The Weekly Wonk – September 2, 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 OK Policy released a fact sheet on the basics of the state’s income tax.  Monday’s blog, Why Oklahoma needs an income tax, lays out three compelling reasons to preserve the tax and asks proponents of eliminating the income tax to explain which taxes they would increase and which services they would eliminate to make up for over $2.5 billion in lost revenues.  Director David Blatt answered all of your burning questions about how the recent debt limit deal reached in Congress will affect the federal budget:

Also this week, we discovered that our previous four-year revenue and budget forecasts were more accurate than any forecast made by the state.  Yesterday’s blog explained why it’s important to be wary of polls that ask people to give an opinion without any information or context on the issue at hand.

The Oklahoman quoted Oklahoma Policy Institute’s budget cut estimates in an article on transferable tax credits.  Watch OETA’s Oklahoma News Report tonight at 7:00pm to get OK Policy analyst Kate Richey’s take on disparities in the unemployment rate between black and white workers in the state.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • $118,771 – Median price of a single-family home in Oklahoma in the 2nd quarter of 2010, up $8,263 from the same quarter in 2007
  • 9,802 – Number of same-sex couples co-habitating in Oklahoma, 2010
  • 57 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma students who participate in the free and reduced school lunch and breakfast program, 4th highest in the nation in 2008
  • 102,140 – Number of women in Oklahoma who receive contraception from a publicly funded family planning clinic, 2006; 76,830 of those women were aged 20 or above
  • 20 percent – Percentage of student loans in Oklahoma that are delinquent, compared to 12.3 percent nationally in 2011


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