MTPR

Opinion

Commentary from a variety of Montana citizens expressing a range of viewpoints.

Views expressed by the commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of this station.

Regulating Corporate Behavior

Jul 31, 2013

Is Congress doing it's job? Most of us would agree that the answer is no – Congress's approval ratings are at an all time low for good reason. But that doesn't mean they aren't busy.

The House will be voting on 10 bills this week to highlight their headline grabber “Stop Government Abuse Week.” Now, if the name makes you think this might be a renewed effort to rein in the NSA's surveillance program, you'd be wrong. Maybe the name conjures up hope that Congress is looking at how to rein in the TSA before every air traveler is irradiated, no such luck.

The drama and distress of wildfire season is upon us again: Fires sweeping towards homes, families hurriedly evacuating their homes; the constant buzz of fire retardant bombers, water-carrying helicopters, and spotter planes; and exhausted fire-fighters struggling up hill to try to contain a fire while other firefighters stand guard at our homes.

            This drama and distress always raises the question of whether there is something we could have done or should be doing that would better protect us against wildfires.

The Health Care Marketplace

Jul 26, 2013

Beginning on October 1st of this year, just about 2 months away, Montana and the rest of the country will begin a process which will radically change how many people shop for and buy health insurance.

Most people have heard of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, though a survey just a month ago showed that up to 40% of Americans still believe that it has been repealed or is not going to take effect.  This points out the problem of a major new law which many people simply don’t understand.  The ones who could benefit the most are probably the least likely to get it.

A journey of young leaders on global environmental issues

Jul 24, 2013

We represent the group of 20 undergraduate students selected for the Study of the United States Institute   (SUSI) program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, led by Dr. Len Broberg, and hosted by the Mansfield Center of the University of Montana. This is the fourth year that this program has gathered the young and talented future leaders to study about global environmental issues. We all agree that it is a five weeks of brand-new experiences throughout Montana, Louisiana and Washington, D.C.

Forestry and the Farm Bill

Jul 23, 2013

As the U.S. House and Senate inched towards a Conference Committee on the farm bill last week, some believe the failure of Congress to pass a farm bill in 2012 (instead passing a nine-month extension), and the current stalemate, illustrates how impotent this policy has become.  Some believed the extension was a gift to the taxpayer, who would have been stuck with paying for potentially exorbitantly expensive insurance, and price support subsidies, while others believed the extension eviscerated a score of important programs.

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