Jim Elliott

Recent Posts

Montana Viewpoint: A starved government helps only the rich

Jim E

Someone once wrote that the only people who are truly free are the very poor and the very rich; the poor because they have nothing and the wealthy because they have everything. From my perspective, considering the way things are going for the middle class, it won’t be too long before all of us are truly free. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: The heroes of our state

Jim

The most memorable speech I ever heard was also the shortest. It was given in 1989 by former Gov. Ted Schwinden, and the occasion was the 100th anniversary of Montana’s statehood. I was lucky enough or canny enough to be standing behind the speakers on the Capitol steps, and I had come to listen, not to Schwinden, but to former U.S. Sen. Mike Mansfield, who was one of my political heroes. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Gianforte’s self-serving stance on taxes

Elliott

You can tell a lot about what a nation values by looking at how it taxes different groups of people; are the rich favored over the middle class, for instance, or vice versa? You can also tell a lot about what group of people a candidate for office will represent by looking at his or her past stands on issues. Looking at U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte’s past actions on Montana tax legislation, it appears he is most concerned with representing a small, select group of taxpayers, including himself. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Despite all, legislators deserve thanks

Elliott

The 65th Montana legislative session is over and 150 citizen legislators will be returning to the life they had before the session began last January—sort of. It is “sort of” because, whatever they do in real life, they will be constantly thinking of issues they considered in the legislative session, and, one hopes, also continuously acting in the best interests of the people they represent. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Reflections on a futile filibuster

Jim

The recent attempt by Senate Democrats to keep Neil Gorsuch off the Supreme Court puzzles me, largely because the results were predictable, and even Democratic senators should have been able to see that. First, the tactic the Democrats used, the filibuster, has never been successful in defeating a nominee for associate justice of the Supreme Court. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: A house without walls

JE

Donald Trump’s presidential transition efforts, heavy on creating vacancies, light on filling them, reminds me of a friend of mine who likes to remodel houses. Well, remodel is the wrong word. He likes to tear houses apart. Room by room by room. Within the first month the kitchen would be gutted except for the appliances. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: A little poetic relief from Mr. Riley

JE

When I sat down to write today I became immediately depressed about the possible topics at hand, so I decided to share with you a poem by James Whitcomb Riley, a framed copy of which has graced a small room in my parents’ home and then my home for almost a century. Happy Valentine’s Day. The Passing of the Backhouse
When memory keeps me company and moves to smiles or tears,
A weather-beaten object looms up through the mist of years. Behind the house and barn it stood, a half a mile or more,
And hurrying feet a path had made straight to its swinging door. Its architecture was a type of simple classic art,
But in the tragedy of life it played a leading part;
And oft the passing traveler drove slow and heaved a sigh,
To see the modest hired girl slip out with glances shy. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Winner claims fraud—that’s a first

JE

Donald Trump has been legitimately elected president of the United States, and Democrats need to get over it and move on. But so does Donald Trump. Although Trump had a big victory it is apparently not big enough. He is now claiming that he should have gotten the majority of the popular vote as well as the Electoral College vote and is claiming that millions of people cast ballots illegally, and all for Clinton. This is the first time I have ever heard of a winning candidate claiming voter fraud. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Hidden spending needs review, too

Jim

Montana is experiencing a cash flow problem and the governor and legislators are looking at ways to balance the budget. To do this, the Republican-controlled Legislature is looking at cutting funding to services that benefit Montanans. Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, is looking at cutting some of that funding as well, but he is also looking at raising revenue to prevent cuts by increasing taxes on incomes over $500,000, basically recovering a portion of a tax break enacted in 2003, discussed below. (more…) Continue Reading →

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