The Billings Outpost

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Unaffordable health care

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is not affordable. Recently my stepson lost his job and his insurance coverage. He has tried to get onto Obamacare but, because of his part-time job, he cannot afford it.

He tried to apply for Medicaid in Colorado but was denied because he made too much money the prior year. Hello, he was unemployed at the time. It has become either buy food or Obamacare. Not only is the cost high, the deductibles are such that he would be better off not having any insurance and just go to the emergency room.

Wasn’t that the reason Obama and the Democrats gave us Obamacare, saying it was going to change? Maybe they should have read it before they passed it.  Now they are saying the Republicans have to fix their problems.

I don’t know of one insurance expert in Congress smart enough to fix this mess. It’s the president’s and Democrats’ mess, so please fix it.

Michael Jennings


Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 22:38

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Remember mill levy defeat

Mark Twain said that if voting mattered, they would not let you do it.  How true that is as demonstrated by the recent defeat of the “safety” and jail tax increases. It is difficult to believe that the recent reappraisal of county property is just a coincidence. Some of the small businesses in Lockwood are having to sell out or close down because of the tremendous increase.

Is this the punishment from those upset about the defeat of the mill levies? Is it that they are going to get their way no matter what they have to do to get it?

Each will have to make their own decision and remember it at the next election when these guys want to remain in office (those who have not managed to circumvent the election process) if the people will stay angry long enough for it to reflect in their voting.

Keith Babcock


Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 22:37

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SB416 pork spending

Infrastructure for needed repairs and new projects has merit. First, it must meet the financing cost test and a priority needs test. Senate Bill 416 failed in both areas.

SB416 was a bad news bill. It had a $150 million “tax hike” using “borrowed money” that taxpayers will have to pay when the money is spent. The cost to each working taxpayer is about $300 out of today’s paycheck.

SB416 was not vetted or approved in HB2 during the budget appropriations process. Instead, it was jammed and crammed down our throats in the last five days of the legislative session with unacceptable pork barrel low-priority projects: Romney Hall at Montana State University Bozeman, $18.4 million; Montana Heritage Center in Helena, $25 million; Montana University System Science Building in Missoula, $10 million. Votes to pass this bill were added with promises of project funding.

Special session threat. What a joke. We were in the same building with an elevator between the governor’s office and the House floor. That didn’t work.

It does not make sense to complete the HB2 budget, then borrow $150 million more with deficit spending when we have the money.

SB416 is $150 million in deficit spending. The cost to individual taxpayers is about $300 each. The pork barrel project priority list needs to be corrected. The $53 million Bozeman, Helena and Missoula pork barrel projects and 120 other project costs need to be reevaluated.

Follow the money.

Rep. Clayton Fiscus


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:19

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Back people, not party

In the weeks after the 2015 legislative session, I read a few letters about the Republicans who voted against the party. My understanding is that a politician is to represent the district or the people. It is nice to have a party platform; however, as with all things, one size doesn’t fit all. A good politician will look at all sides of an issue. Is it in the best interest of his or her county, the people he or she represents? Will it help or hinder the state or country?

Sometimes laws have a good title, except the law does the opposite of the intent. As a friend said about prayer, “no” is an answer. Is it truly in your best interest, is the timing right, are you ready for the responsibility or can you handle whatever you desire?

A politician is a public servant, not a rubber stamp for whatever party, PAC or lobbyist wants their vote. Working together for the betterment of all, not a select few, would be what I would like to see in our politicians and political parties.

Lauris Byxbe

Pompeys Pillar

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:18

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Curb that dog

Dogs! Most of us love our dogs. As a whole, we spend millions on them each year. They go for checkups more often than we do.

My question: Why are there so many irresponsible dog owners out there? Dogs are allowed to run loose. Usually it is the larger dogs. In my case, it has been labs, pit bulls, golden retrievers, etc.

I walk my Jack Russell terrier twice a day, and we have been attacked eight to 10 times in the last few years. To me, attacked means an animal rushing toward me that I cannot deter unless I use my pepper spray.

We have laws in Billings. Your dog needs to be leashed and under your control when off your property. I recently spoke with a man on his bicycle with his Doberman running out ahead of him 20 to 30 feet (no leash).  He said he chooses not to obey that law.

I  used to enjoy our walks. Now I am always scanning the street and general area. Where will the next dog come from? It has become quite stressful, but I will not give it up.

So what am I to do? Carry a gun and shoot the attacking dogs? I don’t want to do that, but legally I could.  I do fear that one day the pepper spray won’t work properly, and my dog or I will be mauled or killed.

Please, if you love your dogs, keep them safe. Don’t allow them to run loose on our streets.

It is also the law that when you walk your dog you must clean up its poop!

Sandy Weiss


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:17

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Support Iran deal

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., spoke the real truth about the nuclear agreement: “This deal isn’t perfect and no one trusts Iran, but it has become clear to me that the world is united behind the agreement with the exception of Israel.” She is giving her support for the agreement.

If I am correct, there is a five-year period in this agreement, and a lot can happen in five years, and just possibly something good. If the Congress defeats it, we will be outside the world of nations.

Let the war boys stick with the present air war and training of these so-called allies. No ground force war. Let’s keep on talking.

James O. Southworth


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:17

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