U.S. Sen. Steve Daines:

You said in your tax cut endorsement statement in the Dec. 22 Missoulian that this bill will send “$700 million per year to Montanans.” I have read articles saying that various ramifications of this bill will actually cut multiple millions more from the now insufficient Montana budget that the special session of the legislature (which also cost extra budget money) has addressed.

In order to discern who is more correct, you or the state of Montana, I have some open questions for you.

When will this $700 million per year start coming to that level in Montana? How did you arrive at that figure? Which Montanan groups will get what percentages of this yearly $700 million? When will this boon stop, or when will it increase?

You said in your tax break bill endorsement statement that you are very proud of being instrumental in repealing the Obamacare mandate as part of our tax break, because you did not want to saddle “poor Montanans, who cannot buy insurance, with a penalty for not having insurance.”

What are your plans and what has your Trump/Republican government already done to help these poor Montanans with health care? What was Obamacare’s plans to help the same target groups and why was his approach not worthy of saving? Surely his plan (or yours) was (is) not just to say to these groups, “good luck with your poorness” or “pay for it with your tax cuts.”

Also, why is your plan for this group of poor better than Obama’s plan? Is it efficient, cheaper, more inclusive, more effective? Also, what is your plan for these poor going to cost in increased taxes for the middle class?

If your answer is that we cannot afford to help these people, that our federal budget is too tight, then why are you pushing for a massive tax cut now, with huge immediate deficits for years to come, when these people need health now?

Michael O’Lear,