Guest Post: Special Session Sausage Making Rancid

As we approach Thanksgiving, I’d like to thank those of you who were able to weigh in with calls, testimony and track this week’s Special Session of the Montana Legislature. Your voices that filled the People’s House helped compromises happen. It’s an honor to serve you. At times, it was hard to see democracy in what was a chaotic process. I questioned the limited public notice and transparency that Republicans justified in the name of efficiency. If making laws is like making sausage, much of special session was rancid sausage. But at the end of the day, in the wee hours of the next day, the Legislature had done much of what was needed to help solve the budget crisis – except for $27 million dollars. House Democratic legislators voted NO to Sine Die, end special session and go home, because we were not done yet. We voted NO on the ‘big budget bill’ HB 2 because it was a failed compromise. It permanently codifies reductions in people’s programs, hurts Montanans, and throws folks out of work – all before the holidays. It becomes the new base, the new norm moving forward for years to come. Democrats voted NO on a bill to furlough state workers. Many public employees will be home for the holidays because they’ve already been let go by nearly $200 million in cuts resulting from the regular legislative session. Now others face furloughs. I rose on the House floor that this bill is yet another example of hating on public employees who do the work of the people. This all could’ve been avoided had Republican legislators acted with more fiscal and moral responsibility half a year ago.

During the special session sausage making, the much promoted third, third and third framework went sideways. The one-third fund transfers happened. To get things moving, the Governor was forced to make one-third cuts early in the week. Yet the third leg of the stool, the one-third revenue enhancers went wonting because of Republicans. Special session became an exercise in harm reduction and fending off bad bills. While we avoided the $227 million hole, Montana will still endure millions of dollars more in cutbacks to people’s programs. Not as many Montanans will get hurt, but if you’re among those who will, it’s dangerously life changing. Montana’s collective attention will now move towards Thanksgiving, even the Cat/Griz game. To Monday morning quarterback, the special session was no Cat/Griz game. Montanans are on the same team. Let’s not call it until we heal all the hurts. Thank you again, happy Thanksgiving and please pass the dressing without sausage.

Democrat Mary Ann Dunwell represents Montana House District 84, Helena/East Helena. 


38 Comments on "Guest Post: Special Session Sausage Making Rancid"

  1. See also Chuck Johnson on Special Session

    One excerpt:
    ♦ The Montana Legislature’s flawed way of estimating revenue. Last winter, the Legislature — or at least the 12 Republicans on the 20-member House Taxation Committee — badly overestimated the projected revenue the state would collect. That is a major reason the special session was called.

    Estimating revenues is extremely difficult. Under Montana’s system, there is no requirement that both the House and Senate debate and approve the revenue estimate, as must be done with the state budget. The last vote on the revenue estimate becomes the official revenue estimate, even if it is just a committee vote.

    So the House Taxation Committee majority set the estimate. The full House, the Senate Taxation Committee and the full Senate never had a chance to even debate the estimate. That is not the first time this has happened.
    End of excerpt.

    Sure looks to me like the 12 were grossly negligent in estimating forward Revenues anticipated by the State of Montana.
    Would have been oh so easy for the core of the 12, or the 12, to consider Revenue guidance from say Mike Kadas.

  2. boB AKA @Gyrogyrloose | November 20, 2017 5:46 PM at 5:46 PM |

    And the Federal GOP will commit the same sin using the “dynamic scoring” to predict the deluge of cash that will come trickling down from on high after just one more tax cut…swear to Gawd, this time it really will work, the revenue will skyrocket and all our Debt will be gone in no time.(as in, at no time will our Debt be gone!) Drives me nuts that voters can’t figure this damn bait&switch out no matter how many times or how recently it’s used on us. Has everybody forgot the “temporary” W.Bush tax cuts? 10 years later when they are set to expire it was “oh we can’t let that happen when unemployment is so high blah blah” and they become permanent. Have you seen a big economic boom? Has your wage gone up? The Forbes 500 went up 20% since 2006, the million/billion/zillionaires are doing fine. If you make under $75,000 Steve wants to raise your taxes so they can give the Koch brothers a tax cut and let the WalMart families pass on their $100 BILLION empire without paying estate taxes. Wake up sheople!

    • It really worked last time, Bob; don’t start believing your own Leftist revisionist history or you’re bound to be disappointed when the sky doesn’t fall.

      • And why do you begrudge successful people? You make it sound as if they take the money from the poor. The only people who take other people’s’ money are the Feds.

    • It’s their money, Bob. No one else’s. Certainly not yours. Your Black Helicopter mindset is hysterical.

      • “The sale of Time Inc. earlier this week, to the Meredith Corporation—a deal made possible by an infusion of six hundred and fifty million dollars from Koch Industries’ private-equity arm”…

        They are taking over the media, the message, framing the debates, corrupting our lawmakers and our courts, attempting to destroy representative democracy…. and You thing this is about ENVY????

        I hope there is a judgement day. I can’t wait for you to flash a gold coin in Christ’s face and demand that He tell you who is the rightful owner of the coin. You hypocrite !

  3. boB AKA @Gyrogyrloose | November 20, 2017 5:49 PM at 5:49 PM |

    BTW-the $1.7 Trillion in new debt divided among everybody who earns under $200,000 in America would give each a $17,000 check. Most would spend it right away. I’m just sayin’…

  4. Sorry, Bob. Once again, it’s not the amount of money coming in that puts one in debt, it’s the amount of money going out. The Feds have had their hands deep in our pockets for far too long. They can waste a little less of our money from here on out; alll it’s bought us is a collection of victimist subcultures working against the interests of the country anyway. Besides, all of that deficit talk is based on an Obama type economy- you know, a zero growth one. Just as was proven by Reagan, the obvious solution is to let the people keep more of their money, and the economy will go like gangbusters, for everyone.

