The Truth about Tester – His Big Government Prescriptions are Bad Medicine for Montana
By Joe Balyeat
When Jon Tester was first up for election 6 years ago, his opponent went after him with the catch phrase – “Jon Tester: conservative haircut, liberal values”. After that attack proved unsuccessful, a modified version of it became my intro line for MT Senate floor speeches: “Howdy. I’m Joe Balyeat – Liberal haircut, conservative values.”
And I would suspect that Montanans care far less about our haircuts, than they do about our core values. And on that count, over the last 6 years, Jon Tester has proved to be seriously out of step with the values of freedom, self-reliance, and fundamental fairness cherished by most Montanans.
For instance, 59% of Montanans disapprove of the Obama health care law – polling shows most Montanans STRONGLY disagree with it – yet Jon Tester was the deciding 60th vote permitting Obamacare to become law. Montanans oppose Obamacare because it violates basic freedom of choice in health care, it imposes mandates forcing you to buy a product you don’t want or need, and it drives health insurance costs thru the roof by mandating many types of unnecessary coverage into every insurance policy. It’s your wallet and the family finances of every Montanan that will be taking a haircut because of the Tester/Obama insurance mandates. The Tester/Obama big government prescription for health care is bad medicine for Montana.
69% of Montanans say they dislike Tester’s support of bailouts for FannieMae and FreddieMac. 70% of Montanans disapprove of Tester’s status as the top recipient of lobbyist money in the U.S. Senate for 2012. Is this the same guy that promised us last election that he wasn’t gonna cozy up to lobbyists? The guy who promised to listen only to Montanans, went to Washington and sided instead with Obama 95% of the time.
Back home here in Montana he talks like a fiscal conservative.But in DC, he voted to bailout big corporations, and voted to increase the national debt limit six times. I’ve seen data indicating most Montanans STRONGLY disagree with that, with two-thirds of Montanans opposed to his 6 votes increasing the crushing debt load we’re passing on to our children. The current federal debt is $15 trillion 800 billion. That’s $140,000 per taxpayer. But if you include all the unfunded liabilities for social security, medicare, and government pensions, that total fed debt balloons to $135 trillion. That’s a staggering $1,188,000 per taxpayer in the whole country! What are they thinking in DC? What is Jon Tester thinking?
I’m a Tester Protestor because I don’t want to bury my children’s future and my grandchildren’s future under a crushing mountain of government debt that robs them of their chance for prosperity and freedom. I’m a Tester Protestor because I don’t want my children to live in an America robbed of individual freedom by a government that uses our own money to intrude and micro-meddle in every detail of our business, personal, and medical lives. Will Rogers said, “Thank God we don’t get all the government we pay for.” Unfortunately, thanks in part to Jon Tester’s votes for profligate spending, Will Rogers’ quote has now been modified to “Sadly, we are now getting all the government our grandchildren will be paying for.”
Montanans, by and large, believe in freedom and free enterprise, not bigger government. Ronald Reagan said, “The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government and more individual freedom..” He went on to ask the most crucial question before our generation — “Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream-the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path.” “As government expands, liberty contracts.” Tester and I served together in the Montana Senate.. I know Jon Tester. Jon Tester was a friend of mine. And I can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that Jon Tester is no Ronald Reagan. And when he trades away the freedom of Montanans for some so-called security from the federal debt dispensary; he is taking Montana on this downward path.
You know Tester sports a military crew cut. Yet it’s interesting to me that while fighting forces have bled and died to gain and defend freedom; the politicians like Tester trade it off piecemeal daily in DC. They regulate, they restrict, they register, they rule, they license, they legislate, they codify, they certify, they confiscate, reallocate, they permit, they penalize, they subsidize, they tax, they take, they bar, they ban, they manipulate, they mandate. And a little freedom slips away with every law they pass.
Walter Judd said Americans are too quick “to trade the freedom of the robin for the freedom of the canary. The canary is free from danger – the cat can’t get him. And free from hunger – his food is set there every day. But there he sits in his cage; while it is the robin who is truly free.”
Which do we want in Montana – the secure false “freedom” of the canary; or the true Freedom of the robin? As a lifelong self-reliant Montanan, I suspect it is the latter; and if we truly understood the trade-offs; that “freedom isn’t free”, and that freedom is sacrificed incrementally each time we extract more “security” from government; we would want Montana’s elected leaders to take us down the path of Freedom.
If you agree with that premise, I urge you to join with us – only you can hold his feet to the fire with grassroots pressure. Stay engaged, sign our petition, call Tester’s office… tell him to stop pushing Obama’s big brother government priorities and start pushing for Montanans. Tell him you want to preserve the American tradition of limited government, and unlimited opportunity for economic growth through the private sector.
I’ve joined with Americans for Prosperity because I share their vision to preserve the American dream, to preserve the greatest economic system in human history. If you too share that vision, I urge you to join with us. After all these years serving in Montana’s legislature, in the very belly of the beast, I remain convinced, perhaps even more so than ever, that the best solutions to our problems are not found in increased government, are not found in DC backroom deals, are not found in Tester’s big government solutions, but those answers are best found in the hearts and minds of individual free agents, Montana men and women exercising their liberty to raise their children, to be economically productive, to care for the needy around them, and to enjoy the fruits of their own labor as free of government interference and regulation as possible. In short, I remain a believer in free enterprise and the free marketplace of ideas as well. And with your help, and the aid of Americans for Prosperity and our 9000 Montana activists, I intend to do everything in my power to pass that freedom and prosperity on to my children and grandchildren. Thank You.