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Schools in the Slums

Transcript of Perspective - August 2009

  • August 2009 Volume 16 Number 8

  • 2PerspectiveAugust 2009 Vol. 16, No. 8

    Brandon Dutcher .................................. Editor

    Perspective is published monthly by the Oklahoma Councilof Public Affairs, Inc., an independent public policy organi-zation. OCPA formulates and promotes public policyresearch and analysis consistent with the principles of freeenterprise and limited government.

    OCPA TrusteesBlake ArnoldOklahoma City

    Mary Lou AveryOklahoma City

    Lee J. BaxterLawton

    Steve W. BeebeDuncan

    John A. BrockTulsa

    David R. Brown, M.D.Oklahoma City

    Aaron BurlesonAltus

    Paul A. CoxOklahoma City

    Jay T. EdwardsOklahoma City

    Ann FeltonOklahoma City

    Josephine FreedeOklahoma City

    Kent FrizzellClaremore

    John T. HanesOklahoma City

    Ralph HarveyOklahoma City

    John A. Henry IIIOklahoma City

    Henry F. KaneBartlesville

    Robert KaneTulsa

    Tom H. McCasland IIIDuncan

    David McLaughlinEnid

    Lew MeibergenEnid

    Lloyd Noble IITulsa

    Robert E. PattersonTulsa

    Bill PriceOklahoma City

    Patrick RooneyOklahoma City

    Melissa SandeferNorman

    Robert SullivanTulsa

    Lew WardEnid

    William E. Warnock, Jr.Tulsa

    Gary W. Wilson, M.D.Edmond

    Daryl WoodardTulsa

    OCPA Adjunct Scholars

    OCPA FellowsSteven J. Anderson, MBA, CPA

    Research Fellow

    J. Rufus Fears, Ph.D.Dr. David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

    for Freedom Enhancement

    J. Scott Moody, M.A.Research Fellow

    Wendy P. Warcholik, Ph.D.Research Fellow

    OCPA Legal CounselDeBee Gilchrist Oklahoma City

    OCPA StaffForrest Claunch / Executive DirectorBrett A. Magbee / VP for Operations

    Brandon Dutcher / VP for PolicyMargaret Ann Morris / Director of Development

    Sandra Leaver / Event CoordinatorDacia Dodson / Executive Assistant

    Clara Wright / Receptionist

    1401 N. Lincoln Boulevard Oklahoma City, OK 73104(405) 602-1667 FAX: (405) 602-1238

    www.ocpathink.org ocpa@ocpathink.org

    Will Clark, Ph.D.University of Oklahoma

    David Deming, Ph.D.University of Oklahoma

    Bobbie L. Foote, Ph.D.University of Oklahoma (Ret.)

    Kyle Harper, Ph.D.University of Oklahoma

    E. Scott Henley, Ph.D., J.D., D.Ph.Oklahoma City University (Ret.)

    James E. Hibdon, Ph.D.University of Oklahoma (Ret.)

    Russell W. Jones, Ph.D.University of Central Oklahoma

    Andrew W. Lester, J.D.Oklahoma City University (Adjunct)

    David L. May, Ph.D.Oklahoma City University

    Ronald L. Moomaw, Ph.D.Oklahoma State University

    Ann Nalley, Ph.D.Cameron University

    Bruce Newman, Ph.D.Western Oklahoma State College

    Stafford North, Ph.D.Oklahoma Christian University

    Everett Piper, Ph.D.Oklahoma Wesleyan University

    Michael Scaperlanda, J.D.University of Oklahoma

    Andrew C. Spiropoulos, J.D.Oklahoma City University

    Cap and Trade Is Not the AnswerBy Jay T. Edwards

    Many in Congress are intent on imposing a tax on compa-nies that produce carbon emis-

    sions so as to improve the climate

    and reduce global warming. The

    U.S. House of Representatives has

    sent this cap and trade bill to the

    U.S. Senate. Under the plan,

    acceptable levels of carbon

    dioxide emissions will be deter-

    mined and capped by the govern-

    ment. Emissions over the cap will

    be taxed unless the offender can

    trade a credit with another com-

    pany under the cap. This tax

    scheme stems from a growing

    concern about global warming

    and the effect on global tempera-

    tures by carbon dioxide in the

    atmosphere.

    Concern for global temperature

    is not new to my generation. In

    1970, scientific consensus held

    that the planet was cooling and

    we needed to find more sources of

    energy or we would freeze to

    death. The 30-year cooling fear

    ended in the late 70s and was

    replaced by the now ongoing

    warming trend. Since the planet

    has warmed only one degree over

    the last 100 years, I wonder if

    Congress isnt overly concerned

    about our planets ability to adjust

    its thermostat. According to global

    circulation models, if carbon

    dioxide concentration in the

    atmosphere were doubled it would

    only result in about a one-degree

    increase in average global tem-

    perature over the next 100 years.