  5. Wow. Leftists brains just don’t work right. Conclusions are supposed to come after the analysis, which comes after getting facts, which is supposed to follow problem definition. You types start with conclusions, based on a tired set of feel-good assumptions and axioms, all of which feature the right ( or the military, or any other rationally functioning group) as being evil. Weird. It really needs to be studied by an army of psychologists.

    • Political polarization in America is growing, and it’s not just due to the presidential election. But according to psychiatrist Gail Saltz, if we only knew how the other side’s brains work, we’d be able to communicate better.
      “What’s really fascinating is that there have been a number of recent studies looking at brain structural differences between liberals and conservatives,” said Saltz. “And what’s been found in several studies is that liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate gyrus. That is an area that is responsible for taking in new information and that impact of the new information on decision making or choices. Conservatives tended on the whole to have a larger right amygdala. Amygdala being a deeper brain structure that processes more emotional information—specifically fear-based information,” Saltz explained.

  6. Here’s a game analogy to demonstrate why Irrational Leftism is doomed to failure, and why the Left doesn’t see it coming.

    Suppose we have two players, A and B, who are playing a croquet game on a level field. Both players have a croquet mallet that can hit a ball exactly one foot in any direction and they get to hit it exactly once per round of the game. For each round, Player A is rewarded $1 for each foot the ball goes North and player B is rewarded $1 for each foot the ball goes West.

    They both start the game willing to cooperate, and thus they decide to employ the Pareto-optimal solution, so they both hit the ball to the Northwest. They ball will go 2 feet Northwest and both player A and B will both get $1.41 (i.e., round(100*sqrt(2))/100).

    Now, suppose in the next round, player A hits the ball to the Northwest as agreed upon, but player B decides to no longer cooperate. After player A hits the ball, player B hits it due West. Player A ends up with $0.71 and Player B gets $1.71 for the round.

    Player A then gets pissed, and decides not to cooperate. So, the next round he uses a Nash strategy and hits the ball North and the still uncooperative Player B hits it West. They both end up with $1 for the round.

    Note that the Pareto-optimal (cooperative) equilibrium yields the most money for both, but it is leaves eachof the players vulnerable to the other cheating. The Nash-optimal (non-cooperative) equilibrium leaves both with less money, but structures the game in such a way that minimizes the consequences of the other cheating.

    The Left has been using a Nash strategy for years, and “Conservatives” have been duped or shamed into using a Pareto strategy. The alt-Right is finally saying “Ok, you want to play that way, we will too.” This pisses the Left off, because they liked the marginal advantage that cheating in a cooperative game gave them. The alt-Right doesn’t care, goes full on Nash, because it understands the “game” is fundamentally non-cooperative now.

    That is how you’ve created the conditions of your own destruction. Fight’s on.

  7. The revenue estimate was high on purpose. So that some Draconian cuts were made even before the special session began. (Because of revenue triggers.) It is a way to reduce the size of government.

    • Any way to do that is a good way.

      • Your broad stroke swipe at government does not allow for the needs sick, mentally ill and elderly. And the responsibility of a civilized society to care for them.

      • Actually, family, neighbors, friends are the first so obligated. Churches and charities are next. Providing such support is not a proper role of government, and it never has been. Taken too far, all it will do is bankrupt society, because there is no end to what people may want government to provide.

  8. Some Leftisits wake up from their SJW dreams, as this one states in her Reddit post:

    “I’m a graduate of UC Berkeley with a major in Gender and Women’s Studies. I had a 3.94 GPA and a 750 on the GMAT. My WE isn’t that good, I’ve been a “Youth Outreach Coordinator” for Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. I make like 30k a year.

    To be honest, I was overly idealistic and extremely naive. I was extremely liberal/socialist, and that got worse at Berkeley, where I thought good intentions and a pedigreed university would empower me to change the world. I was deluding myself of the employability of my Gender Studies degree. It’s actually been a con to some corporate employers. I’m disillusioned.

    Social justice work isn’t for me, and I want out. The fact that I’ve learned, is that some marginalized groups are definitely victims of their circumstances, but others are there for genuinely poor decisions, and not all are deserving of unvarnished empathy. I can’t take this anymore. But I haven’t been able to get non-retail or non-low-level sales jobs in the business sector.

    My dad was a management consultant at Bain, and I miss my family’s lifestyle and standard of living. I want to go into management consulting now. I’m fine with tier 2/big4/boutiques, doesn’t have to be MBB. What are my options?”

    Her best option is to get a retail job, get married, have children, then quit the job. A university education is worse than wasted on most intelligent women, being an observably dysgenic and societally destructive accomplishment. Aerospace Engineering (specifically Rocketry) is an exception, as it promises to give sane people a chance to emigrate when the world is taken over completely by totalitarian Leftists.

    • Oh, and by the way- once interplanetary travel is a reality, it won’t be long before the mass emigration of people no longer willing to submit to socialist tyranny begins in earnest. Then, just as in “Atlas Shrugged”, the most productive types, those who create REAL progress, will be gone, leaving behind only politicians and other parasites, and the earth will collapse into a new Dark Age. Unfortunate, but predictable. Why else is Elon Musk working so hard to make it happen in his lifetime? You can bet that the emigrant roster will not include any “Gender Studies” majors.

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