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OK. Stimulus Fund Used to Pay Medicaid Funding Gap. What Does This Stimulate? More Government Spending?

August 27, 2010
The Oklahoma budget is falling apart as assumptions are not coming to fruition. The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently ruled that a 1 percent fee which was added to health care claims to provide money for the state’s Medicaid program is unconstitutional. This would have brought in approximately $78 million for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and a matched $190 million of federal funds. This missing $268 million will be filled this year by the additional funds provided by the stimulus program, but the future is unclear. Treasurer Scott Meacham said, “where it hurts us is in the long run, down the line in maintaining the program there.” Many other “revenue enhancements” were also included in the fiscal year 2011 budget. About $50 million a year was assumed to come from cameras placed on Oklahoma highways to check whether vehicles are insured. This revenue source is currently shelved due to various snags and details. Other revenue assumptions include taxes on internet and catalog purchases from out-of-state companies ($32 million), hiking the fees for driving records ($11.4 million), and increasing the cost of oversize permits that truckers must pay ($16.6 million). “If any one of these things doesn’t produce in the manner we hope it does,” stated Rep. Ryan Kiesel, “we’re going to be in really tough shape.”
$50 million to pay for medicaid was to come from Oklahoma acting as big brother to anyone owning a car; taxing commerce including truckers and out-of-state purchases that only hurt Oklahoma residents as previously they’d be able to make the purchase without paying taxes.
So the stimulus and all the other government “plans”  are NOT really stimulus at all.  They are just a redistribution of taxpayer wealth to pay for government entitlements funds that are too costly to maintain.  Instead of saying, the programs are too costly, the States and Feds are looking for creative ways to tax you i.e. hidden camera, tickets and non-income taxes i.e. sales and internet taxes without calling it a tax.
The desperation being exhibited is in a word, Pathetic.


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