State of Oklahoma Archives: on Budget & Economy

James Lankford: The debt problem is a spending problem not a tax problem

The debt problem is a spending problem, not a tax problem. Tax receipts are the highest ever. But, the federal government wastes billions of hardworking taxpayer dollars in unnecessary programs, indiscriminate foreign aid and horrible financial management. High debt slows down the current economy and it will hurt the economic future of the nation. Solving the budget crisis is not simple, but it is achievable with a long term goal and a commitment to eliminate wasteful spending and red tape.

Our code should respect, not punish, people who work hard, play by the rules and make a good living. We also should not tax people when they die and take money from their family. That is immoral. We must eliminate the death tax.

Source: 2021 Oklahoma Senate campaign website Jun 21, 2021

Kevin Stitt: Cut waste, rather than new taxes, for growth

Democrat Drew Edmondson promoted his plan to increase the state's gross production tax to 7%, do away with the capital gains tax deduction and increase the cigarette tax by 50 cents, raising an additional $300 million.

"His solution is always more taxes on hardworking Oklahomans," Stitt responded. Stitt said finding more money for state agencies will require cutting waste, stronger leadership and wisely spending $1 billion in new revenue coming to the state this year. "Our economy is starting to boom but our state has not captured that growth like it should," Stitt said.

"Mr. Stitt is doing what any good salesman would do, he is trying to tell you what you want to hear," said Edmondson, who added increasing taxes was the only way to truly invest in the state.

"There he goes again," Stitt responded. "It's always about new revenue, new taxes."

Source: The Oklahoman on 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial debate Oct 25, 2018

Kevin Stitt: Create a level playing field for competition

Cornett discussed the importance of moving away from the oil and gas industry to provide revenue for the state. Stitt noted he would strive to create a level playing field for competition.

Cornett is expected to gain support from the independent oil industry, while Stitt would be backed by Chamber of Commerce members and the largest oil producers.

Source: on 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial race Aug 28, 2018

Kevin Stitt: State budget needs audits and line-item budgeting

The success of state agencies shouldn't be just about bigger budgets. Success is when the state consistently delivers core service a cost-effective, efficient manner. Without line-item budgeting, it's impossible to know which agencies steward their resources well, which is why I will fight for accountability and transparency. I will implement and standardize audits and hold each agency accountable for how our tax dollars are spent, just like I have done in the private sector the last 19 years.
Source: 2018 Oklahoma Gubernatorial website Jul 4, 2018

Mick Cornett: History of developing budget based on needs of the community

While the state budget process remains a mess, Mick knows budgeting is about priorities and leadership. Mick has played a key role in developing Oklahoma City's annual budget transparently based on the consensus needs of the community. For years Oklahoma City has received the highest possible credit rating and keeps a rainy day fund equal to 15% of the annual budget. All MAPS projects were completed debt free with complete accountability to the taxpayer.
Source: 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign website Jul 4, 2018

Chris Powell: Market-led recovery better than stimulus

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Stimulus better than market-led recovery"?

A: Strongly oppose

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Oklahoma Governor candidate May 15, 2018

Joe Maldonado: Market-led recovery better than stimulus

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Stimulus better than market-led recovery"?

A: No.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Oklahoma Governor candidate May 15, 2018

Connie Johnson: Revenue is part of the problem

Source: 2018 Oklahoma Senatorial website Oct 15, 2017

Gary Jones: Cut budget without losing core services

"We have to be fiscally responsible and cut out all unnecessary expenses, but we also have to have enough revenue to fund core services," Jones said. "If you turn me loose today, I could show you some areas where we could make cuts and not lose core services." Jones said he thinks many state agencies are top heavy with excessive administration, His own agency's budget has been slashed from $5.9 million in 2010 to $2.9 million this year.
Source: US News and World Report on 2018 Oklahoma Governor race May 8, 2017

Gary Richardson: Curb wasteful spending in our state government

I hate to see waste. I have been that way my entire life and typically, if not always, see no good reason for waste. I see and hear "Let's be less wasteful as a state." Yet my own past experiences and observations cause me to believe that the attitude of Oklahoma taxpayers has little effect on curbing wasteful spending in our state government.

As an Assistant Insurance Commissioner, I observed an immense amount of wasteful spending both in the hiring of unneeded staff as well as in expenditures. For example, at the end of the year, we would be encouraged to make requests for new furniture to make sure we spent all of our budget. This is not the way to spend our tax dollars!

We must investigate the entire state government and address any misuse or wasteful spending our tax dollars. The only way to deal with this systematic corruption and waste is to demand a forensic audit of these agencies, trusts, and authorities. Only then can we truly know if every dollar is spent wisely.

Source: 2018 Oklahoma governor campaign website May 2, 2017

James Inhofe: Free enterprise is the key to national prosperity

Question topic: Free enterprise and the right to private property turn mankind's natural self interest into the fairest and most productive economic system there is, and are the key to national prosperity.

Inhofe: Strongly Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Oklahoma Senate race Sep 30, 2014

Joe Dorman: Prosperity requires more than making irresponsible cuts

Oklahoma deserves a common sense leader who understands that economic stability and prosperity require more than simply making fiscally irresponsible cuts as our state faces a mounting budget shortfall.

