U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said recently of the tax cut, “Montanans’ hard-earned dollars belong in their pockets, not in Washington, D.C.’s coffers” (Independent Record, 12/21). There is some very basic math behind that viewpoint that should concern all Montanans.

In 2016, Montana collected $1.38 for every $1 sent to Washington, and for the 2019 biennium state budget, 45.8 percent, or $4.6 billion, is comprised of federal funds (Great Falls Tribune, March 21). If everyone keeps more money in their wallets instead of sending it to Washington, then what happens to Montana’s state budget?

The fact is that when it comes to everything from roads to schools, health care, drinking water, sewage treatment and many other services we tend to take for granted, Montana depends on large subsidies from the U.S. Treasury. Were it not for these subsidies, Montana would be a greasy spot on the prairie with bad roads, bad water, leaky sewers and some very poor farmers.

Perhaps these are some of the reasons why U.S. Sen. Jon Tester voted no. So, thank you, Daines and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, for all your hard work to pass a tax cut that benefits the wealthy. Thanks to you, we are in deep trouble.

Michael Downey

Helena