Fallin Wants It Both Ways
Tells GOP Legislature to Pick Corporations Over Kids
Earlier this week Mary Fallin “warned” legislators to not even review if the massive corporate tax breaks the Republican leadership has pushed for the past six years are actually benefitting Oklahoma. Both during and after Fallin’s State of the State Address last week, it became apparent that her “goals” had not been discussed with anyone in the legislature. The Governor’s suggestion that Oklahoma may have lost two major business projects due to the legislature reviewing these tax credits – if true – would naturally be alarming, however the refusal of the Governor or her staff to go into further detail makes her statements seem more like a smoke screen to get what she and her corporate friends want.
Just last month, Fallin presented disingenuous commentary on General Electric’s decision to move from Connecticut to Boston, blaming the shift on the state’s high tax rates. While GE spokespersons said that tax incentives were certainly a small piece of the decision, they were not the whole pie. The move to Boston had more to do with educational opportunities for employees and their children, mass transit, and a thriving technology-driven workforce available at the ready. She failed, or all out refused, to admit in her commentary that the tax structure of Connecticut and Massachusetts are incredibly similar as that would make her argument less feasible.
Years of irresponsible revenue cuts, including the cut that went into effect this year in which the average household won’t see enough to take their family out to dinner, are finally coming home to roost. Republicans are hearing from their constituents who are more and more concerned about the negative effects of continued cuts to core services like education, roads and bridges, and public safety. Education has experienced the largest loss to revenue at $356 million, Higher Education at $138 million, and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority at $139 million. These are just the agencies with the three largest losses to revenue despite growing student population and health care needs of middle class and poverty stricken Oklahomans.
This comes on the heels of seeing the Fallin administration and Executive branch officials exempting their agencies from pay freezes, Fallin’s interim Corrections Director saying we need to close prisons, the possibility of over 110,000 low-income Oklahomans losing their Medicaid coverage, and lower than expected revenue for the month of January,
Once again, Fallin is pushing her own agenda at the expense of the well-being of Oklahomans. She continues to ignore the needs of the people and refuses to have constructive conversations with members of her own party. She continues to prove that she’s very skilled at dispensing political rhetoric and favors to her cronies but a failure when she is called upon to run the state and promote policies that help working Oklahomans.