GOP confronts another failed tax experiment in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY – Republicans in Oklahoma are confronting a serious budget crisis that began after they took full control of state government in 2010.

GOP lawmakers tried to make the state a model of conservative principles, with lower taxes, lighter regulation and lots of business-friendly reforms. But, those moves have left Oklahoma painfully short of money.

Now, agencies that were cut during the Great Recession have been slashed even deeper. Rural hospitals are closing, and teachers are considering a statewide strike over low wages.

The outlook is so grim that some Republicans are willing to consider tax increases to fund education and health care.

While state leaders bicker over what went wrong, a half-dozen Republicans are jockeying to succeed Gov. Mary Fallin. She cannot seek re-election because of term limits.