Statement from Senator Cal Hobson, Vice-chairman Senate Appropriations Committee
The statement issued by Governor Keating is nothing more than a campaign press release. I don't know how the Governor can justify spending taxpayers dollars on something so blatantly partisan less than two months before the election.
This is another case of Governor Keating trying to find a rain cloud in every silver lining, all in the interest of partisan gain. In a report overflowing with praise about Oklahoma's economic growth, the Governor has seized on one item in an attempt to turn good news into bad. It's just a shame that, because of his partisan political agenda, Governor Keating can't recognize the progress we've made and are continuing to make. Apparently, Governor Keating thinks the only way to elect his friends to the Legislature is by running down Oklahoma, even if it means twisting the truth in the process.
What Governor Keating fails to grasp in the personal income debate is the impact of Oklahoma's low cost of living. Because it's so cheap to live in Oklahoma, a dollar can be stretched a lot farther here than it can in Washington, New York or California. In fact, when personal income is adjusted for cost of living, Oklahoma reaches the national average.
The only way to improve personal income, according to the experts, is to invest in education. It's no accident that the states with the top five per capita incomes are also the same states that spend the most on education. Oklahoma, unfortunately, continues to lag in the bottom five in educational investments.
Any reputable economist will tell you that Oklahoma's economy is performing above average, but Governor Keating can't admit that because he's trying to elect his cronies to the Legislature. The only way for him to accomplish his political goal is to convince everyone that Oklahoma is an economic wasteland just removed from the Grapes of Wrath. Fortunately for Oklahoma, that's not true.