LETTER: Budgeting Process is Flawed

By Beacon Staff

The budget process used by our state and legislators is flawed. The state relies on cost-plus base line budgeting rather than needs-based priority budgeting with performance measurements. Government budgets get inflation adjusted increases whether needed or not and they grow forever. Montana is no different than Washington, D.C. Legislators fight over insignificant cuts to a massive spending addiction which is leading us toward the biggest train wreck this country has ever seen. Simple mathematics dooms the current model to eventual failure. It is based on the power of compounding, and eventually it will exceed the ability and willingness of taxpayers to fund it.

Budgets should move up and down with reality, need and usefulness, just like our budgets at home. Can you imagine what is going to happen with the thousands of inflation-adjusted budgets when our inflation sky-rockets?

This is where our leadership both state and federally, have failed us. The Code of the West is not the solution. Under Senate leadership’s direction, education funding in Montana is receiving an inflation adjusted increase this biennium. By use of companion bills like HB316, our legislators are robbing funds (including county funds) to augment the General Fund in order to continue the K-12 education spending addiction. Leadership has become detached and tone deaf to the message ringing across the country: cut spending; live within our means; stop growing government; freeze or cut public sector benefits.

Please, learn more about the process. Help change the budgeting process to priority-based budgeting and work to replace present leadership.

Doug Lair
Big Timber

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