Friday, August 19, 2011

What's with all the Montana politicians writing national op-eds?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 7:00 AM

A few days after Sen. Max Baucus helped write a column for the Wall Street Journal about his work on the federal deficit "super committee", Gov. Brian Schweitzer has written a column for The New York Times about how the federal government should balance its budget. Dueling money columns? From two of the state's most prominent Democrats? Interesting. Especially considering Schweitzer writes that it's really pretty easy.

In the Times piece, titled "Cutting Costs the Montana Way," Schweitzer takes his trusty ranch metaphor and goes wild.

I like to say we run government like a ranch. In ranching — my old job — you either pinch pennies or go belly-up. We do the same in government. Perhaps Washington can try it.


But we don’t just cut costs. Like good ranchers, we also leave some grain in the bin in case of drought. When times were good, we stashed away cash in a special savings account.


And even as we’ve cut costs and socked away money, we’ve followed another ranching principle: treat your ranch hands with respect. Like other states, we’ve had to freeze employee pay and reduce the work force.

The national exposure will surely do nothing to calm rumors of Schweitzer's interest in either the Senate or the White House once he terms out next year. Worth noting: The Senate rumors have Schweitzer running against Baucus.

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