Free Market Friday: Misleading statements harmful
Former House Appropriations and Budget Chair Leslie Osborn recently stated Oklahoma is “50th in the nation in tax collections.” Calling for more tuition and fee increases on working Oklahoma families, University of Oklahoma President David Boren made a similar dead-last claim regarding state support for higher education.

Despite Boren’s claims, the actual data show that Oklahoma ranks 31st in total state support for higher education. When adjusted for cost of living, on a per capita basis Oklahoma actually ranks 26th in state support for higher education.

Just as the actual data contradict President Boren’s claim, the undisputed data from the United States Census Bureau contradict Rep. Osborn’s statements, proving that we are far from being the lowest-taxed state.

Regarding Osborn’s assertion, the actual data show Oklahoma is not 50th in the nation. According to the latest available data from the Census Bureau, Oklahoma collects more in state taxes than Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Thus, Oklahoma ranks 31st, not 50th. Per capita, Oklahoma ranks 38th in tax collections. When adjusted for cost of living, Oklahoma ranks 36th in per capita tax collections.

What’s really astonishing is that the state managed to collect this level of revenue despite being in a recession while most states were not. Oklahoma lost 21,800 energy and manufacturing jobs, resulting in a loss of more than $13 billion in taxable income. Oklahomans reduced purchases subject to sales tax and use tax to the tune of $4.1 billion just to survive, according to available Oklahoma Tax Commission data. Given this, state government should not complain, and Oklahomans should be thanked for their sacrifice.

Throughout the 2017 legislative session, tax consumers tried to get lawmakers and the public to support more than $2 billion in tax increases. Despite these attempts, no tax increases were constitutionally passed by the Legislature.

It’s understandable why tax consumers are working so hard to get taxpayers to believe the 50th and dead-last mantra: They want Oklahomans to be in the psychological condition to support and accept massive tax increases.

While I believe Rep. Osborn cares about Oklahoma, misleading statements from public officials such as Osborn and Boren are harmful to efforts to find viable, long-term solutions.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (www.ocpathink.org). This column originally ran in the Journal Record.

‘May be the ‘missing link’ that connects Russia collusion in the 2016 presidential election’

author-imageALICIA POWE

Only a few days after a bombshell hit the Seth Rich murder investigation in Washington, D.C., with a recording of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh pointing out that WikiLeaks stopped releasing hacked DNC emails when Rich died, a private investigator is asking Special FBI Counsel Robert Mueller to look at the circumstances.

Rich’s murder in 2016 has never been solved. He was near his home in Washington early in the morning when he was shot in the back twice. Police described it as a robbery, but neither his watch nor his wallet was taken.

read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/08/mueller-now-urged-to-look-into-seth-rich-case/

summary via R3publican

The following post is excerpted from the script for Nullify: Season 1. Watch all the videos from this series at this link – and Become a member here to support the TAC. Defeating federal acts with state-level resistance is like a chess match. An aggressive attack might be exciting, but slow, steady, and strategic usually wins the game. Some people say…

In a swift and unanimous decision, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the Cigarette Tax Smoking Cessation Fee passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Fallin violated the Oklahoma Constitution.

Here’s the summary from the opinion (which can be read in full at this link):

Petitioners, who are manufacturers, wholesalers, and consumers of cigarettes, challenged Senate Bill 845, alleging that it is a revenue bill enacted outside of the procedure mandated in Article V, Section 33 of the Oklahoma Constitution. The parties agree that the passage of SB 845 did not comply with Article V, Section 33; so the case turns on whether SB 845 is the kind of “revenue bill” that Article V, Section 33 governs. Applying the test we have utilized since 1908, we conclude that the primary purpose of Sections 2, 7, 8, and 9 of SB 845 is to raise new revenue for the support of state government through the assessment of a new $1.50 excise tax on cigarettes and that, in doing so, SB 845 levies a tax in the strict sense. As such, Sections 2, 7, 8, and 9 of SB 845 comprise a revenue bill enacted in violation of Article V, Section 33 and are unconstitutional.

Continue reading: http://www.muskogeepolitico.com/2017/08/oklahoma-supreme-court-strikes-down.html

“The Nation‘s Patrick Lawrence wrote a lengthy review of the findings made by various computer experts formerly with the NSA. Published this week, the left-wing magazine’s report notes two bases for their conclusion: (1) hard science shows that a remote hack of the DNC servers resulting in the breach that actually occurred would have been technologically impossible; (2) forensic review of the initial Guccifer 2.0 documents proves that they are poorly-disguised cut-and-paste jobs–forgeries–intended to finger Russia.” Continue reading

There are certain things one doesn’t ask in polite elite society. Lucky for you you’re nowhere near there. You’re in Bokbluster, so I’ll ask: Is it possible, on average, that girls don’t like math as much as boys? It’s possible, on average. Unless you’re Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard. Is it possible, on

The post Google Engineer James Damore appeared first on Bokbluster.com.

In the Reign of Kaiser Don
FRED REED • AUGUST 3, 2017 • 1,900 WORDS

Why do those inadequate little men in Washington and New York dream of new wars? Because the empire is near a tipping point.

Washington must either either start a war in Korea, or get faced down by the North, its carriers ignored, its bombers “sending signals” and making “shows of force” without result. For the empire this is a loss of face and credibility, and an example to others that America can be challenged.

read more at
http://www.unz.com/freed/milk-bar-clausewitzes-bean-curd-napoleons/

original source: Fred on Everything

summary via R3publican

The House and Senate Democratic caucuses have now issued statements over the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking down SB 845, the Cigarette Tax Smoking Cessation Fee.

House Democratic Caucus Releases Statement in Response to Oklahoma Court Ruling

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Senate Bill 845 is unconstitutional.

SB845 was projected to raise more than $200 million for the current state budget by charging cigarette wholesalers a $1.50 per pack tax. During the legislative session, however, House Democrats warned Republicans that passing the unconstitutional legislation would have a detrimental impact on our state budget and state agencies. The measure passed the House with a partisan vote of 51 to 43.

The proposed revenue from the tax affects 7 percent of the appropriated budget to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, 10 percent of the appropriated budget to the Department of Human Services, and 23 percent of the appropriated budget to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The court’s ruling will likely prompt a special session, costing the state an additional $30,000 per day, and requiring lawmakers to return to the capitol to fix the now incomplete budget.

“In order to appease special interests, Republicans made a decision to ignore the House Democratic Caucus, Oklahoma citizens and the Oklahoma Constitution,” said Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa. “As a result of that decision, we are now facing a $200 million hole in our current budget. It is time for the Republican Leadership to stop playing political games and to start working on real solutions to fund state government. As we have been all year, the Democratic Caucus stands ready to negotiate a long-term solution to fix Oklahoma’s funding crisis.”

Continue reading: http://www.muskogeepolitico.com/2017/08/house-senate-democrats-respond-to.html