Tuesday Commentary: Daines, Gianforte, & Pocahontas

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets. – Will Rogers

Today’s commentary deals with:

  • Daines & Taxes
  • Gianforte – Just Shut Up
  • Pocahontas

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Caught My Eye…

Most people have never learned that one of the main aims in life is to enjoy it. – Samuel Butler

Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Topics that I am providing commentary about today include Roy Moore, Steve Daines, Joseph & Mary, the tax plan, ObamaCare, Ryan Zinke, and One More Thing!

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Caught My Eye…

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. – Aristotle

Welcome to the big show to end the week “Caught My Eye” (CME)!

If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Topics that I am providing commentary about today include the Republican tax plan, Hillary & the DNC, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Election Day is Tuesday, and One More Thing (that is actually two things).

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Yes or No for Cascade County Jobs Levy

The Electric is an independent news website focused on Great Falls and Cascade County. It is operated by a former Great Falls Tribune reporter, Jenn Rowell. Rowell reported a few days ago that the “Yes for Cascade County Jobs” committee, which is advocating for approval of an economic development levy, did not properly file their financial disclosure forms this month.

You can read the story from The Electric HERE.

The Electric reported that Brett Doney, executive director for Great Falls Development Authority, said it was an oversight on his part for the lack of filing. The committee had raised about $38,250.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that “Yes for Cascade County Jobs” wants approval of a three-mill levy that would contribute about $460,000 per year to economic development. Voters in Cascade County will have a chance to vote yes or no on the levy November 7.

The Tribune says that if approved, Cascade County Commissioners will decide annually whether to levy up to three mills each year of additional property taxes, with the revenue going toward economic development.

Can you ever imagine politicians not wanting more taxpayer money to spend every year?

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Monday’s Quick Hits

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. – Will Rogers

Today’s quick hits deal with:

  • Pre-existing Conditions
  • Quist & Gianforte Poll
  • Junior Returns
  • Raising Fuel Taxes

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Terrific News Tuesday

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. – Mary Pickford

Welcome to Terrific News Tuesday (TNT)!

In case this is your first time reading TNT, this column is all about good news. I know it’s hard to believe, but I won’t be complaining or criticizing anyone or anything in this column today – just writing about some terrific news that caught my attention!

Here is some of the good stuff in this edition of TNT:

  • Tax Day Freebies/Discounts
  • Ice Breaker Road Race
  • Fight Childhood Hunger Week
  • On the Road
  • National Park Week
  • The Accident

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Monday’s Quick Hits

Many are called but few get up. – Oliver Herford

Today I take a look at Montana’s gas tax, immigration raids, Stephen Miller, the Grammy Awards, and Saturday Night Live.

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Senate Passes Marketplace Fairness Act

As expected, the U.S. Senate yesterday passed the “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013” (S. 743). I wrote a commentary about the bill yesterday morning.

According to a website that was created to promote the bill, if passed the bill “grants states the authority to compel online and catalog retailers (“remote sellers”), no matter where they are located, to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction.”

In my opinion, it’s a tax increase no matter how they spin it.

S. 743 passed the senate 69-27. Four senators did not vote. There were 22 Republican senators who voted for the bill (and to increase taxes) which is ironic since Republicans supposedly hate taxes. Here’s a list of the “Yea” and “Nay” votes on passage of the S. 743 with “Yea” votes a vote to increase your taxes:

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Marketplace Fairness Act = Tax Increase

Many readers may remember an e-mail floating around the web several years ago about a bill, called 602P, which would allow the Federal Government to collect a five cent surcharge on every e-mail received. According to the information contained in the e-mail, the Feds would charge your internet service provider who in turn would charge your account five cents for the e-mail. The money would be used to help the Postal Service. That e-mail was false and there was no bill called 602P, but it did generate a lot of anger from the wild and untamed World Wide Web users.

Fast forward to 2013 and there’s a bill in the United States Senate called the “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013” (S. 743) which, according to a website supporting it, “grants states the authority to compel online and catalog retailers (“remote sellers”), no matter where they are located, to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction.”

Unlike 602P, S. 743 is an actual bill.  Maybe they should call it the “Tax Increase and Burden on Small Business Act?”

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Military/Veterans Potpourri

Happy Tuesday! As a veteran I always enjoy writing about military and veterans issues! Today I write about the Montana Legislature and HB 49, Congressman Daines hires military/veterans staffers, the Montana GOP, Chuck Hagel, and much more!

House Bill (HB) 49:

Sometimes the Montana Legislature does something good, and when they do I like to write about it (I like to write about the stupid things, too).  A bill (HB 49) which is “An Act Exempting Military Pension or Retirement Income and Survivor Benefits from State Income Taxation” is making its way through the legislative process. The bill was introduced by Representative Pat Ingraham (R).

You can read the bill HERE.

What troubles me is the number of votes against the bill. In the House Taxation Committee it passed 12-8. On second reading it passed 57-43. If my tabulation is correct, 36 Democrats and seven Republicans voted against the bill (and against military retirees and military survivors).

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