GOP On Revenue: Truth Be Damned!

I like everything about this story by Mike Dennison about the GOP’s plan to keep cutting education and social services except the headline. “Budget Less Dire Than GOP Portrays” is certainly an interesting euphemism for “GOP Continues to Lie about Revenue” but the story itself make the case pretty clearly that the Republican majority is determined to cut spending beyond what’s necessary.

It’s late—and you should read the whole piece yourself, but I wanted to mention one portion, from Senator Dave Lewis:

Sen. Dave Lewis, R-Helena, who chairs the Senate Finance and Claims Committee, said Tuesday that Republicans are choosing to believe that revenue trends have been on a downward trend and won’t bounce back that quickly. If they hold to that view, the governor’s budget will be cut.

The key phrase? The Republican majority is “choosing to believe” that revenue trends are headed downward, despite evidence to the contrary. Of course, these are many of the same people who “choose to believe” that states can invalidate federal law and that global warming either doesn’t exist or is good for us.

Snark aside, if the Republicans get their way, revenue is likely to head downward. As the GOP enjoyed pointing out the other day, the state is a major employer in Montana and cutting people’s jobs and social services during stormy economic times is an absolute recipe for decreasing state revenue.

Lewis and his colleagues are determined to make their self-fulfilling prophecy come true: by cutting critical programs like Big Sky Rx, Healthy Montana Kids, Tobacco Prevention, ensuring that local districts have to lay off personnel, and making college less affordable, they’ll absolutely hurt state revenue and a lot of good people along the way.

Let’s not govern by what we “choose to believe.” Faith-based economics is a recipe for disaster. Montana needs pragmatic solutions instead.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • Are people awake yet? Well, if not, they better wake the hell up! The ONLY thing preventing Big Sky Country from becoming Big Koch Country is Schweitzer! Can you even IMAGINE how things would be if we had a teabagger guv like Wisconsin with all the kooks in our Lege? Now THAT'S damn scary! Somehow, we lucked out and recieved a reprive!

    Hopefully, the people of Montana finally undestand that in order for democracy to function properly, they MUST participate and take an active role. They MUST take seriously their responsiblity in crafting their own futures now, or the Wendy Warpburpin' and Cleve Looney's will do it for them. And they MUST comprehend that it's NOT OK to get mad and vote in wackjobs! The days of having reasonable, rational legislators do their jobs with integrity and experience with little oversight are loooong gone.

    The fascists like the Kochs began this process years ago of making the government the enemy. Well, it's not. It's the ONLY thing that the people have at their disposal to fight complete corporate domination. Government is SUPPOSED to protect the powerless from the powerful! But with the rise of the teabaggers and the Big Kochs, that's no longer the case.

    Attacks on government are purposeful. The are a carefully calucated purposely cultivate attempt to create enough cynicism as to make govrnment unworkable. And when governments no longer work, the corporate fascists stand ready to fill the vacumn and march us right back to the 1800's.

  • Pretty funny how you just cut and paste talking points without having a clue.

    RE: GOP cutting Big Sky Rx — even the Schweitzer administration has recognized this program needs to go. They were the first ones to cut it…but added it back into their budget after AARP beat them around the ears. Let me be clear– it does need to go.

    Mr Pogie, you try hard to be some type of high level intellectual but you do yourself a disservice by blindly posting talking points from Twitter without knowing what you are talking about.

    ***And pretty much "ditto" on the tobacco prevention funds. Needs to go — money can be better spent elsewhere.

    Also, don't lose sleep, every session ends with the GOP caving on the budget. Sine die.

  • You're so hostile, fatso. Maybe eat a salad or something. For what it's worth. "ditto" is only an argument on Rush Limbaugh's show.

    Re: Big Sky Rx:

    Big Sky Rx was created with the passage of Initiative 149 in 2004 when voters overwhelmingly approved an increase in tobacco taxes to pay for prescription drug assistance. The measure passed by a 2-to-1 margin. Bringing legislators from both sides of the aisle together with the business community, this landmark health care legislation was an initiative of a broad coalition of non profits and health care organizations. The measure was implemented in the 2005 legislative session and had wide bipartisan legislative support as well as the support of health care and consumer advocates, insurers and the business community, including the Montana Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business.

    Is the state director of the AARP lying about it? I believe him.

    • As I said before, your ignorance is showing. Do some research before cutting and pasting! Talk about a sock puppet!

      Actually Bob Bartholomew is lying in the article that you, once again, simply cut and pasted. I-149 was simply a tobacco tax increase to fund "health care". The Big Sky Rx program was NOT a part of I-149. The legislature established and created it, reluctantly, because the Governor demanded it.

      2. To be clear Pogie, Big Sky Rx was not approved by the voters and that article is wrong.

      Big Sky Rx was the brainchild of Governor Schweitzer and AARP (a kickback for helping him win the office). However, there is strong evidence that the current administration has realized Big Sky Rx is unnecessary and they placed it at the top of their cut list.

      It would be nice to hear progressives agree that some programs must be cut in times like this.

      • That "cutting and pasting" you are referring is a little something I like to call evidence. It makes some sense that you are unfamiliar with the concept, as your comments never rely on them. Given the choice to believe the head of the AARP in Montana or an anonymous troll, the choice is fairly straightforward for me.

        Read the Initiative again. It certainly did provide funding for a program like Big Sky Rx.

        It would be nice if some conservatives would rely on real numbers and evidence rather than assuming that all cuts are good no matter what.

  • It'd be so nice if they, you know, taxed corporations. Maybe if they payed what they easily could, or their fair share, we wouldn't have to cut programs that alleviate the pains of poverty. For every Cadillac-driving welfare mom, there's hundreds of kids who in no way control their circumstances and have to live through the trials and embarrassment of poverty. Coming from first-hand experience, it really sucks not having electricity, or heating, or Christmas presents. It's as simple as realizing that a society in which some have everything and many have nothing is inherently wrong. You're brainwashed concepts of rights should extend to the right to eat, the right to be clean, the right to be warm, not just the right to open a damn business.

    Countries like Sweden with extensive social nets don't seem to have the budget problems our country now has, nor the crime that accompanies poverty, and guess what! They still have rich people. This demonizing of helping people is so absurd, especially considering it comes from the "party of god." I'm so sure if Jesus was real, he would've probably been in favor of guaranteeing everyone the right to be healthy.

      • Well fatso, I must admit that the Washington Times is a totally unbiased source that is definitely not run, at an enormous loss (talk about the marketplace of ideas), by a completely ….. um ….. Okay Pogie, how is it possible to describe Sun Myung Moon without insulting the mentally ill?

        But seriously fatso, every system has its ups and downs, but the Swedish system does allow their people to live longer while spending less on health care and *gasp* not running a deficit.

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