Free Market Friday: Actions speak loudly
August 29, 2014
Oklahoma’s entire congressional delegation has spoken out, aggressively, regarding a fundraising solicitation for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, containing the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s letterhead and strong endorsement from its leadership. It should come as no surprise.
The chamber’s health care task force chairman said the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion is the best economic development deal the state has seen in decades. Likewise, Landrieu voted for Obamacare, defending it numerous times with promises of decreased health insurance premiums for families and lower costs for business. She has encouraged states to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
The chamber has opposed personal income tax cuts for all Oklahomans, just like Landrieu has opposed personal income tax cuts for all Americans.
The chamber has previously touted growing one of Oklahoma’s largest bureaucracies as a top priority, ranking education spending increases even before workers’ compensation reform in 2013. Landrieu has repeatedly joined the ranks of those saying that the federal government must spend more money to solve education and economic problems as opposed to implementing pro-growth policy reforms that reduce the size, scope and reach of the federal government. Landrieu also supported the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which is crushing rural and community banks with onerous and inappropriate regulations that are restricting capital particularly in rural areas.
Late in May, the chamber tacitly supported a massive tax increase on business by advocating for the Legislature and governor to delay addressing a looming 600-percent tax increase on oil and gas production in Oklahoma – a move that threatened millions in capital investment and thousands of jobs.
I’m old enough to remember when the chamber represented the majority of businesses in northeast Oklahoma – small business and entrepreneurs – with priorities more focused on pro-growth policies that didn’t resemble a state agency’s annual funding request submitted to the Legislature and governor. It appears the National Federation of Independent Business and State Chamber of Oklahoma have a better understanding of the private sector.
What’s surprising about such overt support of Landrieu is that said race may determine control of the U.S. Senate, thereby preventing Tulsa’s own senior senator from Oklahoma from having one of the most powerful chairmanships in Washington – arguably the most influential position a Tulsan will have held in our nation’s capital.