Or perhaps another way to look at it…what shouldn’t we talk about today?
If you’re Gary Johnson you probably shouldn’t talk at all.
Gary Johnson's Flubs
First we had that brain fart over Aleppo on September 8 and then on September 28 Johnson could not name a single world leader!
Matthews: But I'm giving you the whole world.
Johnson: I know, I know, I know.
Matthews: But I'm giving you the whole world. Anybody in the world you like. Anybody. Pick any leader.
Johnson: The former president of Mexico.
Matthews: Which one?
Johnson: I'm having a brain ... "
What a fuck up.
And I’ve got this guy’s bumper sticker on my car?
Now I look like an idiot.
I mean, how can Johnson spin this?
I guess you can say that it’s good he’s so focused on America that he doesn’t give a damn about what’s going on outside her borders…but is that what we want?
Well, when it comes to Trump and Hillary, maybe!
I still sometimes think of voting for Trump, but honestly…there’s no point.
It’s like in 2000 – I can vote for whoever the hell I want with the firm knowledge that Montana will go GOP.
My presidential vote does not matter.
So voting for Trump is pointless, and that’s great – I get the best of both worlds!
I can vote for Johnson, telling everyone for the next 4 years that I did so. That way I get none of the blame for how fucked-up things get.
Besides that, I can continue to root for Trump to defeat Hillary, knowing that Montana will go for him anyways.
Really, unless you’re living in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina…and maybe Colorado and New Mexico and perhaps another toss-up state…your vote isn’t really important.
Yep, the electoral college: that antiquated thing that allows the rich and powerful to keep their lofty perches atop the two-headed monster we call American politics.
So I’ll be voting for Johnson, but for God’s sake…someone give this man a newspaper each day – he has some serious catching-up to do!
Talking About a Montana Sales Tax
On September 28 it was revealed that the City of Bozeman was hiring a lobbyist to convince legislators in the 2017 session to approve a sales tax measure.
At that point it’d go before Bozeman voters in the 2017 election.
I made a nifty infographic of this to give people an idea of what’s going on:
So…why is Bozeman doing this?
I guess they need money, huh?
Well…why don’t they have enough money now?
I haven’t dug into the Bozeman city budget like I’ve done so with Missoula, but you’ll remember that Missoula tried this tricky-dick sales tax shit in 2015.
And of course places like Whitefish have their 3% resort tax.
Much of it started with the 1987 hotel tax, revenue of which is now used primarily to promote and market the state to tourists.
This brings in new money to those communities so they can see to their needs.
Again, why can’t they see to their needs now?
Is it out-of-control spending at the local level…or could it be that the state is not taking care of the various communities as it should?
If the problem is with the state, we have to ask why.
I have a suspicion it’s because the state, just like the various communities, doesn’t have enough money either.
Now we get back to our rickety two-legged tax stool of property and income taxes.
There is no third leg to help prop us up and keep us sitting comfortably, namely the sales tax.
Many people like this, although we haven’t had a firm gauge of that since the 1992 election…when both gubernatorial candidates supported it but the public did not.
Also, what gets done with that sales tax money?
One idea I saw on the Flathead Beacon this week had this:
- 35% used to reduce property taxes
- 20% used as a credit on income tax returns of $30,000-80,000.
- 20% going into a rainy day fund
- 20% going to retiring outstanding bonds
- 5% going to admin
Now, where are sales tax revenues going, and what are other communities doing?
In Los Angeles, for instance, the sales tax is nearly 10%. Orange County has nearly 9%.
When it comes to Orange County sales taxes, you pay about 9 cents for every dollar you spend. That 9 cents is apportioned like so:
- 6 cents to the state
- .5 cents to the Sheriff and DA
- .5 cents to health and welfare
- .5 cents to Transportation Authority
- .33 cents to the cities/counties
- .25 cents to roads
- .25 cents to state optional funds
Perhaps that will give legislators an idea of what to do in Montana when they decide to bring this up again.
We know from our explorations into Montana’s tax situation that neighboring states are making a lot of money from their sales taxes.
In 2013, for instance:
- Wyoming made $499 million
- Idaho made $1.1 billion
- Utah made $1.6 billion
- Colorado made $2.1 billion
Montana made just $62 million that year in sales tax revenue, but a lot of people like it that way…right?
A big argument against sales taxes is that it hurts common citizens. A big argument for a sales tax is that it’ll help hard-pressed property tax payers.
Maybe, but is that going to help out the state’s revenue situation, or hurt it?
Here in Montana our property taxes only make up 12% of our general fund, so any property tax relief via the sales tax wouldn’t do much to increase our already declining revenue.
A year ago we expected a budget surplus of $300 million, but now we’ll have just $109 million.
Still, that’s a helluva lot better than no money, or worse, a deficit that requires tax increases.
Another reason we’re talking about sales taxes in Montana is because the Montana Democrats are really hitting Gianforte on this hard.
Back in 2002 Gianforte said that Montana might need a sales tax to boost the economy.
Then on September 29 Nancy Keenan got a couple Democrats to stand on the Capitol steps to tell everyone about this.
I’m not sure it’s a big deal, and it kind of seems like Democrats are reaching for any issue to smear Gianforte with.
The Western Word has more on this.
Perhaps their internal polling is showing something to be worried about…I dunno.
Is There Another Woman?
I got the following email from someone after I put up my James DeHaven story on Tuesday:
“Rumor has it that the Governor's office was freaking out last Thursday because DeHaven was following a lead on another affair that Bullock had while AG. DeHaven called _____, the ex husband of _____, to ask if he knew of _____ having a sexual relationship with Bullock.
You want to know why DeHaven was pushed out? Start there...”
I decided to pick up where DeHaven left off.
I called up the ex-husband on September 27 and left a message on his machine telling him who I was and that I was interested in a phone call he may have received from James DeHaven before he was dismissed from the IR.
He called me back the next night and told me that he didn’t know if that was true or not.
He did confirm that DeHaven had called him about it, however, and told me that DeHaven got this information from “reliable sources.”
So that’s it on that as far as I’m concerned.
I suppose I could have called the woman, but what good would that have done?
I’m not including the names that I was given as I can’t prove anything here. I also don’t think dragging these people into the mud 3 to 7 years after the affair took place is going to help anyone.
Oh, it might help Gianforte win…but I don’t think he really wants to get down into this muck anyways.
I have no intention of voting for Bullock, myself, though I’m confident he’ll still win.
I’m also confident his sins will come back to haunt him at some point.
I’m confident Montana Democrats will do everything they can to save him, no matter how bad things are, just as they tried to do with Walsh.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
Missoula Campaign Signs in 2016
See that one there with all the Republicans? Those are kind of rare.
I actually had my 2016 campaign sign in that yard. The owner emailed me, said he liked what I wrote about, and let me put my sign up.
I’m proud of that.
We need more people in the legislature that can appeal to both Democrats and Republicans.
Anyways, like I said, those GOP yards are rare.
What’s the most common is seeing the Bullock and Juneau combination.
Most of the time I see those two together all the time, sometimes with a Hillary thrown in, maybe a Sandefur.
I rarely see a Lindeen or a Romano and I’ve yet to see a Laslovich. I’ve seen one Gail Gutsche sign in town.
I’ll have to drive around and take a few more pictures. I’ll also be picking up a few signs of my own.
I know that if you want Democrat signs, you go to 345 W. Front Street here in Missoula.
I know this because I went on the Missoula County Democrats’ Facebook page and asked.
I did the same for the Missoula County Republicans but I got no response.