Opinons, Dec. 28, 2017

The tax overhaul simply won’t work

Dear Editor,

The tax overhaul recently passed by Congress and signed by the President is being touted loudly by the Republicans as a gift to the middle class because it will expand the economy, create jobs and spur economic growth. The $1.5 trillion budget deficit caused by the overhaul is of no concern they argue, because the coming growth will offset the deficit.

What the Republicans, Congress and the President don’t admit to are these points. Based on most economic experts, the tax overhaul simply won’t work. History also shows that, “trickle down “ economics do not work either. Never in history has such a, “tax overhaul” raised wages, created jobs and spurred enough economic growth to paydown a budget deficit. Not once in history!

Note too, the tax cuts in the overhaul are permanent for corporations but only temporary for individuals. The reason for that is simple. Somewhere down the line, ordinary taxpayers, the middle class and so forth will see a bump in their taxes to help pay for the budget deficit the tax overhaul created.

In less than two months the Republicans, Congress and the White House will attempt to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits to help pay for the budget deficit. That will happen. Sooner than later, they will come back to the American public, wringing their collective hands and scream, “We have to cut spending to reduce the budget deficit!”

If the Republicans, Congress and the President have so much faith in the disastrous tax overhaul they created they should have the courage of their convictions and resign from office once it appears the tax overhaul was a sham and did not work. But I doubt they have the courage of their convictions to do so and that includes Senator Daines and Congressman Gianforte that represent Montana in Congress.

Jerry Welch

Ennis, Montana

Hunting didn’t cause grizzlies to be listed as threatened

Dear Editor,

I am responding to the recent letter on grizzly hunting by Craig Shapiro, PETA Foundation of Norfolk, Va. I’ve had experience with grizzly bear hunting as the Montana Fish and Game wildlife management biologist on the Rocky Mountain Front, Helena to Canada, 1965-1974. I started the grizzly research there in 1975 and wrote my final report in 1980. Hunting didn’t cause the grizzly bears to be listed as threatened in 1975, when the Yellowstone ecosystem hunting closed. Rather, the listing was caused by the management of the chief wildlife biologist in Yellowstone National Park, which caused the grizzly population to lose 229 grizzlies in 1967-1972. In 1975, Yellowstone grizzlies totaled 136. Data from 2017 show a conservative 7l8 grizzlies and perhaps as many as 1,000 in the Yellowstone region.

The habitat is full and grizzlies have expanded into settled areas where they cause many problems. Hundreds of cattle are killed each year and some sheep. The adult male grizzlies are the biggest predators. About 80 percent of their diet is animal matter. Adult females and sub-adults eat about 45 percent animal matter in the Yellowstone region. Animal matter includes insects such as moths. The Yellowstone grizzlies accustomed to killing big game and livestock, and defending and stealing carcasses are more aggressive than northwest Montana grizzlies. In 2011, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee stated 83 charges on humans were reported. Sixty four were in the Yellowstone area and 19 in northern Montana. People were injured in 20 percent of the grizzly charges.

Grizzlies on the Rocky Mountain Front and in the Blackfoot River area eat more meat than those in the densely forested northwest MT whose diet is about 95 percent plant origin. The grizzlies in northern Montana, which total over 1,000 now, were hunted until 1991, when radical groups got the season closed. That last season successfully targeted three male grizzlies on ranches in early spring while females were in dens. Larry Altimus, a taxidermist and guide at Ennis, got the last legal Montana grizzly in 1991.

Allen Schallenberger


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