Earlier this week, The Washington Post published an op-ed by Paul Waldman warning the rest of the country about the GOP tax policies that have put Oklahoma on the brink of financial ruin. It's a really good read, especially if you like nodding your head in agreement and shouting things like "I told you so!"
We have in this country an essentially unchanging disagreement about what model of governance will produce the best economic and social results. Democrats advocate what we might call weak social democracy: relatively high taxes (though lower than those of our peer countries), combined with a relatively strong safety net (though again, not as strong as other countries), spending on needs like education and health care, and economic regulation to protect workers, consumers and the environment.
Republicans, on the other hand, advocate low taxes, less social spending and less regulation. Both sides have moral arguments for why their models are better, but they also make practical arguments. They say that their model works, and that when it is implemented, we see positive results.
While the moral argument may not be resolvable, the practical argument can be tested. And right now we’re seeing tests take place all over the country. I want to focus on one such test, in the deep-red state of Oklahoma, and what it says about what Republicans are doing in Washington.
At this point, Paul goes into the typical "Oklahoma Sucks" talking points that we're all familiar with by now – low teacher pay, four-day school weeks, blocking Medicaid expansion – and how they're all connected to GOP tax cuts. You know the drill.
The only thing the piece misses, and what I think should be a national story, is how alarmingly complicit the Oklahoma media has been in helping the Oil Overlords and their Republican minions implement these disastrous policies. How are people supposed to know how bad this stuff is when the local media is nothing but a mouthpiece for the people who run things?
To make things worst, the local media is doing it again with Step Up Oklahoma – the plan dreamed up by the same people who caused Oklahoma to be a national embarrassment, and shining example of how not to run a state. I can't wait to read the Washington Post editorial in 2022 about how big of a failure that plan was, too.