Another one bites the dust.
Facing a massive budget deficit due to overspending all the wrong money in all the wrong places, the Oklahoma legislature needed to do something drastic. So what have they cut (besides our faith in them to do things right?)
They re-expanded Medicaid by adopting Obamacare and plan to raise taxes more.
What a brilliant decision. I mentioned in my last post why cutting medical subsidies and removing the government from healthcare was a good thing, and how the ACA has raised premiums and deductibles, making healthcare more expensive for the rest of us in the process.
But this post is not designed to address the pitfalls of government run healthcare. This post is designed to address Oklahoma’s spending problem, and the fallacy that spending more on Medicaid will help anyone in the long run.
Our budget shortfall has been blamed on many things. But it really comes down to two big ones. Low oil prices, and excessive spending.
I’ve discussed how energy is hurting us before, and its time to discuss spending.
Much of our spending comes from our broken criminal justice system, whether its 90 million to private prisons, a topic for another time, or another roughly 450 million to jail mostly drug users-52% of our inmates are nonviolent.
Much more comes from subsideis to oil companies-200 million
Legislative salaries are the highest in our region-making more in four months than teachers do all year.
And of course, Medicaid. which accounts for a whopping 25% of our expenditures, equating to roughly 5 billion a year, and only getting bigger with the ACA.
So how do we fix our 1.3 billion dollar budget crisis?
Start with the justice system. End private prison subsidies, 100 million made back. End prison snetencing for nonviolent offenders, another 250 million.
Legalize marijuana, which made Coloarado 70 million and could make us as much as 50 million if we put a sin tax on it.
End energy subsidies. let the free market run its course. 200 million more.
And cut medicaid waste spending. net a solid 700 million.
Thats 1.3 billion right there; and cut legislative salaries for good measure.
These would be great steps to take to solve our budget crisis and make our state freer in the process.
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