Income-tax fight is a clash of visions

February 27, 2012

It’s only fitting that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the featured speaker at this year’s OCPA Citizenship Dinner. For just as Wisconsin was (and remains) the battleground for a clash of visions over labor policy, Oklahoma too has become a battleground—over tax policy.

You’ll recall that in November OCPA teamed up with an econometrics firm co-founded by Dr. Arthur Laffer, a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, to release a report showing how Oklahoma can responsibly phase out its personal income tax. Several state lawmakers have embraced the “Laffer plan,” and Gov. Mary Fallin also has a plan to “chart a course towards the gradual elimination of the income tax.”

The nation is watching. In an editorial entitled “The Heartland Tax Rebellion,” The Wall Street Journal highlighted the dozen or so states considering income-tax reductions, concluding “it is Oklahoma that may have the best chance in the near term at income-tax abolition.” Oklahoma’s tax-phaseout idea has also elicited cheers from Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity (a group President Obama likes to single out for criticism), the National Taxpayers Union, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Heartland Institute, and more.

The Vast Left-Wing Kleptocracy isn’t taking this sitting down, of course. They understand full well what is at stake. If this domino falls—if a state with structures and systems rooted in the Populist/Progressive Era actually eliminates the income tax—then contemporary “progressives” won’t be progressing. They will be in retreat. Hence the recent attacks from ideological think tanks and lobbying organizations funded by liberal billionaires like George Soros (OCPA’s response is here). Ironically, the attacks are coming at the very time Dr. Laffer’s work is being validated again, this time in the UK and France.

To my knowledge, the Laffer-OCPA plan is the boldest tax-cut initiative currently under consideration in the world. It’s the Soros-funded Left versus President Reagan’s economist and the Reagan legacy—and it’s playing out right here in Oklahoma.