in most states.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.