Income Tax Cuts Helped Oklahomans

Published September 8, 2008

Dear Editor:

The September 4 article, “Tax cuts cost state more than $400 million,” would be more accurate if it were titled “Tax cuts save taxpayers more than $400 million.”

The Oklahoma Policy Institute tries to blame the 2004 and 2006 income tax cuts for all the public’s ills. But those tax cuts are keeping less money from being swallowed up by government bureaucracy and more money in taxpayers’ pockets — which cannot be a bad thing.

In spite of these “costly” tax cuts, Oklahoma’s revenue continues to climb, while most states (29 so far) are expecting to face more than $40 billion in deficits next year. Oklahoma is not facing a revenue problem, as the policy institute’s report implies; its budget has grown nearly $2 billion since the first income tax cuts in 2004.

If the state had chosen to hand an extra $400 million in taxpayer money over to government, individual Oklahomans and the economy might not have been so resilient. The real result of these tax cuts is that taxpayers are able to invest more of their hard-earned money into providing for their families’ health, education, and future without having to rely on government programs.

John Nothdurft ([email protected]) is the budget and tax legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.