Blatt

David Blatt

Director, Oklahoma Policy Institute
Areas of Expertise:
  • Public Sector Reforms
  • Antipoverty Policy
  • Health Care Reform
  • Medicare & Medicaid
  • Public Budgets & Taxes

Connect with David

About David

Blatt has served as a fiscal analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate, public policy director of a non-profit anti-poverty agency, and Director of a policy think-tank (Oklahoma Policy Institute, focused on state fiscal, social and economic policy issues). Blatt earned his PhD from Cornell University and his research has spanned topics ranging from state budget and tax policy, health care issues, social welfare, immigration, poverty and asset building, emphasizing the need for fair and adequate funding of public services and expanded economic opportunity, and financial security for low- and moderate-income residents. In addition to conducting and publishing research for a broad public audience, his work has included providing testimony to legislative committees, direct advocacy with legislators, extensive public presentations to community organizations, and organizing public policy forums and events.

Briefs

Podcast

Publications

"Repairing Oklahoma's Broken Democracy," Oklahoma Policy Institute, November 30, 2014.
This report looks at declining electoral participation in Oklahoma and provides various suggestions for election reforms that would lead to a better informed and more actively engaged electorate.
"Medicaid Proves Its Worth in Oklahoma," Oklahoma Policy Institute, February 28, 2013.
Shows why Oklahoma Medicaid is a cost-effective insurance program that offers access to a broad-based provider network, pays providers fairly and competitively, satisfies patients, pioneers innovative health care delivery mechanisms, and leads to better health outcomes for Oklahomans.
"Fixing the Sales Tax," Oklahoma Policy Institute, February 2011.
Argues that sales tax reform, including broadening the base to cover more services, limiting exemptions, and taxing online sales, is needed to ensure a fair, rational and stable tax system that is adequate to meet Oklahoma’s long-term funding needs
"Taking It To The Bank: Promoting Savings in Oklahoma," Oklahoma Policy Institute, March 2011.
Looks at the importance of savings as a way to build assets and achieve economic security for low- and moderate-income residents, and lays out a policy agenda that would promote greater opportunities to save.
"Protecting Core Services: Revenue Options for a Balanced Budget," Oklahoma Policy Institute, April 2011.
Lays out several options, aimed at state legislators, to boost state revenues so as to avoid enacting deeper budget cuts to essential state services.
"Health Care Reform and the State Budget: Savings Likely to Fully or Partly Offset Modest New Costs," Oklahoma Policy Institute, October 2011.
Looks at the expected impact of the new federal health care law, the Affordable Care Act, on the state budget and finds that its modest increase on state Medicaid spending will likely be largely or fully offset by other budget savings.
"Unnecessary and Unaffordable: The Case for Curbing Oklahoma's Oil and Gas Tax Breaks," Oklahoma Policy Institute, November 2012.
Examines the tax breaks that Oklahoma bestows for horizontal and deep well oil and gas drilling and argues that they have become unnecessary as incentives and unaffordable for the state budget.

