Oklahoma Republican leaders have been pursuing their dream of a utopian Sooner state, a paradise unpolluted by the evil of—wait for it—taxes.
That's right, Sooner fans, we can have a great state for free. Well, not exactly. In fact, not at all.
Yet the state's GOP leaders keep pretending that this tax-free paradise is possible. Oklahoma City Rep. David Dank, for instance, is hawking the idea that Oklahoma can rid itself of the personal income tax.
Keep dreaming, Rep. Dank.
The fact is that a great state needs revenue to fund essential services that people need and want, such as public education and public health, transportation and law enforcement. As OU professor of economics Alexander Holmes recently noted, abolishing the personal income tax would gut state services. "It's willful ignorace of somebody to propose abolishing the personal income tax," Holmes said.
Prof. Holmes is correct. Rep. Dank and his Republican allies in the legislature are in fact willfully ignorant. Like a lot of conservative leaders these days, they are pretending that all state services are wasteful or useless and that all taxes are bad. This is pure political baloney.
More importantly, it's no way to have a prosperous and productive state where people want to live, work and raise their families. These goals require education and safety and public health, the very things that Dank and his allies would destroy with their irresponsible pipe dream.