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May 21st 20017 Newsletter
Special Session for Raising Taxes?
Don't Even Think about it
We have seen some good men and women hold the line this last week, defeating attempts to pass outright massive tax increases. We have seen a lot more chicken sh*t legislators breaking the Republican Party Platform and their campaign promises to keep taxes low and eliminate un needed government. But with a week to go the political will to slash unnecessary state government spending isn't strong enough so mumblings are being made about a special session to “deal” with the budget.
Not a good idea boys and girls. Everything you do will be under a microscope in the first year of the Trump presidency, a man who kicked the living crap out of the Republican Party and won the nomination against all odds. People are sick of the useless politicians and sicker of the turncoat RINOs that are in many ways worse than the liberal Democrats.
You face mid term elections in 2018 and people are restless and many are thinking about running for your own seat should you do business as usual. Your voting record will be broadcast to your district and to the men and women that ran against you in the last elections. The Sooner Tea Party will make sure of that.
Here is some advice to the 149, 101 House members and the syphilitic bastards otherwise known as State Senators. Cut, cut, cut. Eliminate programs that do for people and businesses what they should be doing for themselves. The State Chamber of Commerce will fight to your last drop of blood because they have a conveyor belt of stooges just waiting for your House or Senate seat.
Slash the tax credits. The State Chamber will whine and moan but they will be back next year paying you to pass replacement tax credits and corporate welfare programs. Hell the lobbyists will be on your side and be smiling all the way to the bank.
Consolidate schools, starting with the management and services. Small school districts also need to step up and pay reasonable property tax rates to support their schools so start weaning the local schools off state money. There are places like Sallisaw that have enormous property taxes only because they are building multi million dollar sports complexes and that is only possible because the state is sending money from Tulsa and Oklahoma City into the “poorer” districts.
And turn back the soft on crime legislation passed using SQ 780 and 781, we can't afford the liberal feel good experiment. Focus on two things on crime: creating much, much, cheaper jails and prisons that put the criminals to work using partnerships with local businesses. Make going to jail or prison a stretch of hard working hell instead of a vacation that is viewed as a cost of doing business as a criminal. Tired prisoners don't cause problems. And focus second on making the cost of crime high enough that criminals choose another way of life. Mercy once or twice, lower the boom on the second or third strike.
Pick a dried up county in SW Oklahoma, buy out the remaining citizens and turn it into a open air prison camp for low risk non violent inmates. Provide $5.00 an hour labor and you will have more manufacturing and agricultural jobs than you can find inmates to fill. Tent cities are good enough for our soldiers and more than good enough for prisoners.
The high cost medical inmates? Set up another small town with for profit doctor offices and perhaps an old hospital that can be rehabbed by the inmates. Parole these high cost inmates to those towns and let their families pay for their own medical care. Use inmates to provide medical care, no medical doctor or nurse that goes to prison ought to be allowed to sit in a cell.
Illegal aliens, they comprise 51% of Oklahoma City school kids. Find a way to drive them out of the state. Wages will turn up sharply as will tax collections as the off the books labor is gone. Welfare, school costs, medical care costs will plummet.
Welfare and Food Stamp recipients along with most of the Section 8 leeches. Put em to work or into a training program, the prisons will need nurses so put these leeches into training and let them stay on the system while they finish school and serve out a like time helping on public health or prison health needs. Daycare? One out of twenty can be paid to work to watch the kids like the rest of productive society has to do if they have kids.
Society is changing and the retail industry and manufacturing has been and will continue to be hit hard by import competition and online competition. Get ready for it now. Bring Oklahoma back to conservative values and watch the economy grow.
Budget Hole Fillers
House and Senate leadership has been so poor this session that they have been unable to secure a budget deal during the session time frame where a tax increase or new tax could be passed and that is actually a good thing because they will be forced to start cutting agency budgets and bringing state government down to the size the state can afford.
But here are some ideas that could be passed in the remaining week without a special session.
Transfer Bail Bond forfeitures to the state treasury
This would generate between 30 and 50 million dollars per year and the bail bondsmen would support this. And if you want to double or triple that income start forcing the judges to follow existing law on who can get out on an OR bond (Own Recognizance). It is state laws that are being broken, not county laws and as the state must pay the cost of prosecution why are bond forfeitures going into County coffers? Counties are releasing people without bail bond because it lowers the jail population but it also keeps more criminals on the street and on OR bonds they remain free until they happen to run into a cop during a traffic stop. Oklahoma County alone has over 600,000 outstanding warrants because of OR bonds.
