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Jonathan Willner, an Economist at OCU, Rejects Calls by OK Politicians to Omit the State Income Tax

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Aired Friday, March 30th.

Should we --- could we --- really do away with the personal income tax here in Oklahoma? The State Legislature is now considering various proposals to reduce and/or eliminate the state's personal income tax; these proposals are largely based on a study prepared for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs by economist (and former Reagan administration economic advisor) Arthur Laffer and his colleagues. But what if this study is, in fact, bogus? That's the claim now being made by a number of well-respected economists across the state. Next week, on Thursday the 5th , the non-profit, non-partisan Oklahoma Policy Institute will host a free-to-the-public forum at the Oklahoma History Center in OKC. This forum, called "Silver Bullet or Fool's Good? Oklahoma Economists on Proposals to Eliminate the State Income Tax" and lasting from 1pm till 3pm, will present a distinguished panel of economists and economic development specialists, all of them discussing the methodology and conclusions of the OCPA/Laffer report as well as what doing away with our state income tax could actually do to Oklahoma's public finances, economic development, and fiscal health. Our guest is Dr. Jonathan Willner, Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance at Oklahoma City University, who will be participating in this forum. (See okpolicy.org to learn more about this event.) Also on today's show, we offer a commentary from Dr. John Henning Schumann that begins with the following assertion: "In America today, too many of us die in the hospital."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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