The few, the brazen, the Oklahoma GOP.
Already reeling from the disastrous implementation of a “Right-to-Work” law and with union membership below 8%, Oklahoma Republican David Holt has a solution for all his state’s economic woes: attack unions some more!
Oklahoma’s Constitution already makes it very difficult to raise taxes, and that’s a good thing. But every new tax starts with a new expense, and the Oklahoma Constitution, remarkably, does not give taxpayers or their local elected representatives the absolute power to spend tax dollars.
There are dozens of examples in recent years of local taxpayers being forced to take on new financial obligations, not only without the consent of either the taxpayers or their representatives, but actually over their objections.
And though he never mentions unions or dues extracted from union members’ paychecks to be spent for political purposes or benefits or pensions or job security — they are his target.
The cause for the new degree of alarm? An allegedly “non-partisan, data-based” study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute called the “Big Labor v. Taxpayer Index.”
HAHAHA! Some disguise, guys. From the unequivocally Right-leaning McCarville Report:
Senator David Holt responded Wednesday to a recent study ranking all 50 states based on government union power versus taxpayer rights. The nonpartisan, data-based ranking, called the “Big Labor vs. Taxpayer Index,” ranked Oklahoma dead last in the entire Southern United States for taxpayer rights. Oklahoma was ranked 24th overall, meaning that 23 other states are more favorable to taxpayers.
“These rankings don’t bode well for Oklahoma’s reputation as a conservative state, and unless you’re a union member, they certainly don’t help us recruit people to live and work in our state,” said Holt, R–Oklahoma City. “These rankings should serve as a wake-up call to Oklahoma’s policymakers. We can no longer pretend that we’re a pro-taxpayer state. The rankings don’t lie. Our laws are anti-taxpayer, and we have work to do. The voters of 2010 made it clear they want to see taxpayers back in charge of our government. It’s time they got what they asked for.”
You need look no further than the website hosting the “Big Labor v. Taxpayer Index,” workplacechoice.org, to discover just how partisan this beast is. Headlines include reference to the Labor Department as “The Obama Labor Department” along with standard misuse of the word “thug.” The mission of the study is as follows:
The Big Labor versus Taxpayer Index provides that clear picture. It comprehensively ranks each state on 23 individual aspects to determine the degree to which states favor organized labor and which favor taxpayers. Each state is ranked and given a score out of a possible 40 points.
But it is difficult to decipher what exactly the study aims to prove. It places historically worker friendly states at the bottom (New York) and historically anti-worker states at the top (Tennessee). It appears to be nothing more than fodder for conservative legislators seeking to skew their states redder than they already are.
And that’s just what Oklahoma Republican David Holt is doing. Skewing, if not skewering.