The Weekly Wonk: March 17, 2013


The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

The House passed Gov. Fallin’s plan to slash the top personal income tax rate even further; we proved that the cut would do little to nothing for the average Oklahoman while taking over $100M from core public services like public education.


The OK Policy Blog explained why a crusade to cap bond debt is arbitrary and out of touch with reality.  We also blogged about why a similar effort to limit state spending is a solution in search of a problem.

Because state legislators failed to include a definition of intangible property with State Question 766, we still don’t know how much the new tax loophole will cost. We continued to track bills that affect low-income Oklahomans.

Our director David Blatt wrote in the Journal Record that forces supporting the status quo in criminal justice may have regained the upper ground in reform debates.  Our director was also quoted in an AP article on the Senate’s tax plan.

Education guru John Thompson blogged about the Texas testing backlash and what it means for Oklahoma.   Our education work was mentioned this week in The Sapulpa Daily Herald.

Policy Notes

  • The New York Times explored the consequences for states who heavily tax the poor.
  • The Center for Green Schools found that U.S. schools need $271B to repair facilities and comply with building codes.
  • The New York Times reviewed the scant evidence that cutting taxes grows the economy.
  • CBPP warned that deficit reduction on the backs of the poor would adversely effect the economy for decades.
  • Shriver Center explained how widespread mistakes at rating agencies prevent households from maintaining good credit.

Numbers of the Day

  • $52.6 million – Total annual additional tax penalty for Oklahoma’s employers if the state does not accept federal funds to expand Medicaid
  • $4,378 – Total state expenditures per person in Oklahoma in 2012, down from $4,661 in 2010
  • 47 percent – The graduation success rate for University of Oklahoma football players; tied for the lowest rate among all Division I universities
  • 806,829 – The number of private-sector Oklahoma establishments (i.e. a factory, storefront, or office) that were more than 10 years old in 2011, up 5.8 percent since 2007
  • 67 percent – Percentage of nursing home residents in Oklahoma that have their care paid for through Medicaid.


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