Guest Column

Freedom Bills Dead on Arrival in Helena

When governments are empowered to give taxpayers’ revenue to special interest groups, corruption flourishes

Three cheers for Representative Matt Regier’s letter entitled “Eye-Opening Session for New Legislator.” He describes insider politics, coercion, backroom deals, and how legislators used the Republican Party platform to get elected, yet, once in power, threatened to side with Democrats if they didn’t get to promote their personal agendas. According to Regier, “This gave the Democrat agenda the majority in multiple instances.”

He says Democrats look to government to solve problems (socialism) while Republican ideology promotes individual ingenuity and hard work to solve problems (free enterprise).

Since 2009, both Helena Houses had Republican majorities, yet in that time, government became the largest employer in Montana, Medicaid expanded, and the water compact passed. Republicans can’t get a veto-proof majority for bills that shrink government.

In The Real Lincoln by Thomas J Dilorenzo, chapter four illuminates this puzzling phenomena of fake betraying Republican legislators. It describes mercantilism, a system that like socialism builds government size and power, thriving on a centralized bank printing money to subsidize privilege to well-connected, well-financed individuals or groups favored by the state, who in turn provide financial and other support for the politicians dispensing the favors (mercantilism AKA crony capitalism, corporate welfare, and pork barrel politics). Many politicians eagerly play the game to advance their political careers and amass wealth

Mercantilism harms everyone but the privileged. Consumers pay higher prices, have fewer choices, less job potential. Federal subsidies create oppressive taxation and social inequities. In mercantilism, government stacks the deck against true free-market capitalism.

When governments are empowered to give taxpayers’ revenue to special interest groups, corruption flourishes. Alliance between government and business was Mussolini’s definition of fascism. All systems of centralized power, from mercantilism to socialism, destroy individual economic opportunity and liberty. Why has tyranny flourished in pro-liberty Montana? Because citizens are ignorant of the mechanisms of corruption and because citizens who prefer small government have confused capitalism with mercantilism.

I hope Regier’s letter will be a catalyst for citizen education and activation to expose and stop this corruption. Otherwise, both political parties will continue to lead us into progressively worsening tyranny.