The Wall Street Journal opines about the good work of Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana. As the excerpt below notes, Schweitzer has vetoed wasteful spending and balanced the state budget without adding to the tax burden. Too bad there aren’t Democrats like him in Washington:
Governor Brian Schweitzer this week ordered a 5% across the board cut in state agency spending. The Governor, a Democrat, called the spending cuts “pro-active measures to make sure we live within our means.” Imagine that. More remarkable is that Montana is one of three states—North Dakota and Texas are the others—without a budget deficit. They are all states that benefit from high oil and energy prices, but Mr. Schweitzer wants to continue his state’s habit of balancing the books during the economic downturn without a tax increase. In 2007 he offered a $400 per homeowner property tax cut. The former rancher and businessman has also cancelled low-priority renovations and decorations on state buildings, cut state agency travel budgets by 35% in favor of video conferencing, and nearly eliminated state printing costs by posting state documents online. He’s vetoed more than 30 spending bills and has been one of the loudest critics of the pork projects that have been funded with federal stimulus money. …If President Obama and other Democrats want to rehabilitate themselves in 2010, they could do worse than follow Mr. Schweitzer’s common-sense lead and cut federal agency spending by 5%.