He mentioned how it was good to be back in the legislature, when he was a state senator back in the early 2000s. He was in the state senate for 8 years, and talked about what he’d learned and who’d told it to him.
So that’s good politics, mentioning names, mentioning the people that helped you and that you expect to help Montana. And today he mentioned how we can work together at the sate and federal level.
He mentioned when in September 2008 the Secretary of the Treasury called and said the country was on the cusp of an economic meltdown. By 2009 we were losing 800,000 jobs a month.
So that was the lead-in that Tester used to justify supporting the massive bail-out, which goes by other names, but primarily the name that most of us know it ass – a kiss-ass to Wall Street.
Is Wall Street adding those jobs, or are small businesses, or perhaps massive box stores?
Besides that, manufacturing jobs are 7% below the media wage for all other occupations.
What’s the answer? Tester says empower the middle class and create good paying jobs. Tester mentioned the middle class was the envy of world, which is a good indication he’s not living in it anymore.
Roads and bridges are in disrepair, and the Highway Bill is coming up in May. Tester makes it clear we need that for the next 5 or 6 years, a good Highway Bill. And that means that idiot in the White House has got to stop wasting money overseas. That goes doubly for idiots in Congress. We’ve got three here in Montana, though after today's good speech, I'll move Tester out of that category...he's the only help working people have here.
Our highway system creates business and that creates jobs. The air system needs to be brought into the 21st century. Hell, I mentioned that months ago, and hopefully Tester can do something.
Next-generation radar that utilizes GPS so planes can fly more efficiently and effectively is what we’re talking about. It’s important to our state because we need affordable air travel. Efficiency and affordability bring people here.
Remember, I make 100% of my money out of state and online – I know this. Good broadband increases educational opportunities and business can do business, even with far-flung rural areas, like Montana. That means more people can be like me, bringing in out of state money each week.
Tester thinks it makes sense to bond for infrastructure, but I don’t, and I’ve mentioned that many times. We need to compromise and ensure we’re not paying $14 million to bond debt each year, especially when Schweitzer went to the trouble of paying that off. Let’s get that down to $7 million in bond debt, at least.
Education is the key to prosperity, and it’s the key to our Democracy. It brings all people together, regardless of whether they’re rich or poor, Tester said. And in school you learn to get along. Remember, some members of the current legislature didn't go to public school.
How many kids will you influence positively, Tester asked, and how many will you influence negatively? When you pull those students out of the already-small public schools, what will the impact of that be? Do we know that, do we know the affect on society?
Tester did very good pointing out Culbertson and Dillon, where Knudsen and Barrett came from. Why? He’s holding them accountable.
We can’t afford to have kids coming out of school in debt. How can those young folks compete? It’s simple – they can’t.
If you don’t invest in education, how can you expect to receive the dividend?
Supporting the early edge to childhood education, which is the $37 million investment Governor Bullock is talking about. We need a better-trained workforce, we need more entrepreneurs, and this is the state with more entrepreneurs than any other state in the country, per capita.
Expand Pell Grants, keep interest rates low, repeal No Child Left Behind…that’s what Tester says will work. Public education is the key to pulling people out of poverty, pure and simple.
Tester began talking about what Ben Bernake was concerned about, and he said it was the economy of this country. We can’t leave a 3rd World country to our kids, but when we don’t fund education and infrastructure, that’s what we do.
Grazing fees at less than $2 an animal, that will certainly go up. Fees will go up. One option is all we’ve got besides that, and that’s selling that land, getting rid of that $6 billion and those 64,000 jobs.
Bottom line, we don't know where that money's coming from, no idea.
Medicaid Expansion is what we’re talking about here, and Tester mentions it’s a proven fact this will cover more people. It’s about people who work but aren’t making a livable wage, who aren’t making $12,000 a year. But it affects more:
- A maid in Anaconda that Tester saw was making $11,000 a year and she couldn’t get healthcare because she can’t afford it.
- A farmer that got cancer and had to sell the farm.
- Tester’s friend from high school that had to keep the same job for years, no matter the pay, because it gave healthcare and he had diabetes and no other options.
No state has a better system than Montana and it’s citizen legislature, one that it’s transparent and allows the citizens to be heard. We do it this way so we can move forward proudly.
That was about the gist of what Senator Jon Tester said today in the Montana Capitol. Thank for reading.