Helena—Last week, when Steve Daines was confronted with the fact that the unpaid-for, $1.4 trillion Tax Scam he helped ram through Congress could cost Montana taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, he responded that Montanans should pay for it by further cuts to important programs that help families survive:
“I’ll tell you what, if you can’t find ways to cut [the state budget], 2-3-4 percent in different places – that’s something that Montana families have to do all the time.”
The bill that Daines expects Montanans to pay for with cuts to local services is a giveaway to corporations and the richest Americans. The legislation:
- Adds $1.4 trillion to the national debt,
- Overwhelmingly benefits multimillionaires like him,
- Raises health care premiums,
- And permanently cuts taxes for corporations while expiring the tax breaks for individuals after just a few years.
Furthermore, it appears Daines is ignorant of the fact that Montana has already cut 4 percent of its budget in the last 9 months to weather a difficult year.
The effects of the $67 million in cuts from SB261 on top of $76 million in cuts demanded by the Republican legislative majority during the 2017 Special Session are already becoming clear: 200 patients of Montana mental health center could lose services and for the first time in 30 years there won’t be state-run property assessment offices in each county.
“Steve Daines voted to explode the deficit by $1.4 trillion, slash taxes for millionaires like him, and raise health care premiums on Montana families, and now he wants Montanans to cover the costs of his fiscal irresponsibility,” said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Here in Montana we’re required to balance our budget, which is a virtue that Deficit Daines doesn’t seem to care to understand. It’s clear that he’s happy to gamble with the health and safety of Montana families as long as he lines his own pockets in the process.”
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