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“Spending Limits Promoted ”
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey called on Oklahomans on Tuesday to show their support for a ballot initiative that would limit government spending.
The proposed constitutional amendment, often called the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, would stop government from growing at a faster pace than private business, backers say. A limit is needed to bring back fiscal prudence, even in times of surplus, Armey said.
"This is only common sense," he said. "We need to limit growth of government in a rational manner. Spending public money needs discipline."
Armey, surrounded by several Oklahoma GOP lawmakers, said government would run more efficiently if spending were capped. He called opponents of the measure "romantic idealists who can't come to terms with reality."
The proposal, State Question 726, would base annual government spending limits on inflation increases and population growth. The circulated petition was signed by almost 300,000 Oklahomans, but is being challenged in court.
David Blatt, a spokesman for Alliance for Oklahoma's Future, which opposes the plan, said limiting spending would eliminate lawmaker discretion in distributing state funds and lead to cuts in vital state programs.
"In Oklahoma, SQ 726 is an empty promise that threatens vital programs and would ensure that Oklahoma never has the ability to catch up in areas where we lag behind," he said.