Art Wittich

Columns By Art

Art was a frequent contributor to Montana newspapers. His columns are listed below.


State has saved billions slowing government growth

Posted: December 23, 2016

When I first ran for the Legislature in 2006, my door-to-door campaign theme was protecting our constitutional liberties.


Wittich will remain conservative voice for HD68

Posted: June 3, 2016

How do the special interests that grow government faster than the private economy silence popular conservative legislators?


O'Hara strikes again

Posted: February 16, 2016

A number of newspapers have printed a hit piece by former Rep. Jesse O’Hara against me. Mr. O’Hara is a poor messenger for his liberal colleagues because Jesse was actually sued by his Great Falls constituents for collecting legislative benefits after relocating to Florida (where he lives today). Yet, he insists on launching rockets against Republicans from his beach chair. Perhaps this geographic distance explains why his facts are so wrong?


Guest Opinion: A political show to punish me

Art Wittich; February 16, 2016

"But this isn’t about the law. It is a political show to punish conservative legislators, and to chill citizens from running for office and serving their state."


The truth about Legislative scorecards

Posted: January 14, 2016

At the conclusion of each legislative session, special interest groups employing lobbyists and working the capitol halls issue their “scorecards,” which describe the particular bills they deemed important and how each legislator voted on them.


Silencing Dissent 

Posted: December 18, 2015

Most constitutional scholars agree that the U.S. Constitution would not exist today but for the addition of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.  The First Amendment, or First Right, was of supreme importance in revolutionary America by guaranteeing that individuals retained their rights of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the freedom to debate and dissent from their own government.


In Montana, the Thought Police are working overtime 

Posted: December 16, 2015

The Bozeman Chronicle has now run many stories about the frivolous lawsuit filed against me 20 months ago by Gov. Bullock's appointed commissioner of political practices, which was timed to defeat me during the 2014 election.


Disclose Act intending to silence conservatives 

Posted: November 27th, 2015

This may be the first (and last) time I agree with a conclusion from Gazette Editors, but for entirely different reasons.


Serving In Helena  

Posted: November 27, 2015

Amazingly, the 2016 legislative campaigns have begun.


The truth about infrastructure spending

Posted: June 2, 2015

By Nancy Ballance, Carl Glimm and Art Wittich, guest columnists

Questions are still being asked about infrastructure funding in the 2015 legislative session. It is a complicated story and worth explaining the full tale.


Democrats and allies spend more on government.

Posted: 10:13 p.m. MDT May 13, 2015

The 64th legislative session is finally over, and as a result, your wallet will be lighter in the future.


Dems, Chronicle working against Medicaid compromise  

Posted: March 27, 2015

There they go again. The Bozeman Chronicle editorial board. They demand civility by politicians during campaigns, and compromise by legislators during deliberations, then personally attack us for voting like we campaigned. Suddenly, “ideology” is bad (but only if it’s conservative).


Big Sky Health is the state answer for health care

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2015 10:51 am

Sen. Fred Thomas, Rep. Art Wittich, Rep. Nancy Ballance, Rep. Ron Ehli, Sen. Matt Rosendale, and Sen. Cary Smith

We recently introduced our Big Sky Health package, which was developed over two years to address our state’s most serious healthcare concerns. Montanans have spoken loud and clear, for years, that they don’t want to accept overreaching federal healthcare programs like Obamacare. Instead, Montanans want a solution that works for our state’s unique population. Our state continues – rightly - to push back on implementing Obamacare – despite strong lobbying from national groups and our Governor. The Governor continues to falsely put a made-in-Montana label on a made-in-DC policy. His way is the lazy way. Simply take orders from Washington and be happy with the “free” money.


Addressing public unions, Obamacare

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 10:13 am

We are now a little over one third of the way through the Legislative Session. The next 2 weeks will be busy as the “transmittal” deadline looms, when all bills must pass from the House to the Senate (or vice versa) if they are to survive consideration.


HOUSE CALL: R's seek to curb Gov.'s budget 

Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 11:34 am

We have now completed three weeks of the 15 week legislative session in Helena. While it is still early, there are some themes that will continue through the remainder of our time here in Helena.


HOUSE CALL: Another session (and hope) begins

Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 9:37 am

The Montana Legislature meets for 4 months every two years. This year another Session begins Jan. 5. As I write this, I am packing my bags and will soon drive up to Helena to rent a house with another legislator. It is no fun leaving your home, family and business, but I am honored that the voters in House District 68 (central Gallatin Valley) elected me to represent them.


Democrats wrong to say GOP won't protect lands

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 9:44 am

Poor Democrats. The president they elected is a demonstrated incompetent leader and manager. His signature initiative, Obamacare, which Democrats have dutifully defended, is an unmitigated disaster. The Democrat philosophy, namely that all societal problems can be solved with leveraged government programs, has been proven to contradict reality. As a result our economy, and with it the Democrat election prospects, are flat-lining.


It’s time to invest in federalism

Posted October 15, 2014 10:00 am 

The American experiment of federalism, and the proper role of the states versus the federal government, continues to evolve. Given the federal government’s current inability to properly manage its programs, it is time to take a fresh look at the evolving partnership between the federal and state governments.


Voting Red or Green in the Moment of Truth

Posted February 10, 2014 10:30 am

Upon arrival in Helena, each new legislator learns their desk contains only two voting buttons… red or green. This limited choice for either yes or no can create a dilemma when considering the over 2,000 votes taken during each session. While it is sometimes possible to amend bills, there is no voting button for “yes, if” or “no, unless.”

