Letter From Senator Tester…A Democrat Who Got My Vote

See my comments at the end of the letter:

Dear Larry,

Recently I visited with a group of young Montana 4-H leaders at their meeting in Helena.

Photo of my teleconference with Montana 4-H leadersConversations like this bring into sharp focus the importance of getting down to work to seriously address the fiscal situation our country is in today.

It’s the responsible thing to do for our kids and grandkids.

Before we passed legislation today to keep the lights on and the doors open at the federal government, my colleagues agreed to my plan to stop paychecks for the President and Members of Congress if the government shuts down. That’s just common sense. I shouldn’t get a paycheck, my colleagues shouldn’t get a paycheck, and President Obama shouldn’t get a paycheck if we don’t clock in.

Today I voted to cut $4 billion from the budget and prevent a government shutdown. But moving forward we need a credible, long-term plan that will create jobs, cut spending and cut our debt without forcing Montana and rural America to shoulder more than its share of the burden.

This means taking a hard look at the recommendations of the Fiscal Commission and other nonpartisan sources like the Government Accountability Office. It also means identifying other opportunities to cut, like unspent earmark funds that organizations didn’t ask for and will never use.

I’m carefully studying these proposals and others — like the budget that recently passed the House. There are a lot of ideas out there but the bottom line is the cuts we make must be reasonable and responsible.

If you’ve reviewed these plans or have ideas of your own and want to share your thoughts, I’m all ears. I value and respect your input.

Montanans sent me to the Senate to do this work, not kick the can down the road. It’s time to be responsible and develop a long term budget plan for our country. A real solution to this problem isn’t two weeks or two months in duration, it’s a long term commitment to smart, disciplined government.

Be well and keep in touch –


I wrote the senator a follow up letter and complimented him on his common sense, on his attempt to bring congress back to reality.  I also suggested a program to cut government employees.  The proposal:  Dedicate congress to cutting government employees 5% a year for the next five years.  Offer the private sector tax credits (not an expense, but an acutal credit against the tax they owe) of 100% of cost the first year.  Yes, that effects the amount of revenue government receives, but it’s offset by the fact they no longer have that employee to pay.  Offer 50% the 2nd year, and 25% the 3rd.

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