Jim Elliott

Recent Posts

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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Montana Viewpoint: Thoughts for the coming Legislature

Jim

The Montana Legislature will convene in a few days to conduct the business of the citizens of Montana. Legislators have some serious work to do, little time to do it, and less time to think about how their actions will affect their employers. Here are some issues they might want to think about as they begin the session: (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Bad roads and bad guys

Jim

What do bad roads and bad guys have in common? They are both results of America’s inability to fund preventive measures that would not only improve the country but also cost less than the current system of waiting to fix a problem, be it physical or social, until it has gone completely gunnybags. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: The simple virtues of Jess Nelson

Jim

Jess Nelson was a machinist in Thompson Falls for many years. He was good at it, but what he was really good at was standing up for honesty and justice. He was my friend, and I think of him often even though he died many years ago. He had been in a nursing home for a couple of years, and by coincidence I happened to be sitting in his living room when I heard that he had died earlier that day. It was my birthday. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Trumped—in spades

Jim

Well, the election is over, the dust has sort of settled, and the most obvious post-mortem on it is that political pundits didn’t have a clue as to how it would turn out. During the primaries Trump was dead meat. How could he win against all those qualified Republican candidates? OK, he won that primary, but if he continues to say outlandish things people will get wise to him and his support will plummet. OK, he won the nomination, but he can’t possibly win the election. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: ‘Everybody deserves a second chance’

JE

John Craighead died last month in Missoula. To most people he was known as a grizzly bear expert and an outstanding conservationist. To me, he was all of that, but he was also the guy who broke my Uncle John’s nose. I hasten to add that it happened under legitimate circumstances, during a boxing match at Penn State somewhere around 1938. This memory came to my mind like a gift from above as I was thinking about all the depressing current events I could write about today. Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: When will bankers be held accountable?

J.E.

The recent Wells Fargo banking scandal wherein 5,300 employees were scapegoated and fired to cover up a company policy of setting up fraudulent bank and credit card accounts for existing Wells Fargo customers (on which the customers paid fees) reeks, and not just because of the illegal behavior of Wells Fargo. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Lesson learned, ‘ya gotta be tough’

Jim

When I moved to Trout Creek in 1975 to set up in ranching, I shipped my farm equipment by rail: swather, baler, combine, three tractors—including the 1941 model H Farmall I had learned to drive on—plows, disks, the whole works. It had taken 20 days to load it all so it would get the car inspection’s OK, which meant that nothing should fall off on the way. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Viewpoint: Why not run a business the right way?

Ford

Usually, for my column on Labor Day, I write (maybe lecture) on how we should remember that what we now take for granted—the eight-hour workday, the weekend and safe workplaces—were given to us by people who often gave their lives so that the lives of others might be better. (more…) Continue Reading →

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