It has been less than 10 years since our economy was in a free fall. Lehman Brothers had just gone bankrupt, the Dow was down more than 7,000 points, the economy was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month and subprime mortgages were becoming worthless. Homeowners were in default and being foreclosed on at record rates. And the federal government spent about a trillion dollars propping up the economy.

Since then we have added back a million or more jobs each year. The Dow is up 20,000 points, corporate profits have been running at record levels, unemployment stands at 4.1 percent and wages for the middle class are finally starting to grow. By all accounts, we have a very robust economy. So, you can imagine how shocked I was to read last week that the Treasury Department has forecast the intent to borrow about $955 billion dollars this year. That is only slightly less than they borrowed in the depths of the Great Recession. The last time we borrowed like this in “good times” was during the Reagan administration. So, why are we having to borrow at record levels during very good economic times? The Congressional Budget Office reports it is expecting tax revenue to be down significantly due to the tax cut for corporations and the wealthy.

It is time for the people of Montana to call Sen. Steve Daines out for his lies about being a fiscal conservative while voting for this deficit increase. This is a politician who has introduced a balanced budget bill at the beginning of the last three sessions of Congress and then voted against the conservative principles he campaigns on.

And let’s not forget Rep. Greg Gianforte. This is the guy who lied to the Gallatin County Sheriff about who the real thug was and continues to tell the voters he is a fiscal conservative while voting to increase the federal deficit by almost a trillion dollars during these good times. I know it is hard to find a principled politician but surely the true conservatives in Montana deserve better than these two hypocrites.

Art Foeste

Billings

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