I was thinking that the Montana Legislature, née #MTLeg, was the source of all the stupidity in the world, but I think it’s actually something else, although it’s got to be nearby. Dude, between the Unibomber and the nutjobs thinking the “feds are comin’ fer the chitlins”, we’ve certainly got more than our fair share. And some did get elected this past year.
Others were elected years ago, and have been re-elected as no viable counter-crazy has stood up to depose them. I speak of Denny Rehberg. (I could be speaking of Max Baucus, too, but if you need crazy from him, he’ll speak to you directly any time. Wow.)
Yesterday Denny proposed the REFUND ACT:
In just two pages, the REFUND Act restores a big piece of fiscal sanity to Washington, D.C.,” said Rehberg. “It’s really very simple. If a responsible state like Montana tightens its belt to save tax dollars, we shouldn’t be rewarding irresponsible states like California by adding those savings to their take. We’ve got to put an end to the Washington system that subjects state lawmakers to partisan attacks for having the audacity to save the taxpayer money. Instead of the wasteful ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ approach to federal spending, the REFUND Act creates an efficient system that operates on the principle of ‘a dollar saved is a dollar earned.
Amazing. Now it’s called “fiscal sanity” when we used to call it “passing the buck”! That’s just great, Denny. And define “responsible state” for me, sometime, if you please. We work with a balanced budget, our Constitution requires it, but how many of our farmers get federal subsidies? Those are irresponsible in the extreme, but our citizens, which make up the state, still get those.
But wait, there’s more!
Montana lawmakers are joining lawmakers and responsible Governors from around the country in expressing grave concerns about America’s increasing National Debt. Worse, they know that every dollar squeezed out of the States only to be returned to them with a list of conditions and requirements is eroding States Rights as provided for in the Constitution. As a result, Montana is on the path to join other states who have simply rejected the federal funding and the strings attached to it.
It’s that second line, starting at “Worse,…” that kills me. Guess what, Denny? Let me explain to you about how our system of government works –
- The Executive Branch finalizes and enforces the law.
- The Judicial Branch reviews the law to make sure it’s constitutional.
- The Legislative Branch passes laws and controls the purse-strings, which means they get to say what money is spent on what. That’s not a constitutional conflict with states’ rights, it’s the exact constitutional description of what the Legislative Branch is supposed to do!
For a sitting legislator to have a fundamental misunderstanding of not just how our government works, but his actual position in that government, is unbelievable.
Denny, you may not like what the Federal government is spending money on, but guess what? You’re in the job of determining exactly that. Don’t slough your work onto the states just because you can’t get a law passed even though you have a majority in both houses of congress. The fact that you can’t get laws passed, can’t effect real change, and have to come up with absolutely ridiculous bills to make it seem like you’re doing something is sending a message to everyone.
And that message is “Tester 2012“.