Wednesday, May 16, 2007

GOP beating

I'd be interested in hearing contrary viewpoints, but it seems to me that Republicans took a terrific beating in the legislative session. By scrapping the usual budget process, they put pressure on themselves to deliver on their own plan, then they couldn't deliver. Lange's outburst made them look bad, then they looked even worse for the way they dumped him.

Most fundamentally, Republicans seemed to hitch their fortunes to two nonstarters: opposing enforcement of tax laws and permanent tax relief. Whether the Department of Revenue really needs more employees is a technical question I am not competent to answer, but I know how it looked. It looked like the GOP was endorsing fat-cat tax avoidance. Whether it's fair or not, that's a label nobody needs.

On permanent tax relief, I basically agree with Republicans that permanent tax cuts are better policy than one-time rebates. But it's not a deal breaker. We will all get decent tax relief this year; what we get in two years will depend on who is in office, how the economy is cooking, and what the state's needs are. That would be true no matter what this Legislature did.

Finally, Schweitzer is cleaning up on press indicating that after all the shouting he pretty much got what he wanted out of the session. He never seemed to doubt that he would. That hurts Republicans where it really hurts -- right in their vanity.


Anonymous said...

The sad reality is that the Repubbie party now consists of mainly morons! These folks are just not real bright! In fact, they're a lot like Bush. How? Easy answer. Bush "won" with by a very narrow margin. The Montana Pubbies won the House by a very narrow margin, yet like the presidunce, they considered this a great mandate. So, what did they do? They declared war too! On Schweitzer! Uh oh! BIG mistake. I mean, really, just how friggin' smart IS it to take on an extremely popular governor? Not very I'd say. But they did. Remember Scooty Sales saying, "this is war"! Well, poor little scootie has had about as much success as bush! The entire party, both national and local, are idiots! Anyway, Schweitzer promptly kicked their arses. And do you think they learned a lesson in all this. HELL NO! Now, scooty sales thinks they need to get MORE conservative! I mean, these guys are becoming laughable! They're cartoonish! They're pathetic! They forgot the first rule of war by Sun Tzu which says, "If you're a freakin' moron, don't take on a really, really smart guy"! And the second rule too: "Use too many wedge issues, and you end up giving YOURSELF a wedgie"! And that's where the Pubs are now. Schweitzer hiked their shorts SO far up their behinds that these guys are walkin' bowlegged! Ya know, I beginning to wonder if these Pubbies LIKE gettin' wedgies! It would seem so. Or mabye the corporations and rich outta staters are supplyin' them with an endless supply of shorts! And that brings up Sun Tzu's third rule of warfare: "When your shorts meet your ear, head for the rear!"
But I suspect that they aren't gonna change any time soon.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

Shane C. Mason said...

Only interested in contrary viewpoints? While I would like to see if there IS one, I think that you are spot on here.

The problem is that it is not just the Republican's that took a beating, the whole state did.

Pete Hansen said...

Once again, we have the Gazette supporting the overthrow of a vote of "The Grassroots" (for term limits) as the citizens who vote are called, who both the Gazette and every politician running for office, say they want to hear from! First, let's point out that "The Government" is the people, the electorate, not the Legislators.

And, the way it ought to work is that the very Politicians who congratulate we "Grassroots" on our intelligence, voting them into office, should not then decide that we're too stupid to have any knowledge of, nor should we have any say about what those we've elected, should accomplish on our behalf. As I recall, within the last couple of sessions, a proposal was made to make it even more difficult to place initiatives on subjects of concern to the "Grassroots," on the ballot.

And, let's have a reality check here, this session wasn't about the "inexperience" of those elected. Rather, it was a party line partisanship issue from the start by both parties. No? Then for example, if the budget splitting from one bill into many was such a good idea as suggested by the Republican party, why wasn't that idea broached and accomplished, when their party and administration, were in the majority? As to my "alleged" continual overthrow of the "Grassroots" who vote, I need only cite the numerous attempts to pass a sales tax by those elected officials who arrogantly proclaim that they and not we, should decide on a sales tax.

Otherwise, why, after numerous attempts, do we have to vote on it again and again? I would also cite legislative attempts to overthrow our "grassroots" votes against Cyanide Leach mining, game farms, term limits and sales taxes. To me, this and past legislatures are not a question of experience but, one of honesty and credibility and a desire to do what's best for Montana and it's citizens.

And, let's keep in mind that the primary reason term limits received the approval of we "Grassroots voters" was the experienced way many of those "hold over" 'Experienced' legislators disregarded "The will of the people," every session! This was a good call by "Grassrooters!" But beware, we must continue our vigilance, lest our wishes be again disregarded by supporters of the overthrow of our voted term limits and, other issues we've voted for or against.

But again, as I've stated before, one thing we "Grassroots" can be assured of is, plenty of fertilizer from both the "experienced" as well as the inexperienced candidates for the next legislature.

Chuck Rightmire said...

It strikes me that the Republicans don't realize what they did to themselves and the state. They actually believe that what they wanted was what the state needed. I'm not going to deny that they have a lot of support for permanent tax cuts rather than the $400, but I will take it with thanks since other programs needed the funds more. I would, however, have been just as happy to get zip. And, while I agree with Pete on the constant harping on the sales tax, it still remains one of the three legs of current tax policy in many states. However, I feel it is fairer to raise the income taxes back to the former level. There is no tax relief is their is no tax illness and there is no tax illness when we need to pay for things like schools and health care and other human benefits. And sometimes the people on the initiatives can be just as wrong as the Legislatures (although mostly not recently).

Brad Molnar said...

Now now David. I agree with everything you said in the first pargraph. BUT. Why is there no thought into how come Gov. is getting such good press? Is everything he wants and utters so unequivcably good? Where are the hard questions. As to your not being qualified to answer the technical arguements about the 100 more FTE for the Dept of Revenue why lament? Go find out. How much would they cost and how much would they collect? How many Revenue FTE's does Montanan have verses the surroundng states per capita? Why is our current number of FTE's not capeable of handling this issue? THe hearings on the legislation are all on line. Perhaps a quick listen would add some base of knowledge. Perhaps the fiscal note would. Its not that hard. Whats hard is casting votes of that kind knowning, as you point out, that it will be used to bludgion you in 18 months (seventy two hours before election day) and standing up anyway. Take out the soundbites and what's left? If the daily press won't do it and the independent press won't do it then who will?

And what is the balther about "what govenrnments needs are"
refering to? Do you think we needed $1.8B more government? If the suplus was't there do you think Schweitzer would have raised taxes $1.8B to handle these critical needs? Sheesh. Our budget is driven by income estimates. Not needs of government. Wow you're easy.