"It is the goal of the people to establish a system of education which will develop the full educational potential of each person. Equality of educational opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state."
– Article X, Section 1, Montana Constitution.
My work as chair of the Education Committee in Montana's House of Representatives gives me a first-hand look at an essential truth of our state's school system: Montana's public schools do very well compared to much of the country.
Big Sky Women Veterans is accepting active duty, reserves, retired and veterans who have been honorably discharged, as members.
Big Sky Women Veterans is a 501(c) (19) non-profit Veterans Organization, whose purpose is to provide camaraderie and networking opportunities, as well as resources for women on active duty or who are veterans in need. The group's 2012-2013 special projects include working with the Veterans Administration on women's health care issues, and providing resources for homeless women veterans, according to State Director, Meredith Cox.
Governor Bullock has decided to ignore the Schweitzer administration's budget submitted last November and instead opt into Obamacare's Medicaid eligibility expansion. This looks to be a patently bad idea; and even if it's not there's no reason to rush forcing Montana's taxpayers into yet more unsustainable entitlement spending and to herd more of our citizens into a system that provides inferior care at great expense.
First let's get a little background out of the way and then I'll explain why it's a bad idea.
Medicaid provides health insurance - not necessarily health care, but more on that later - to families with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Montana's taxpayers currently pay about 33 percent of the program's cost, with the federal government picking up the balance.
John Berlau, Senior Fellow for Finance and Access to Capital, had the following to say about the government’s decision on to sell its GM stock at a significant loss:
The government announced a plan to sell its remaining stake in General Motors at an estimated loss to taxpayers of $12 billion. If the losses on General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) are included, the total probably rises to nearly $20 billion.
One way for the US to cover its debts is to sell off assets. Economists from the Bozeman-based think-tank, PERC (Property and Environment Research Center), Terry Anderson and D. Bruce Johnson recently made just that suggestion in an editorial published in the Wall Street Journal . They suggested the U.S. government should start thinking of the "fiscal cliff" in terms of the "foreclosure crisis," satirically calling on Congress to sell off America's national treasures. The only alternative: go on a fiscal diet," they said. They itemized more than a trillion dollars of federal land, the Continental Shelf, "land under the ocean within 200 miles of the coast, which is known to have huge oil and gas reserves," and the crown jewels of the national parks – "Disney might pay many billions for the 2.2 million acres of Yellowstone." And the list goes on from the Pentagon to museums. "A Smithsonian yard sale would really pull 'em in."
If not selling off its assets, another option might be to better manage their land portfolio. The US Government could generate billions more in revenues just by charging more realistic prices for access to assets like Yellowstone Park.
"The U.S. government is no different from a homeowner facing foreclosure. Either it earns more money, adjusts its spending habits or gives up its assets," said the authors.
There is no get-out-of-jail-free card for America's small business owners—when times are tight they have to find new ways to stretch their resources in order to keep their doors open and stay competitive. Which is why it is so disappointing to see how our leadership in Washington is handling our current financial situation.
Instead of addressing the fiscal cliff by ratcheting back unnecessary spending and making government more accountable, some of our elected officials are looking to the taxpayers to provide them a get-out-of-jail free card. One way policy makers in Washington are looking to "increase revenue"—or in other words, ask you to bail them out—is by increasing taxes on American energy producers.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103