In the News

"Voters Send a Message," David Blatt, The Journal Record, July 3, 2018.
David Blatt's research on Oklahoma primary turnout discussed in Rivka Galchen. David Blatt, "The Oklahoma Primaries Show the Last Impact of the Teacher Walkout," The New Yorker, June 27, 2018.
"Voter Turnout For Tuesday's Primary Surpasses 2014 General Election Turnout," David Blatt, Interview with Meagan Farley, News on 6, June 27, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on legislative elections in Janelle Stecklein, "Early Voting Up Significantly" The Ada News, June 27, 2018.
David Blatt's research on statewide elections discussed in Janelle Stecklein. David Blatt, "Early Voting Up Significantly From Four Years Ago," The Joplin Globe, June 25, 2018.
"This Is Not Us," David Blatt, The Journal Record, June 20, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: A Brand-New House — and Senate," David Blatt, The Journal Record, May 16, 2018.
"What We Know about State 2018 Legislative Elections," David Blatt, Enid News & Eagle, May 15, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: Pushing the Hot Buttons," David Blatt, The Journal Record, May 9, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on oil prices and the Oklahoma economy in Alexia Fernández Campbell and Alvin Chang, "Republicans are Giving Raises to Striking Teachers — and Making the Middle Class Pay for Them" Vox, May 8, 2018.
"Oklahoma Legislature Still Has Much Work to Do," David Blatt, NewsOK, May 6, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on the budget bill in Dale Denwalt, "Most Agencies See Boost in Proposed Budget Bill" NewsOK, April 26, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: What They Accomplished," David Blatt, The Journal Record, April 18, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on the tax referendum and teacher raises in Emory Bryan, "Group Attempting Veto Referendum to Stop Tax Increase" Newson6, April 18, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on the anti-tax movement and teacher raises in McAlester News-Capital, "Anti-Tax Effort Could Eliminate Teacher Raises" Janelle Stecklein, April 13, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on the effectiveness of teacher walkouts, "Education Advocates Must Remain Engaged Heading into the Election" Enid News & Eagle, April 14, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on incumbent candidates in Oklahoma in David Norris, "Amidst Calls for Change, Majority of House Seats Running Unopposed" KTUL, March 25, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on tax revenues in Oklahoma in Matt Trotter, "Oklahoma House Likely Voting Tonight on Teacher Raises" Public Radio Tulsa, March 26, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: A Big Deal," David Blatt, The Journal Record, March 28, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: The Long Work of a Movement," David Blatt, The Journal Record, April 11, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on tax breaks in Oklahoma in Janelle Stecklein, "Key Revenue Measures Hit Roadblocks" Enid News & Eagle, April 10, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on tax revenues in Oklahoma in Jeff Stein, "Behind Oklahoma’s Teacher Strike: Years of Tax Cuts and an Energy Slump" The Washington Post, April 11, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on tax cuts in Oklahoma in Alvin Chang, "How Tax Cuts for the Rich Led to the Oklahoma Teachers Strike" Vox, April 9, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on teacher unions and education reform in Janelle Stecklein, "Educators Face Tough Choice with Looming Walkout" Enid News & Eagle, March 29, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Emory Bryan, "Lottery Only Marginally Helps Fund Education, Tax Policy Experts Say" News on 6, March 30, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Tyler Butler, "Oklahoma Policy Institute: Oklahomans Pay Some of the Lowest Taxes in the Nation" KTUL, March 31, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Alex Cameron, "The Underfunding of Public Education in Oklahoma" News 9, April 1, 2018.
Jake Rosenfeld quoted in Simon Montlake and Story Hinckley, "Surge in Teacher Activism Challenges GOP Austerity Mindset" The Christian Science Monitor, April 3, 2018.
David Blatt quoted on tax breaks, "Teachers Chant 'fund our schools' as Revenue-Generating Measure Fails to Get a Vote" Tulsa World, April 3, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Janelle Stecklein, "Oklahoma Legislature May Take up Revenue Measures Friday" The Norman Transcript, April 5, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: A Job Partly Done," David Blatt, The Journal Record, April 4, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: Punishing the Poor," David Blatt, The Journal Prospect, March 21, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: The Pink Wave," David Blatt, The Journal Record, January 24, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Janelle Stecklein, "Initiative Overhaul Could Eliminate Citizen-Led Petitions, Critics Say" Enid News & Eagle, March 5, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Matt Trotter, "Oklahoma Slowly Improving when it Comes to State Budget" Public Radio Tulsa, January 25, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Joey Wignarajah, "I'll Lead, She Said" Tulsa World, February 4, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Barbara Hoberock, "How Proposed Changes in the State's Income Tax Code Could Affect You" Tusla World, February 8, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: Cuts with Consequences," David Blatt, The Journal Record, February 7, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: No Room for Fear," David Blatt, The Journal Record, February 28, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Maureen Wurtz, "What the "Step Up" Plan Could Mean for Taxes, Teachers and Oklahoma" KTUL, February 28, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: Let’s Make A(nother) Deal," David Blatt, The Journal Record, February 21, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: Don’t Rush to Consolidate Power," David Blatt, The Journal Record , February 14, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Barbara Hoberock, "Oklahoma House Expected to Vote Quickly on a Massive Tax and Reform Package" Tulsa World, January 31, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: Unfinished Business," David Blatt, American Press, January 31, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Randy Krehbiel, "Legislative Action Preventing Federal Income Tax Change from Blowing a $375 Million Hole in State Budget" Tulsa World, January 28, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: What's the Big Deal?," David Blatt, Journal Record, January 17, 2018.
