The Weeky Wonk: June 15, 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 OK Policy explained total state spending has increased in recent years because of federal support for the state in response to the recession, but areas not heavily supplemented with federal money still experienced flat or declining funding. We blogged about lessons from this session’s tax and budget debate – that, by and large, policymakers are persuadable, open to good data and well-developed arguments. David Blatt spoke with Studio Tulsa to give a post game analysis of the failure of tax cuts this session.

Also this week, the OK Policy Blog featured economist and researcher Tim Bartik with five effective, evidence-based techniques to boost economic activity – tax cuts were not among them.  Guest blogger Barry Friedman asks what happened to the promise of the common good in America.

Reuters’ blog Muniland highlighted OK Policy’s role in informing a conservative revolt against extreme tax cut proposals.  Our Director David Blatt explained to The Journal Record why failing to collect sales tax from online retailers disadvantages local business.  The Norman Transcript and the Enid News and Eagle cited our analysis of the FY 2013 budget and our blog post on what flat funding means for public education.  The OU Daily linked to our work in an editorial on the state’s recent move to abolish its Human Rights Commission.

In The Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • 71 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma’s African American children who live in low-income families, compared to 62 percent nationally in 2010; a low-income family of four with two children earns below $22,050.
  • 13th – Oklahoma’s rank among the states for per capita Iraq war deaths, 1.88 military casualties per 100,000 residents
  • 2nd – Oklahoma’s rank nationally for residents’ average weekly wage growth between 2010 and 2011, 8.3 percent
  • 67 percent – Percentage of bills considered by the Oklahoma Senate that passed without a single “no” vote in 2012


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