A recent national study concluded that nearly half--49.1%--of Oklahoma households are in a persistent state of financial insecurity. One in four Oklahoman children go to bed hungry every night.

A strong economy that benefits all Oklahomans depends on our ability to create jobs and attract new business to our great state. As a leader, I believe it is a moral imperative that we take fiscally responsible steps to ensure the opportunity for all Oklahomans to earn a living wage for a hard day's work. Government should work for all Oklahomans, not the special interests.

Source: 2014 Oklahoma Gubernatorial campaign website Jul 2, 2014

T.W. Shannon: Debt is a form of slavery

Lankford and Shannon both hate federal debt and continued annual deficits. Each speaks passionately about the devastating impact of over-spending on the nation's economic health and prospects for our children and grandchildren.

Shannon the Baptist Sunday School teacher quotes Sacred Scripture about the evils of debt--including allusions to debt as a form of slavery. Lankford the ordained Southern Baptist preacher fluently cites framers of free-market economic theories. T.W. Shannon has been a consistent foe of the Affordable Care Act; James Lankford was elected in part based on his predictions that ObamaCare would destroy the health-care system and that its mandates boost long-term debt.

In Congress, Lankford fights presidential overreach from the Legislature. Shannon assails federal interference with legislative state prerogatives and authority--and empowered an ally to form a "State's Rights" Committee to press against federal encroachment.

Source: on 2014 Oklahoma Senate race Feb 7, 2014

Matt Silverstein: Ban earmarks & cut spending to reduce debt

We must take responsible steps to deal with the federal debt or it will deal with us. If we fail to reduce the debt it will quickly begin swallowing a bigger and bigger piece of the federal budget that should be going to prudent investments.

We need to stop wasting our money on bad investments. Matt agrees that we must permanently ban earmarks. We will never get our fiscal house in order if we follow the advice of career politicians like Jim Inhofe who defend pork barrel politics such as earmarks, which allows every member of Congress to waste our money on their own personal pet projects. Too many politicians, Republicans and Democrats, think big spending is okay as long as it's "their spending" and that has to change.

We'll never get our fiscal house in order with pork barrel politics and Matt will bring a breath of fresh air by attacking the waste, fraud, and abuse that comes from BOTH political parties in Washington DC.

Source: 2014 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" Nov 11, 2013

Rick Weiland: Federal shutdown is more than wrong; it is shameful

SD Senate candidate Rick Weiland said his vehement opposition to the shutdown of the Federal government and Mike Rounds cheerleading in favor of that shutdown and threat to default on the nation's debt is and will remain the number one issue in their campaign for US Senate.

Weiland, who has called the shutdown a sellout to an extremist Republican minority that is representative of neither the American public, nor even the Republican Party, said Rounds should be ashamed of his support for the most irresponsible political position taken by a major party in the last 50 years. "This is pandering to extremism in its crudest form. Mike Rounds believes in his heart the shutdown blackmail game of the extreme right is wrong. We need to re-open the government and pass the Farm Bill." Weiland added. "It is a disgrace that Republicans are playing politics with Head Start programs and the Social Security benefits that our seniors depend on. It's more than wrong, it is shameful," Weiland continued.

Source: AdWatch: Weiland campaign email: 2014 Oklahoma Senate debate Oct 15, 2013

Brad Henry: Increase the Rainy Day Fund from 10% to 15% of revenue

This budget crisis is precisely the kind of emergency that citizens envisioned 25 years ago when they voted to create the Rainy Day Fund. Now is the time to use our reserve dollars to preserve crucial services.

We must also ensure that our emergency fund is adequate to meet our future needs. This year, I ask for your support in raising the cap on Rainy Day Fund deposits from 10 percent to 15 percent of general revenue collections. We owe that to the people of this state.

Source: Oklahoma 2010 State of the State Address Feb 1, 2010

Brad Henry: Surgical budget cuts to close $600M budget hole

This year, we face a budget hole of nearly $600 million. As Oklahoma families take a hard look at their own expenses and cut where they can, we must do the same. State agencies must tighten their budgets. Some projects must be put on hold. This fiscal year will be marked by thrift and sacrifice.

In this demanding economic environment, we must make difficult decisions. But, just as the Chinese character for "crisis" also denotes "opportunity," so, too, do the challenges we face present an opportunity to improve government.

Today, I have placed before you a balanced budget that makes precise, surgical cuts while protecting vital state functions such as education, healthcare, transportation and public safety. Through efficiencies and savings that range from purchasing reforms to consolidated information technologies, we can help ensure a government of greater effectiveness and excellence.

Source: 2009 State of the State address to Oklahoma legislature Mar 2, 2009

Andrew Rice: Government’s basic functions must be well funded

Rice is a “competence-in-government Democrat”. His record on taxes shows he will work to ensure that American taxpayers are getting their money’s worth from their federal government. Oklahomans know that in today’s world, you get what you pay for. Rice believes that government’s basic functions like national defense, law enforcement, disaster relief and recovery, infrastructure, education and health care for the poor must be well funded and efficiently managed.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website “Details” May 21, 2008

  • The above quotations are from State of Oklahoma Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Budget & Economy:
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Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
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Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
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Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
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Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
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Howard Schultz(I-WA)
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V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
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Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
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Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

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