Tax credits schemes, Oklahoma has dozens of them tailored for sometimes as few as one or two companies. The process is that the business does its business as usual, hiring people, making investments, then after paying a lobbyist and House/Senate leadership they received a generous tax credit, as much as 75% of what they spent returned as an offset to their own tax bills or a transferable credit that can be sold on the open market. Someone or some company that owes large amounts to the State of Oklahoma buys these tax credits at a substantial discount and uses them to pay off their tax debt. There are brokers that facilitate the exchange between tax credit owner and the user.
China does a similar thing with export tax credits. One of the reasons that Chinese companies can undercut U.S. companies is that they price their products at cost of production and the export bonus from the Chinese government is as much or more than the profit if they produced and sold the product domestically.
Who is making serious money off these tax credits? It appears that Carl Icahan owns a lot of entities in Coffeyville that are raking in millions, George Kaiser and the BOK , and of course the Mathis Brothers have done alright for themselves also. Keep in mind that a 5% tax bracket would mean that for every dollar of tax credit used there is twenty times that in income being sheltered. Between2012 and 2015 over $330 million dollars of these tax credits were surrendered to the state (paid by the state) so that is over $6.6 BILLION dollars of sheltered income. As an example, Bill Mathis would have had to generated over $37 million dollars in taxable income to be able to use the $1.87 million dollars of tax credits that he received.
This Democrat passed corporate welfare scheme allows a 20% tax credit on investments made in the state, investments that companies would be making anyway. In 2015 this tax credit removed $2,750,000 from the state coffers by allowing companies to pass along the tax credit by selling it to others.
Save around one million per year by killing this welfare program that pays companies for hiring workers they would hire anyway. In 2012 the annual payout was $443,000 but it has more than doubled to $887,000 by 2015. The Oklahoma State R&D Tax Credit is calculated based on the number of computer services, data processing, or research and development employees hired by a company in a given fiscal year.  For each of these employees hired, the company is eligible for a $500 tax credit.  The employee must be paid at least $35,000 and be employed during the final quarter in the applicable tax year to qualify for the credit.  The credit is capped at 50 employees ($25,000) per year.
This tax credit allows banks and credit unions to recover any fees paid to the Small Business Administration for guaranty fees on loans they make. In 2012 the payout by the Oklahoma Treasurer was only $5100.00 but by 2015 it has ballooned to $63,817.00.
Clean Burning Fuel Vehicle Credit
While lower gas taxes have helped hold down the cost of these tax credits in 2012 Oklahoma spent $3,100,000.00 paying for 45% of the cost of converting vehicles to burn natural gas plus another $1500.00 and 75% of the cost of fueling stations. In 2015 Oklahoma paid outnearly $800,000.00 in subsidies.
(68 O.S. § 2357.22)
For tax years beginning before January 1, 2020, a one-time income tax credit is available for 45% of the incremental cost of purchasing a new original equipment manufacturer AFV or converting a vehicle to operate on an alternative fuel. The state also provides a tax credit for 10% of the total vehicle cost, up to$1,500, if the incremental cost of a new AFV cannot be determined or when an AFV is resold, as long as a tax credit has not been previously taken on the vehicle. Equipment used for conversions must be new and must not have been previously sed to modify or retrofit any vehicle. The alternative fuels eligible for the credit are compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, and liquefied petroleum gas (propane). Tax credits may be carried forward for up to five years.
Clean Burning Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Credit
(68 O.S. § 2357.22)
For tax years beginning before January 1, 2015, a tax credit is available for up to 75% of the cost of alternative fueling infrastructure. Eligible alternative fuels include compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (propane), hydrogen, and electricity. The infrastructure must be new and must not have been previously installed or used to fuel alternative fuel vehicles. A tax credit is also available for up to 50% of the cost of installing a residential CNG fueling system, for up to $2,500. The tax credit may be carried forward for up to five years. Legislation enacted in 2013 extends the one-time income tax credit for investments in qualified clean burning motor vehicle property from 2015 to 2020 and is effective November1, 2013.
In 2012 Oklahoma paid out around $19,000,000.00 in these tax credits for expanding or hiring workers, something that the companies would have done anyway. In 2015 that cost had nearly tripled to nearly $51,000,000.00. That is the same as writing a check from a state checking account for fifty one million dollars.
In 2015 this program paid $2.3 million dollars of your tax money to builders to build energy efficient homes, something they were already doing without the subsidy. This is $2000 to $4000 per home just for building a home to modern standards. By 2015 the program had almost twice as many hogs feeding out of the trough and paid out $5.5 million dollars that year.
While Fallin signed a bill that will end the enrollment of new wind power projects in June of this year the program paid out $28 million in 2012, $113 million in 2013, $29 million in 2014, and estimates of the total impact on the state treasury is at around $50 million per year. These corporate welfare programs generate millions upon millions in tax credits when the wind farms would have been built anyway as the amount of available wind is the most important factor in siting a wind farm. What is needed is to terminate the entire subsidy program immediately.