In 2014, we must implement smarter health care reforms  


My New Year’s resolution is to stop more Obamacare train wrecks.

The main reason the Obamacare train went off the tracks is because it addressed the wrong problem, namely achieving universal health insurance. Why? Private tax-free hospitals were complaining that federal law required them to treat uninsured people at their emergency rooms, beyond charity. Also, select individuals with insurance policies not provided by their employer were complaining about canceled policies. Notably, these complaints concerned less than 5 percent of our population.

Government Medical Care: When does the bubble burst? Pt.4

Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 11:58 am

Editor’s note: This is the last of a four part series penned by Sen. Art Wittich.

We have already examined how government unions and schools are 2 of the prime causes of runaway government costs. The third major cause of increased federal and state budgets is government medical spending.


Government Monopoly Schools & the Cost to Taxpayers Pt. 3

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 12:03 pm

There is a difference between improving schools, and improving education. While everyone wants greater opportunity for our young people, there are two distinct approaches to achieving that. Some believe in a top down, centralized, regulated approach. Others advocate bottom up strategies that are more student centered, offering more parental and local control.


Increased spending caused by government unions Pt.2  

Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013 2:35 pm

Editor’s Note: this is the second part of a four part series by Sen. Art Wittich.

My last column concerned the general growth of government spending, and how we can begin to control it. This column focuses on one of the main causes of increased spending, namely government unions.


Government Spending Fights Pt.1

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 12:06 pm

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a four-part series by Sen. Art Wittich.

People are rightfully frustrated. Has government ever been this divided?  What we took for granted is now being debated. Democrats blame Republicans.  Congress blames the President. The media blames partisanship.  And vice a versa.  Incessantly.


Caution is advised on Obamacare

Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 9:48 am

I just returned from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Care Summit in Baltimore, where I was asked to speak on why half of the states opposed Medicaid expansion, and refused to adopt state based “exchanges” that promote health insurance companies. Fifty state legislative leaders attended from across the country.


Session wrap-up

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:52 pm

After 87 legislative days (3 days before the constitutional deadline) the 2013 legislature finally ended. When the session began, many of us were hopeful that with a new Governor, and new legislative leadership, the two parties would negotiate a responsible, innovative, and efficient budget.


More economic reform leaders needed in Legislature

Posted May 17, 2013 8:00 am  

I read George Ochenski’s (April 29) column recapping the 2013 Legislature. His assumptions, and conclusions, are wrong. An inaccurate opinion column, no matter how often repeated, cannot become true.


Guest Column: Republican legislators are focused on important issues

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013 12:15 am

I was surprised to read Sen. Mike Phillips’ recent guest column, whereby he argues that Republicans have “lost sight of what’s important to Montanans.” We are now only halfway through the legislative session. In the Senate, Democrats sponsored 146 bills and Republicans sponsored 261 bills. While 36 percent of the Democrat bills have died in the process, 25 percent of the Republican bills are now also dead. In fact, of all votes on the 269 bills that reached the Senate floor, only four bills were passed on a pure party line basis. While I have supported some of Sen. Phillips’ proposals, many have failed to achieve sufficient bipartisan acceptance.


State pension plan needs reform, not a bail out

Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 11:52 am

The 63rd Montana Legislature convened January 8. For the next 15 weeks, state representatives and senators will be reviewing hundreds of proposals to change Montana’s laws, and deciding on how to best spend almost $12 billion during the next 2 year biennium.


Take cautious approach when it comes to expanding Medicaid

Posted October 08, 2012 6:30 am

To expand, or not to expand? That is the question.


Time for Montana to improve the state of higher education

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012 9:28 am | Updated: 9:29 am, Fri May 25, 2012.

There are plenty of smiles across college campuses this time of year from graduating students and proud parents. The graduates who have found jobs are particularly optimistic. However, many graduating students are unemployed, or underemployed, and worse yet deeply indebted from school loans. While some argue for even more government funding, I suggest we reevaluate the true problem, and recommend a different solution.


Of Montana, freedom and the individual mandate

Posted April 06, 2012 12:00 am 

On the second anniversary of ObamaCare, it looks like the U.S. Supreme Court may side with a majority of states and find the individual mandate, and perhaps the rest of the law, unconstitutional. Just as importantly, when Montanans go to the polls on Nov. 6 they will have the opportunity denied to them by gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock: to fight the federal mandate that compels Montanans to purchase Washington-defined health care.


My 2012 wish is sound tax policy for America

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 3:06 pm | Updated: 3:07 pm, Fri Jan 20, 2012.

We all wish for good health every new year. In 2012, I also wish for sound tax policy - a broad based tax system, which fairly generates adequate revenues (pay as you go) for necessary services, while encouraging growth in the economy. General prosperity is the goal.


They want your property; don’t let them take your mind

Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 2:24 pm | Updated: 2:25 pm, Thu Sep 15, 2011.

The misinformation campaign has begun. Some foreign corporations are now trying to spin you against a new grassroots effort (IR 125) that protects your property rights and repeals the Montana Legislature's recent expansion of eminent domain powers (HB 198). The companies would rather take whatever land of yours they want, at the price they want.


Taxpayers foot bill for ‘energy independence’ 

Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:00 am

Your recent guest column from an "energy association" attacking the Legislature's "misguided" actions regarding renewable energy policy deserves a response. It is vital to hear all sides of an issue before making a decision. I also learned early on in the halls of the Capitol that anyone from an "association" has a special interest, while no lobbyists exist for the general interest.