New Year Wishes

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

Earth has spiraled around the sun one more time. The year 2016 was a spectacular political display. A wide variety of ethics and emotions were revealed through the process. As the dust has settled, I hope America will enjoy this Christmas and New Year celebration and reflect on how to bring America together.

America has much to be thankful for. Despite our differences, we have a strong heritage of working towards equality, tolerance and acceptance. Love is long-suffering, kind and patient. We’ve shown this love in the face of major problems. At the same time, America is tenacious and proud. We want to be the best and compete at well doing. This makes us innovative, wealthy and prosperous.

We accept, but we also earn. We empathize, but we also obligate. We share, but we also keep. It is our strength as individuals coupled with our appreciation for society that keeps America fighting for higher values.

Christmas has a prime message: Jesus is a love sacrifice for humanity. He showed compassion, empathy and care for the needy and those seeking answers; yet he chastised oppressive political and religious leaders. All Americans –Christian or not –can understand and appreciate this story. It is our political story.

Life is too short not to love each other and too valuable not to expect improvement in ourselves and others. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By Joe Carbonari

My Christmas wish for the state of Montana, and my hope for the New Year, is a less partisan approach to our political process. With Ryan Zinke’s House seat about to open, the likelihood is that those interested in filling it will be driven to position themselves for their party’s nomination. Who is nominated will be determined by their respective party’s nominating convention.

There will be a strong tendency to play to each party’s extremes. Voters at the conventions will disproportionally be party activists.

As this is a legislative year, what happens in the session is likely to set the scene for both the nominating conventions and for the election to follow. There will be posturing. Let’s hope that there will also be an honest attempt to deal with the problems and opportunities that we Montanans face.

Government that is best is not the government that governs least. The best government is that which governs best with a light hand; a sensitive, informed approach, and an efficient delivery. As our state grows, our needs, and the revenue to meet those needs, must grow, too.

Holding the line on taxes, or cutting them, in hope of spurring our economy, and thus increasing our tax revenue, is not enough. The “invisible hand” of the free market is not that efficient, nor is it sufficiently sensitive. Let’s work together, from the center, to actually solve problems and to make progress. That is our hope.

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