    If the planet can adjust to our

    intrusions, it brings up the ques-

    tion about the need for carbon

    emission regulation. Most every-

    thing we do has a carbon foot-

    print. Depending on how the cap

    and trade tax is implemented, the

    cost of everything will go up. A

    low-carbon economy will be a

    major setback to our standard of

    living. Congress wants us to

    reduce our carbon emissions by

    80 percent by 2050. Since fossil

    fuels constitute the greatest level

    of carbon emissions, reductions of

    this order cannot be achieved

    until we have viable alternatives

    for them. Consequently, with cap

    and trade in place and no alter-

    natives for energy production, the

    government stands to raise huge

    sums of revenue from emissions.

    This will be useful in reducing the

    massive federal budget deficit but

    will devastate the economy.

    The solution does not lie in wind

    and solar power as alternatives

    for fossil fuels. To generate com-

    parable electricity to a typical

    gas-fired power plant, a wind

    farm would require by most

    estimates about 40,000 acres of

    land. Solar land requirements are

    not much better. Currently, wind

    and solar satisfy about one-sixth

    of one percent of our energy

    demand. The president proposed

    to double that in the next four

    years. That means, if he can do it,

    the contribution will grow to one

    third of one percent. Meanwhile,

    demand is projected to grow by

    30-plus percent in the next decade.

    Lets hope brighter minds

    prevail on global warming and

    the impact of carbon dioxide

    before cap and trade becomes

    law.

    Major General (Ret.) Jay T.

    Edwards, USAF, was the founding

    executive director of the Energy

    Center at the University of Oklahoma.

    He is an OCPA trustee.

    To see how much cap and trade would cost your family,

    visit http://www.taxfoundation.org/capandtrade

  • 3J. RufusFears, Ph.D.World-renowned author, lecturer, and inspiring

    professor of classics at the University of Oklahoma

    September 17, 2009

    Doubletree at Warren Place Tulsa, Oklahoma

    6:00 p.m. Reception 7:00 p.m. Dinner 8:00 p.m. Program

    CON S T I T U T I O N DAY

    Securing the Blessings of Liberty

    to Ourselves and Our Posterity:

    Is It Still Possible?

    Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Inc.1401 N. Lincoln Boulevard Oklahoma City, OK 73104

    Office: 405-602-1667 Fax: 405-602-1238www.ocpathink.org ocpa@ocpathink.org

    N O N - C O M P R O M I S I N GN O N - P A R T I S A N

  • 4State Government Needs Your HelpNews reports tell us that a revenue shortfall is

    likely for state government during the current fiscalyear. Reduced allocations tostate agencies are probable.

    No word yet on whatOklahomas taxpayerswhohave no idea what its like toexperience revenue shortfallsin their family budgetsthink ofthis catastrophic development.Granted, Oklahoma has 66,084too many state and localgovernment employees when

    compared to the national average, but my guess isthat taxpayersnone of whom have lost their jobsrecentlywill want to do everything possible tomake sure government payrolls remain intact.

    Even though a tax hike is pretty much a non-starter in Oklahoma, all is not lost: Oklahoma lawallows citizens to make voluntary contributions tostate government. The statute (60-383) says thatgifts of cash or the equivalent of cash shall bemade to and receipted for by the Director of StateFinance. So please, write the most generous checkpossible and send it to the Office of State Finance,2300 N. Lincoln Boulevard, Room 122, OklahomaCity, Oklahoma 73105.

    Together, we can make a difference.Brandon Dutcher

    Is Oklahoma Addicted to Federal Spending?By J. Scott Moody and Wendy P. Warcholik

    Oklahomas share of President Obamas federal stimulus package will come to approximately$2.6 billion over two yearsor an average of $1.3

    billion per year. This certainly sounds like a lot of

    money, but it pales in comparison to what the federal

    government already sends to Oklahoma.Unfortunately, Oklahoma is already highly depen-

    dent on federal largesse to keep a large part of itseconomy moving. If policymakers arent careful, thestimulus package will only worsen this dependency.

    Chart 1 shows the total amount of federal spendingin Oklahoma from federal fiscal year (FFY) 1981 (thefirst year of available data) to 2008. In FFY 2008,Uncle Sam spent a whopping $31.758 billion inOklahoma, or the equivalent of 24 percent of allincome earned in the state (see Chart 2). Between FFY2006 and 2007, the increase alone in federal spendingin Oklahoma was $1.609 billioneven before theBush or Obama stimulus packages!

    Federal spending grew 352 percent to $31.758billion in FFY 2008 from $7.027 billion in FFY 1981.Even after adjusting for the growth in the economy,

    federal spending grew as a percent of personal incomeby 11.6 percentto 24 percent from 21.5 percent.

    Chart 3 breaks down federal spending by type as apercent of personal income. (Unfortunately, federalspending by type by state was not available untilafter FFY 1988 when these statistics were merged intoa single rep