The Biden Binge Program has officially begun. Most states, counties, and major cities across the country received 50% of their allotment from the bloated $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) this past week. Although the plan is completely partisan and failed to receive a single Republican vote in Congress, the Biden Administration has moved forward with allocating an unnecessary $2.1 billion dollars for the State of Oklahoma, $126 million for Tulsa County and $88 million for the City of Tulsa.
This massive amount of money comes on the heels of last years $5.6 Trillion relief and will very likely overheat the American economy, which is roaring back to life. Already the year-over-year cost of consumer goods has gone up by 7%. The Producer Price Index has gone up 4.2%. The price of commodities, housing, and energy are surging. With inflation running hot and interest rates on the rise, what will the state of the economy be when the federal money runs out?
Fortunately, the Oklahoma Legislature has already put into law a requirement that federal dollars sent to the State cannot be spent on recurring expenses. Unfortunately, $1.3 billion will bypass the State and go directly to all 77 counties and nine cities in Oklahoma with very few guardrails.
Oklahoma leaders should intentionally focus on one-time investments that will be transformative in nature and avoid investments that do not have true measurable returns for success.
If we “maximize all of the funding,” we become complicit with the Biden Binge. Oklahoma leaders need to find the courage and fortitude to take only what we need and then refuse to fall into outrageous spending habits by sending a large portion of ARP funds back to Biden.