This corporate welfare scheme was limited to a select group that paid well for their tax credits I suppose. It doubled the Federal credit for remodeling history properties including:
“Certified historic hotel or historic newspaper plant building” means a hotel or newspaper plant building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places within thirty (30) months of taking the credit pursuant to this section. “
The tax credit cost Oklahoma almost $7 million dollars in 2012 and almost $4.7 million dollars in 2015
Coal Credit
This corporate welfare scheme was costing Oklahoma over $60 million per year, a direct $5.00 per ton rebate for coal burned in the state mainly because natural gas was cutting into coal companies profit margins. They were suspended for two years starting in 2010 but had grown ten times the original estimated cost. The Coal Credit is still around it appears but only if the price of coal drops below $68.00 per ton. In 2014 over $6 million dollars were paid out in coal credit subsidies.
A good report a few years back was this article that covered the damage that these corporate welfare schemes were doing to the state.
Paste this are the hundreds of surplus agencies and commissions that Oklahoma runs including the OMES, Preston Doerflinger's very large empire, one that he gave huge raises to last year despite the ongoing budget crisis. The Quick Closing Action Fund, a slush fund for Fallin used to bribe companies to come to Oklahoma is another welfare scheme that could be cut.
Konawa Tea Party
(4th) Tuesday May 23, 2017 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Kennedy Library - The Dougan Room
Konawa School, 701 W South Street
Invited Speakers:
Brooke McGowan - Bullying
Any & all Candidates will be introduced!
Frank Volpe - Bullying
By the Watchman
Last night the State Constitutional mandate for passing a budget passed without so much as a whisper from the Governor. For many years now you have seen us expose the liberal leanings of a vast majority of our elected officials. Most of you have ignored the warnings and the proof that we have provided so far. The debacle at the Capital over taxes and the budget shortfall only serves to highlight our point. This article should be proof enough by its self that a tax increase is not needed Liberal Donor to Group Pushing Okla. Tax Hike Avoided Millions in Taxes - Washington Free Beacon. The individual here, George Kaiser has a deep rooted history of feeding off the middle class tax payers. He made millions from the Obama administration scam known as Solyndra while the middle class tax payers paid the bill. It truly seems that the two parties have switch roles. It is now the Democrats in office who are fighting the tax increases instead of the Republicans.
As we have witnessed for many years, politicians seem to feel that they know how to spend our money better than we do. We maintain that they know how to waste our money better than we do. The alleged budget shortfall they are complaining about and using to argue for raising taxes is a classic bait and switch. The state’s budget is set by using a figure from last year’s spending and guessing they can spend a little more this year. Only an imbecile thinks that way. All they needed to do was look at the reports from the State Treasurer’s Office to see that the income for the state was down. What the shortfall is amounts to the difference to what is available to spend and what they want to spend on their pet projects. That is what they call a budget shortfall. The only thing we can be sure of is that these people have become adept in the art of boxing. They have learned the art of the duck and weave better than most boxers. They always seem to duck a question when one is placed to them.
One of the major subjects this session has been teachers’ pay raises. Not once in any of the proposals have we heard a word said about the amount of cash that the individual school districts are holding in their savings accounts as an assist to funding these pay raises. We are sure you are surprised to hear of this, but you may see the funds by districts here Why Are School Districts Sitting on So Much Cash?OCPA - Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. Most school districts did not have to lay off a single teacher last year. Their greed got in the way and they stashed it into their savings accounts.
The next article of interest we found was this. This article is dated February 21, 207. It indicates that they are already directing agencies to plan for a $34.6 million dollar cut in their budgets. There is a side note from the Governor in this article that says “Our budget is broken and we have to fix it.” She and her predecessors have had over a hundred and ten years to broaden the base of the economy of the state. Instead they are stuck on two items, oil and gas. They cater to them. They do whatever they want. The biggest reason is the lobbyist behind the companies and the financial backing they get for their campaigns. One industry has bought our state. That’s disgraceful.
The next article of interest we found was this Although the group associated with this blog is for parental empowerment, which we hold no objection to, they make a very fine point in this article. We would urge you to open the link and read the article for yourself. There is even an ad made by a Gubernatorial Candidate in here that explains how many services they want to tax. Included in these taxes would be a tax on your funeral. Apparently they want you to leave as little as possible for the surviving members of your family.
The next article we found was disturbing to us. You can read it here Altus Times | Gov. Mary Fallin is picking winners and losers with proposed sales taxes. All of the tax increases seem to increase the taxes for small business while leaving the taxes for the large oil and gas business’s alone. Lt. Governor Lamb was on the Cabinet of the Governor and was primarily concerned with the protection of small business. He resigned from the Cabinet because the Governor would no longer listen to the advice that he was giving.
