The Billings Outpost

GOP cuts spending

It takes a lot of chutzpah to criticize the Republican Legislature for not spending enough and then turn around and brag about the great fiscal shape the state of Montana is in. But that’s Brian Schweitzer.

However, it is important for Montana voters to know that if it were up to the Democrats in the state Legislature, the state of Montana would be broke and in greater debt.

In amendments to House Bill 2 made on the floor of the Senate in 2011, our Democrat friends across the aisle proposed spending an additional $360 million. That does not include even more spending amendments made in the Finance Committee. And it does not include the $100 million in new spending and long-term debt that 100 percent of the Democrats supported in HB 439.

If the Democrats were in charge in the Montana Legislature, the state would be as broke and in debt as we are under the Democrats in Washington.

Montana needs to keep a Republican Legislature so that we don’t drive over the fiscal cliff.

I am happy that the state is running a surplus and I haven’t noticed that the wheels of government have ground to a halt. Excess funds should be returned to the taxpayer as proposed in Legislative Referendum 123 so people can spend it on their families, invest in their business or employees, or give it to their favorite charity.

Republicans will continue to keep a sharp eye on public spending.

Jeff Essmann

Montana Senate Majority Leader



Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 20:39

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No playing in dirt

I’d like to refer to a few statements that Lauris Byxbe wrote in the July 26 issue of The Outpost. Lauris wrote that “Farmers and gardeners love playing in the dirt.”

The truth is that they WORK THE SOIL for their livelihood, for many long hours and sometimes in difficult and even dangerous situations.

I have never heard of a farmer playing in the dirt.

Children do that.

Robert Flanagan



Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:45

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Support Honor Flight

I had the privilege of assisting the veterans when they arrived at the Billings airport for the inaugural Big Sky Honor Flight out of Montana. There were 97 veterans, along with family and friends.

This is a chartered flight program which flies Montana veterans to Washington, D.C., to view the World War II Memorial. The average age of the veterans on this flight was 93. What an opportunity the trip was for them! There are still 200 Montana veterans waiting to take an Honor Flight.

There is a saying, “We fill a bucket one drop at a time.” I would like to encourage everyone who can to send a donation, however large or small, to the Big Sky Honor Flight program. Time may be running out for some of these veterans and we can help them.

Donations may be made to: Big Sky Honor Flight, P.O. Box 80201, Billings, MT 59108 or by visiting their website at:

Dawn Lofthouse



Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:43

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Arguing global warming

Another liberal mantra is the horrors of carbon dioxide and the fiendish things it does to the global atmosphere. What it actually does is increase the flora, which then increases the oxygen level as oxygen is a waste product of photosynthesis. As the fauna increases, the general health of the planet is improved.

Even if man could do something to “help” the “situation,” the certified climatologists indicate that it would take 1,000 years for there to be even an infinitesimal change. These same genuine climatologists tell us that the real villain in climate change/control is the activity of the sun. As the sun heats up one area of the Pacific, or if this same area cools slightly, then there is a resultant change in the weather. The liberals would have us believe:

1. The earth has never had a warming trend before; therefore, coal and oil in the poles just cannot exist.

2. The earth has never had a cooling trend; mastodons and their cousins just devised a cunning way to freeze themselves instantly.

3. Polar bears did not survive through this fictitious global warming  trend or they came into being after that trend and key holed their arrival with the cooling trend that never happened after the warming trend that never happened.

4. Montana was never really a tropical inland sea area. Someone just snuck in all of those shells and fossils, not to mention all of the remains of the giant lizards in the dino family. One could go on and on, but you get the point.

It seems every time someone devises an alternate energy device someone else starts screaming that it is going to ruin the planet. Wind farms, for example, are sources of absolutely clean energy production. But the liberals/environmentalists start screeching that these farms will damage the pristine landscape.

Solar furnaces, such as the Sandia Laboratories, are capable of producing massive amounts of clean energy and they are shot down. Tidal currents are also a source of “free” energy. The list goes on and on and every suggestion is bad mouthed by one group or the other.

If we can use fossil energy, and they hate alternative energy sources, just what do they expect the people to do? It is rather like the enviro group who lobbied for use of the small fluorescent lights and now there is a problem with disposing with the mercury. Anyone want to shoot themselves in the foot?

Keith Babcock



Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:43

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Energy taxes impede growth

America has a history of being known as a bastion of economic development and innovation. We have been known for what we produce, and the pride that we take in producing it. But we have veered away from being known as a producer and have instead become a nation of consumers — especially in regards to the one product that we depend on most, our energy.

The primary cause of our increasing dependence on foreign nations to meet U.S. energy demands is our own government policies. It is largely the shifts in tax code, the burdensome regulations, and the government red tape that have made it more difficult to develop our energy resources in a way that will allow us to lessen our dependency on our adversaries abroad.

Constant changes and increases in energy tax policy like the recent proposals to change the application of tax code Section 199 and the elimination of the dual capacity tax credit for members of the American energy industry are prime examples of what is making it so difficult to achieve energy independence.

Section 199 of the tax code allows businesses to utilize tax deductions for business expenses. A wide range of businesses in the United States benefit from this deduction, but the Obama administration is seeking to exclude American energy producers from benefiting from this provision. By doing this, President Obama is not only undermining one of the largest and most economically productive industries in the United States but is creating the very same high energy prices for which he attempts to blame our American energy producers.

Yet another punitive tax measure facing American energy companies is the elimination of the dual capacity tax credit. This specific credit allows American-based businesses that earn income overseas to pay taxes once, rather than having to pay taxes to both the nation where the income was earned as well as to the U.S. In short, it ensures that American companies are not double-taxed.

Taking away the ability of U.S. energy producers to utilize the dual capacity credit would not only cost an estimated 637,000 U.S. jobs, but would increase America’s reliance on foreign nations to meet our increasing energy needs. The dual capacity tax credit is a means of preserving a level playing field for American companies’ when competing with their international counterparts. By eliminating the dual capacity tax credit, President Obama would be giving our foreign competitors the upper hand in the global energy market.

Passing these measures will increase the tax burden on American energy companies, create greater unemployment, and will prolong economic recovery. The repeal of the dual capacity tax credit alone would cost the American economy 637,000 jobs (American Energy Alliance) and over the next 10 years will decrease household earnings by nearly $35 billion.

The bottom line is that if we want our economy to recover, if we want to once again be known as the bastion on economic development, and it we want to create jobs, we cannot continue to allow President Obama and his allies in Congress to continue to tie down American producers and job creators in red tape and tax increases.

Rep. Doug Kary



Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:18

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Saddened by death

I was saddened when I heard that Andy Griffith died. I never used to miss his show when I was a kid. He was a REAL role model for many young people like myself.

Now, the TV shows are about sex, violence, homosexuality, liberalism, anti-Americanism, anti-Christianism, pro-abortionism, etc. Everything except something wholesome and decent for kids to emulate.

They insult your intelligence with shows that say something stupid, and play the laugh machine as if something was funny. I can’t stand to watch this garbage. I usually watch the news, which although it’s controlled by the Democratic party, is informative – if you watch it objectively. And, keep in mind it’s mostly liberal propaganda.

I wish the kids today had a good decent wholesome TV show to watch, like the “Andy Grifffith Show.” I don’t know of one. That is sad.

Andy, may you rest in peace. But, we need you now more than ever.

“Conservative Bill” Ackerley

Wyarno, Wyo.


Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 12:17

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