Earlier this week, Mary Fallin received a Credit Karma notification explaining that our state's credit rating has been dropped thanks to yet another revenue failure. Here are the details via NewsOK.com:
Oklahoma's declaration of a revenue failure last week prompted ratings agency Standard & Poor's to drop the state's credit ratings one notch Wednesday.
S&P said the state's financial position leaves it vulnerable should the regional and national economy slow.
"While the revenue failure alone, in our view, is nominal relative to previous revenue failures, collectively the state's financial position has deteriorated to a point that further precludes the state from building up reserves in subsequent fiscal years," S&P said in a report. "As such, we believe that, relative to a year ago, the state is more vulnerable to broad regional or national economic weakness."
Wait a second. We're more vulnerable to economic weakness than we were a year ago? How's that even possible? Shouldn't those generous tax cuts that Mary Fallin and the legislature provide to our Oil Industry Overlords a few years ago be trickling down to the common folk and stimulating the economy? That's how it's all supposed to work, right?
In a statement, Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said the S&P report highlights several things the Fallin administration has been saying for some time.
"We need to fix the structural budget deficit and our revenue problem," Doerflinger said.
However, the S&P report noted some actions taken by Fallin and the Legislature have contributed to the budget situation.
"A recent cut to the state's personal income tax rate and tax breaks for the oil industry during periods of price declines have compounded the state's revenue shortfall," the report said...
S&P said it didn't have much confidence that the state's structural financial problems would be resolved in the current session.
"While the legislative session is ongoing, we view the likelihood and willingness to add sufficient revenue enhancer to achieve structural balance to be low," the report said. " ... Given our overall assessment that Oklahoma is markedly vulnerable in the event of a U.S. downturn, and that management has yet to demonstrate a sustainable path toward improving its financial position, even modest economic softness could have prolonged negative effects."
Yikes. At this rate, the only place that will give our state a loan is Express Credit Auto, and that would only be with Texas coming on-board as a co-signer. If only the Wayne Coyne look-a-like from The Key was still around to educate our voters and lawmakers about economics, credit and government funding. Maybe then we would pull ourselves out of this mess, or at least qualify for a credit card to buy stuff.