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.