The next article of interest only serves to show how much pull the oil and gas industry has in Oklahoma You can see it here The Okie » OKOGA Blasts Legislature’s Efforts To Raise GPT Rate. Now this is a special interest group that lobbies for the oil and gas industry. Apparently they lobby for only the large operators in the state. While this group has been ranting and raving to law makers about not raising taxes, the smaller oil and gas operators in the state have stepped up to the plate and admittedly saying it would hurt them financially, they have volunteered to pay a higher tax on their wells. We are shocked and dismayed that not one single legislator that we are aware of has bothered to even say thank you, yet they stick to their guns about not raising their taxes.
The next article of interest we found was this Sooner Survey, May 2017 | Democratic Party (United States) | United States Government. Now we took into consideration that this came from the Democratic National Committee and the Oklahoma Democratic Committee, but it does bring out some very legitimate points. In part we’ll quote “The current discussion about the state budget shortfall has created conflict, not just among Oklahoma Voters, but within individual voters as well. We still see large numbers of Oklahomans (65%) who believe that the primary response should be cutting government spending, while only 23% have a first impulse to raise taxes. Given this, it is no surprise that Oklahomans overwhelmingly reject a tax on services (17% support). We also have a growing percentage of Oklahomans saying taxes are too high (44%), up from 36% in 2014. After reading this report we all owe a margin of thanks to those Democrats in our State Legislature who are doing their best to stop these tax increases.
The next article of interest we found was this The Okie » UPDATE: Coburn’s Budget Fix: Focus on Spending Reductions and Not Tax Increases. Senator Coburn offered what we would consider to be perhaps the best advice we’ve seen to date. He recommended that our legislature concentrate on spending reductions not tax increases. Despite that advice, our legislature has increased the size of government and created new commissions to investigate problems they aren’t willing to tackle themselves. This amounts to a phony budget put together by a bunch of phony republicans. Being called RINO’s is to give them a compliment.
The next article of interest we found was this Former Democrat Compares Pro-Oil & Gas Lawmakers To Judas | Need To Know Network. This is another special interest group that represents the smaller, vertical well producers here in Oklahoma. Though we wouldn’t go as far as to call them Judas, we would call them Chambercrats. Those lawmakers who vote to protect the tax credits of the larger oil and gas producers are getting the help of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and are falling in line with what they want. We the People no longer have control of our own state.
The next article of interest we found was this Free Market Friday: The veiled budget – The Journal Record. This is a very important article for you to open the link and read. With all the doom and gloom comments being made by various agencies about not having the funds to do their work properly, the budget being decided at the capitol is only a small portion of what they get. This is another tactic they use to make people think that they can’t get along without the extra cash or that services would be reduced because they didn’t get a tax increase. This is pure nonsense.
There is only one group out there lobbying in the defense of those of us that will pay the taxes. You can see the article on them here The Okie » AFP Challenges State Leaders: “Where Are The Cuts?” They are the only one that asks the most important question asked in this time of financial shortfall. Where are the cuts? Neither the Governor nor any other elected official has bothered to pay attention to what the Oklahoma State Treasurer has been saying for the last three years. He has been saying repeatedly that revenue was down. What makes them think they can spend more money than they have when you have less revenue coming in? Simple elementary school math would tell you that you can’t. We highly recommend none of these people appear on the television program “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader.” They would lose.
What we have here is by law a sitting Governor and sitting legislative body who are doing so without the consent of the people. They have been in violation of the Oklahoma State Constitution since 1994. By law we are required to have a State Constitutional Convention every twenty years. We have not had one since 1974. That is enough to call into question every law and regulation that has been put into place since 1994. Every attempt by a legislator to bring a bill up to force the compliance with the Constitution has failed to even clear committee. That makes them knowingly in violation of the law. Those are grounds for impeachment.
In conclusion we have a prime example of absolute corruption corrupts absolutely. Our elected officials are perfectly willing to raise the taxes on the average citizens by a billion dollars, but they refuse to cut the tax credits they give to the people who fund their election campaigns. They fail to pay attention to what they are being told about the revenue available to the state and go on and plan to fund their pet projects anyway. They no longer represent us, but they do the bidding of those who pay for their campaigns. This has got to change.
We call for a suspension of all state spending until such time as a State Constitutional Convention is held. We call for a work slowdown by all state employees, withholding the paycheck of elected officials and the per diem of all elected officials until a convention is called. We call for all future tax increases to be placed onto a state wide ballot for an up or down vote by the citizens of Oklahoma. We further call for the resignation of the Governor, the Senate President pro-tem, and the Speaker of the House. Their incompetence has led to this alleged shortfall through mismanagement and greed. This has got to stop.