Today's Great Falls Tribune has an editorial that gives a little more balanced account of how the recent legislative session turned out than did yesterday's Gazette opinion, about which we expressed ourselves freely. The Tribune editors wrote:
But in the final analysis the pieces that came together last Friday, Monday and Tuesday bore a striking resemblance to what the governor proposed back in December.
Indeed. And Montana Headlines wouldn't even have minded had the Tribune editors added that they were happy that the governor's plan came through basically intact and that the Republicans were thwarted in pretty much every way -- such would have been their prerogative as editors writing an opinion piece.
They didn't, but rather told the story pretty straight.
One word notably missing from the Tribune editorial was one that appeared twice in the opening sentences of the Gazette opinion: "compromise."
The Tribune editors are to be commended for not portraying the final budget and tax bills as being compromises in any sense that an ordinary Montanan would understand the term. Quite the contrary:
Looking past the many small details on which they disagreed, the big-picture view showed them at odds on two main, related items: Republicans wanted much more than the governor in the way of permanent tax relief and much less in the way of government growth.
Schweitzer prevailed on those items — government spending will increase 11 percent each year of the biennium — though not always to his full satisfaction.
Well, perhaps not full satisfaction.