[Oklahoma City, OK, October 7, 2015] Governor Mary Fallin’s economic policies have led the Oklahoma economy into the tank. Tax cuts and tax credits for the wealthy and top-heavy corporations have depleted Oklahoma’s revenue to the point where the state is facing a potential billion-dollar budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year. To add to the state’s woes, Oklahoma citizens are now seeing no growth in their personal income.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released a report that ranked the state of Oklahoma at number 50 in personal income growth throughout the second quarter. Oklahoma was the only state to have zero percent growth in personal income; however the national personal income increased 0.9 percent during the same quarter.
Surrounding states that border Oklahoma all showed growth in personal income. Colorado had a personal income increase of 1.0 percent, Arkansas and Missouri saw a 0.8 percent and New Mexico saw a 0.7 percent increase. Texas – the biggest oil producing state – grew at 0.6 percent while Kansas grew at 0.3 percent in personal income.
Unemployment has continued to rise in Oklahoma from 3.9 percent in January 2015 to 4.6 percent in August 2015. Throughout the same time period, the U.S. unemployment rate has dropped from 5.7 percent in January 2015 to 5.1 percent in August 2015.
Governor Fallin has recently tried to incorrectly link Oklahoma’s shortcomings to policies coming out of the White House but while the rest of the country is growing – with national increases in personal income growth, 64 straight months of private sector job growth, and a drop in unemployment despite a hard hit to the energy industry – Oklahoma continues to fall behind and we only have our own state’s administration to blame for that. It is time for Oklahomans to support policies and lawmakers that will help grow the Oklahoma economy and put money back into the pockets of hardworking Oklahomans.