24 October 2017 — 1458 mdt
Montana budget woes: working together is a delusion
The options for resolving Montana’s budget imbalances are higher taxes, preferably on the wealthiest, or tighter belts and less medicine for the least fortunate. Hurting the poor requires only that Gov. Bullock wield the knife and ignore the blood and screams of agony. Raising taxes requires a legislative act, a highly improbable occurrence.
In posts at Logicosity today and yesterday, ERB notes that Gov. Bullock may call a special legislative session to convene on 13 November — and that progress on convincing a majority of legislators to raise taxes instead of reducing expenditures has been slow. The result may be a contentious session that clearly exposes Republican callousness toward needy people, but does nothing to rescue those people from the appalling cuts in social services that are the alternative to an increase in taxation.
But will the legislature even consider raising revenue? I would not be surprised if the Republican legislative leadership tries to adjourn sine die immediately after convening. For these legislators — and the voters who sent them to Helena — discharging their constitutional obligations mean cutting taxes and showing that spendthrift, libtard, bleeding heart, governor who steals from the hard working and gives to the improvident who’s boss.
Democrats who want to avoid a similar outcome following the 2019 legislative must find a way to win a majority in both legislative chambers. As the current impasse proves, the notion that a coalition of Democrats and so-called moderate Republicans can form a stable and progressive governing majority — working together — is a delusion.