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Letters to the Editor

Larry, Moe and Curly

D.W. Tiffee June 13th, 2012

I have to give it up to Gov. Mary Fallin and the Republican leadership for agreeing May 18 to a tax “cut” scam that actually raised taxes for a quarter of Oklahoma taxpayers, including families with children.

They have finally proven that Republicans in this state are even dumber and more useless than the Democrats.

According to The Oklahoman, 40 percent of taxpayers making under $25,000 a year would have seen their taxes go up under the Fallin scheme (typical class-warfare by the GOP) but the real “WTF?” head-shaker was that many families (with several children) making $70,000-$80,000 would pay an extra $100-$200 a year, and lose their deductions for church tithes. It’s ironic, says The Oklahoman, “that some of the Republican Party’s strongest supporters may face a tax increase under Republican control of state government.”

Just 54 percent would receive a tax cut averaging $60 a year — a lousy $5 a month to make life miserable for families with children and the poor. Republican leadership? Larry, Moe and Curly Mary.

Fallin blames “special interests” for torpedoing this criminally stupid fiasco, but it looks to me like House leaders sobered up just enough to stagger away from a really dumb idea.

The conservative notion that Oklahoma spends too much on government is just breathtakingly dimwitted.

The Oklahoma Council of Pubic Affairs (which advocates slashing higher education spending by 25 percent) whimpers that state spending is the highest in history at $16.64 billion (up $2.5 billion since 2007), but avoids the inconvenient fact that this is entirely due to large increases in federal grants (also up $2.5 billion since 2007 to $8 billion), most of it welfare-associated.

We would have to increase state and local spending $6.5 billion to reach the national per capita average.

This stunning shortfall in spending compared to other states has dreadful consequences: worst roads in the nation, teacher pay at the bottom of the barrel, health statistics that resemble Third World cesspools, and children dying of abuse in unsafe homes. You get what you pay for.

I have some advice for Gov. Fallin:

Rather than fly off — one month into the legislative session for a week-long vacation at a post resort in Puerto Rico (oops, missed the president), how ‘bout sticking around at work? Ya might just learn how to do the job you’re paid to do.

—D.W. “Bill” Tiffee, Norman

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

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