The current political shenanigans surrounding the federal budget, Obamacare, federal debt limits and shutdowns are really more about two fundamentally different ways to run a country. The pivot point in the two philosophies is rooted in how involved we want government to be in our lives. More involvement means more cost and less freedom plus less personal responsibility. Less involvement results in less cost and more personal responsibility and freedom. Both have varying degrees of credibility.
With the growing federal deficit and the need to raise the debt ceiling once again looming large, it has become clear to many of us that the Legislature was right to reject the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
While the debate was going on, we heard the same set of claims – put forward as if they were facts – over and over again. Obamacare Medicaid would give 70,000 Montanans health care. Obamacare Medicaid would create 12,000 new jobs.
When it comes to developing our energy resources, Montanans have grown accustomed to the federal government getting in the way. But as coal development projects in the state move forward, the latest roadblock is coming from right here in Montana. On a recent visit to the Crow Indian Nation, we learned how local opposition to coal exports is impacting one of the poorest communities in the state.
In response to Tom Power's, "Drill, Baby, Drill": The Ongoing Economic Fantasy
In light of a recent commentary by Tom Power (former Economics Professor at the University of Montana) it's apparent that much education is needed on the issue of America's energy revolution.
Today, Americans are reaping the benefits of readily available, affordable energy. The United States has just been announced the number one energy producer in the world by Wall Street Journal. Last year, families saw energy savings of $1,200 per household thanks to technological advances in unconventional methods of extraction, according to a September IHS report. The Federal Government's Low Income Energy Assistance Program spent $3.5 billion dollars on 9 million people last year to help pay energy bills, amounting to just under $400 per person. That being said, America's private energy sector saved families three times more than taxpayer funded government subsidies.
As our nation struggles to fully recover from the Great Recession, the questions on every American's mind are, "How did we end up in this situation?" and "Where do we go from here?"
Although the answers to the first question vary widely, there are solutions supported by both sides of the aisle that would help America's small businesses grow and create the jobs needed for recovery.
Each year small businesses create over two-thirds of the new jobs across the U.S. Imagine how much more they could do if we reduce the heavy regulatory burden weighing them down.
The seven Rocky Mountain states — Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada and Idaho — currently produce more than 1.2 million barrels of crude oil and natural gas liquids per day, more than 20 percent of U.S. natural gas production, and more than half of the country's coal output. And yet five of the 20 states most reliant on federal aid are in this region.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103