Jonathan Small | November 18, 2016
Free Market Friday: Policymaking vindication
Oklahoma state legislators get a lot of criticism. That goes with the job, but sometimes criticism becomes downright absurd.
Consider the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, which earlier this year paid a consultant to collect bad press about the Legislature from national media. It was a cheap shot, and suggests the TRCC wants Oklahoma legislators to be guided by the New York Times and MSNBC rather than their own constituents.
In fact, last week’s elections vindicated Oklahoma legislators on some critical issues. One is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. The Obama Administration tried to force Medicaid expansion on the states, but lost in court. They tried free money: the federal government would pay the whole tab for the first few years, charging it all to the national debt. While some are willing to mortgage their children’s futures for politicians’ promises, many Americans and most Oklahomans were appalled.
This year’s attempt at Medicaid expansion was the so-called Rebalancing Plan. It would have put hundreds of thousands of able-bodied adults onto medical welfare while pushing 175,000 pregnant women and children into some version of the failing Obamacare insurance exchange. Legislators again said no, and now, with Obamacare going away, there is no doubt they were right. The most vulnerable were protected and the safety-net for the truly needy was preserved because of their courage.
Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.