Saturday, September 09, 2006

R but not quite IP

What's Right in Montana takes note of the general lack of posting here and draws the usual sort of comments. I can't apologize for not posting more; with my schedule, it would be irresponsible to even try. I started this blog (the first by a working journalist in Montana) in part out of a hope to supplement the Outpost's weekly news coverage with daily updates and commentary. That still sounds like a good idea to me, but it just isn't practical at the moment. I've got to earn some cash.

Infrequent posting does mean that I will miss commenting on some things of which I might otherwise have taken note, including a couple of things on What's Right in Montana:

1. The remarkable discovery that "disavowed" implies liberal bias.

2. This enlightening essay on how much Jon Tester and Conrad Burns "like" taxes. The post misses an obvious point: In my 2 1/2 decades around politicians, I don't believe that I have ever met one who "likes" taxes. What politicians like is spending because spending allows them to keep constitutents happy and make election-year claims about how successful they are at bringing home the bacon. Responsible conservatives resist the urge to spend; responsible liberals have the political courage to tax. That natural tug of war is supposed to keep the system in balance.

But Tester, whose experience is in state government, doesn't have the same luxury that Burns has in Congress. The Montana Legislature has to balance its budget, so if Tester wants to spend money, he has to find revenues somewhere. Burns just has to tack a few hundred billion more onto the deficit.

What I'm waiting for is some genuine conservative to explain to me how it is fiscally responsible for a senator to support, say, a war that costs a billion or so bucks a day and then not only refuse to levy the taxes to pay for it but actually support tax cuts that dig the hole even deeper. Any takers?

Finally, I might just note that my interest in the whole blogging phenomenon has waned in recent months. I'm not persuaded that it is a good use of my time, and I'm not persuaded that I have the temperament for it. This may sound odd coming from a guy who has probably a million words in print, but writing always has been a struggle for me, and adding it to the responsibility of running a business and teaching doesn't make it any easier. Lots of days I just look at that blank computer screen and think, not my job to fill it.

P.S. I did a profile on Tester for Montana Quarterly that is now hitting the stands. Look for it everywhere!


Anonymous said...

I wasn't trying to bury you prematurely, but you put posted up that your blog, as we know it, was going to be going away.

Keep blogging forever as far as I'm concerned!

If it wasn't for you & Ed Kemmick I'd never have taken an interest in it.

Ed Kemmick said...

Eric, you don't think Crisp and I take enough grief already? And now we've got to shoulder the blame for making you into a blogger? Damn.

dekwkg said...

I agree with this post. I have no problem with a fiscal conservative. What I do find distasteful is a "conservative" like Burns who is willing to spend money "like a drunken sailor" but who claims to be fiscally responsible. I have no problem with with a person who sees a role for government in our life and recognizes that the role has to be funded as long as that person is up front about the fact that the role is going to require a funding source (e.g. maybe a tax increase).

Anonymous said...

I dont know what Rocky pays, but I'd have to be pretty hungry to teach an entire semester course at MSU-Billings for $1575.00

Anonymous said...

Montana needs John Tester in Washington. An honest man is hard to find, just check out Burns involvement with this year's scandal in Washington. Money is a great temptation. He's (Burns) been in Washington to refuse the temptation.
Jen, Trego, MT