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Well as our own federal government struggles with a big debt problem the tops fourteen trillion dollars.
Many of the states now face budget shortfalls and painful cuts as well but -- -- very few states things are looking mighty Rosie.
Montana is one of them that state is not in the red in fact it's projecting a budget surplus.
Plus the State's unemployment level seven point 7% much less than the national rate of nine point 1% so.
What's the secret to what Montana is doing well could be running the state like a ranch.
Montana's governor Brian Schweitzer joins us now and He says that's how He runs his state right.
Well I've been governor for a little more than six years in all six of those years we've run the largest budget surpluses in the history.
Montana we've averaged more than 400 million dollars in the bank the previous twenty years they averaged around sixty -- so.
45 years ago a lot of the states were washing cash there was a lot of new money coming in are good times -- rolling.
And instead of spending the money or allowing the legislature to appropriate the money.
We we help throttle back -- total lot of bills and we built the largest surplus in history.
When the Great Recession arrived.
We just simply we're drawing down on those resources and I challenged every expense.
I went after every -- in government we stop travel we started selling cars we we delayed purchases of computers we renegotiated.
We quit part printing phone books we -- had palladium coins that we gave to citizens of Montana who have the best ideas for making government more efficient.
The salaries with our state employees so they didn't get -- increase -- salary for two years but I started by cutting my own salary.
And so now we made it through the Great Recession.
Still have a large surplus and we didn't cut government.
So we didn't turn prisoners loose so we kept demand we didn't lay off teachers and and we didn't cut decrease our support for.
Well for disabled children men and are elderly so you're saying Washington needs to pay attention to the small things -- it needs to learn to pinch pennies the way you have been there.
By you can pitched pennies that you could.
You could renegotiate.
The purchase of prescription drugs were they pay about two and a half times as much as the rest of the world.
You could quit making aircraft carriers that the -- say they don't need.
You could quit making fighter jets that the air force says they don't need.
You could -- -- quit using private security guards to.
Our military bases all over the world including the United States you could quit using.
Private contractors to cook all the meals that are military bases.
There's a lot of things that you could do big and small -- but I think they gotta start in congress.
Every congressman ought to cut his own budget by 25% before they ask anybody in America to do anything all that are in charge -- as a vote.
I think if they have they have teams of five can -- and a hundred people working for.
I think our are chatters are going to be with you on that one let me ask you this though observers say it is less that your running Montana like a ranch -- your running it like a mind.
Because you have an awful lot of minerals and oil in Montana.
That have gone up in price and and that is helping.
Balance your State's budget.
Well it doesn't hurt but those those minerals are really only about 7% of our budget so.
Of our wealth comes from from other folks in Montana small businesses large businesses.
-- -- managed to cut more taxes during the last six years.
For businesses and homeowners than any time in history and still build these surpluses sure we got a little oil and we have some minerals but that's not the basis of Montana's economy.
One more question for you governor there's speculation out there -- going to be run for the US senate have you thought about it.
-- not much I gotta I gotta dang smart Border Collie.
And He doesn't like the smell skunks and there are pretty sure he's not gonna like Washington DC.
Can't can't run the government like a ranch with your Border Collie in DC that's for sure.
Governor Brian Schweitzer Democrat from Montana thank you.
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