David Blatt quoted in Matt Trotter, "Oil and Gas Tax Breaks Costing Oklahoma Nearly $400M" Public Radio Tulsa, December 21, 2017.
"Prosperity Policy: The ACA Lives," David Blatt, Journal Record, January 10, 2018.
David Blatt's research on "Canadian County Democrats to Hear Special Speaker," NewsOK, January 6, 2018.
"Prosperity Policy: Mission: not Impossible," David Blatt, The Journal Record, October 11, 2017.
"Prosperity Policy: Whom we Ask to Pay More," David Blatt, The Journal Record, October 4, 2017.
David Blatt quoted in Rhiannon Poolaw, "Save Our State Coalition will host “Blueprint for a Better Budget: A Community Conversation” in Lawton" ABC 7 News, September 19, 2017.
Guest to discuss reducing tax credits in Oklahoma's budget on Public Radio Tulsa, David Blatt, May 11, 2016.
Guest to discuss free universal preschool on PBS News Hour, David Blatt, February 2, 2016.
Guest to discuss Oklahoma's sales tax proposal on KGOU National Public Radio, David Blatt, January 21, 2016.
"Oil Prices Aren't the Only Reason for Oklahoma's Budget Problems," David Blatt, Tulsa World, January 15, 2016.
David Blatt quoted on Oklahoma's budget in Saundra Adams, "Oklahoma Policy Institute Reacts to State Revenue Failure" KTUL National Public Radio, December 15, 2015.
David Blatt's research on Oklahoma’s structural budget deficit discussed in Emily Droege. David Blatt, "Energy Slump, Policies Contribute to State's Budget Shortfall," Examiner-Enterprise, December 8, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on the effectiveness of small government in Steve Metzer, "State Drowning in Red Ink, Policy Institute Director Says" The Lawton Constitution, October 16, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on penny sales tax hike in Warren Vieth, "Education Sales Tax Would Cost Average Family $262" Oklahoma Watch, October 1, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on tax cuts in Alison Vekshin, "Wealthy Reap the Most as Revenue Rush Triggers U.S. State Rebates" Chicago Tribune, September 25, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on raising the sales tax, "Oklahoma Ranks High for State, Local Sales-Tax Rates" Washington Times, July 13, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on what ObamaCare rulings mean for Oklahomans in Warren Vieth, "Up Ahead, Turnover of Insurers on Health Market" Oklahoma Watch, July 2, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on production problems with horizontal wells in Matt Trotter, "New Law Governing Oil, Gas Company Tax Breaks Goes into Effect" Public Radio Tulsa, July 1, 2015.
Guest to discuss Oklahoma's economy on News on 6, David Blatt, May 6, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on delaying the income tax cut in Max Resnik, "Debate Grows over 2016 Income Tax Cut amid $600 Million Budget Shortfall" KJRH Tulsa, April 20, 2015.
Guest to discuss overall health in Oklahoma on Tulsa Public Radio, David Blatt, September 19, 2014.
David Blatt quoted on education budget cuts in OK in Renee Lewis, "Okla. Debate over U.S. History Overshadows Education Cuts, Critics Say" Al Jazeera America, February 21, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on Oklahoma's budget troubles in Brian Hardzinski, "Fallin Orders Hiring Freeze for State Agencies" KGOU National Public Radio, February 10, 2015.
David Blatt quoted on tax incentives for horizontal drilling in Paul Monies, "Oklahoma Tax Incentives for Oil and Gas Production Continue to be Debated" The Oklahoman, January 20, 2015.
Regular contributionsDavid Blatt to Journal Record: Prosperity Policy.
"Shortfalls and Triggers," David Blatt, Journal Record, January 7, 2015.
"Reform Winds are Blowing," David Blatt, Journal Record, December 17, 2014.
David Blatt quoted on improving health care in Oklahoma, "State Wins Affordable Care Act Grant" KGOU National Public Radio, December 16, 2014.
"Voices Missing from the Legislature," David Blatt, Journal Record, December 10, 2014.
"There's a Will, Where's the Way?," David Blatt, Journal Record, December 3, 2014.
"Fallin Given Four More Years as Oklahoma Governor - Now What?," David Blatt, The Oklahoman, November 23, 2014.
"For ACA, Bumpy Road, Not a Dead End," David Blatt, Journal Record, November 20, 2014.
David Blatt quoted on boosting turnout in Oklahoman Editorial Board , "For Some, a Glimmer of Good News from Oklahoma's Low Voter Turnout" News Ok, November 13, 2014.
"Four More Years – For What?," David Blatt, Journal Record, November 5, 2014.
David Blatt quoted on Oklahoma's 2014 elections in Kate Carlton Greer, "Volume of Uncontested Lawmaker Seats 'Not the Best Thing for Our Community'" KGOU National Public Radio, November 3, 2014.
"Our Broken Democracy," David Blatt, Journal Record, October 29, 2014.
"Still Giving Away the Store," David Blatt, Journal Record, October 22, 2014.
"Guess What? Obamacare is Working," David Blatt, Journal Record, September 10, 2014.
"Expanding Coverage is a Chance to Help Oklahoma Businesses and Families," David Blatt (with Robert J. LaFortune), Tulsa World, October 6, 2013.
"What's Unaffordable?," David Blatt, OK Policy Blog, February 26, 2013.
"What Governor Fallin's Healthcare Decisions Mean for Oklahomans," David Blatt, OK Policy Blog, December 18, 2012.
"Affordable Care Actions Put Oklahomans Last," David Blatt, Tulsa World, December 21, 2012.
"Cutting Income Tax is Wrong Approach for Oklahoma," David Blatt (with Gene Perry), The Oklahoman, January 15, 2012.
Guest to discuss proposals put forth by Oklahoma’s tax-reform task force on StudioTulsa, David Blatt, January 17, 2012.
Guest to discuss the Oklahoma Legislature's 2011-2012 Session on Studio Tulsa, David Blatt, June 6, 2012.