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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thune's Worst Argument Yet: South Dakota Shouldn't Help Other States

Pot, meet kettle:

On legislation before the U.S. Senate to help stave off home foreclosures and help some buyers ride out the recession in their own homes, Senator John Thune makes the worst argument a South Dakotan could make against federal legislation:

"You've got Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona and I think 35 percent of all the problems are in those states. But by in large, when you have 97 percent of the people in South Dakota are current in their mortgages it does mean yes...that we are essentially helping those states where they've had the biggest problems," South Dakota Senator John Thune said [Jon Wilson, "Senate to Debate 'Cramdown' Bill," KELOLand.com, 2009.03.11].

Oh my. South Dakota shouldn't help other states? Senator Thune, you've read this blog; you should know better. I hope your colleagues from those states don't take that argument seriously. Otherwise, they might look at the following ratios of federal dollars received per dollar of federal tax paid (2005 figures) and get a little owly:
  • Nevada: $0.65
  • Florida: $0.97
  • California: $0.78
  • Arizona: $1.19
  • South Dakota: $1.53
No wonder Senator Thune and Senator McCain are such pals: they both come from full-blown welfare states, taking in more federal tax dollars than they pay.

The homeowner bailout may have other reasonable arguments against it, but saying South Dakotans shouldn't help out their fellow Americans is rank hypocrisy for any South Dakotan.


  1. Sounds like Thune is a disciple of Lily Tomlin, "we're all in this alone".

    The level of Thune's hypocrisy is almost unfathomable in light of his requests for taxpayer bailouts of his railroad buddies.

  2. I'm with Thune on this one. Why should the feds be bailing out any of the mortgages anyway, or any business. Bailouts, fiscally irresponsible president and congress, are all saddling my kids and grandkids (and your daughter) with mounds of debt. And for what? To save failed businesses, people who can't make a mortgage payment? If it fails, it fails. If you can't afford your mortgage, you get out and find something you can afford. It is NOT the gov'ts responsibility to reward fiscal irresponsibility.

  3. I don't feel John Thune is wrong about this by any means. You make a good correlation between the national mortgage bailout and South Dakota's per capita receipt of federal money, but I'm glad Thune mentioned how responsible South Dakota homeowners and lenders have been throughout this crisis.

    We're trying to fix this from the top down rather than from where it started and moving up. Name one mortgage banker who has been indicted on fraud charges for falsifying income and debt ratios to gain approval of these loans which eventually became securities and tanked. Name one homeowner who falsified their own data just to get a home loan and has been charged or fined.

    Nothing has changed in the mortgage business in South Dakota. Our bankers, for the most part, have been dilligent in making secure loans before they were sold off. Speculation and profit that created problems in Florida, Arizona and California are not prevalent here.

    John Thune is correct for speaking up and tooting our horn. Our values would serve as a strong example for the other states.

  4. Anon 8:26 & 9:22 are as smug as Thune. Remember that smugness when the foreclosures hit Sioux Falls & Rapid City as a result of their recent triple-figure job loses. Being sanctimonious only goes so far.

    Inference that we don't have speculation problems in SD is wrong - look at the half-baked excessive development around Sioux Falls and the Black Hills. The governor justly vetoed a tax break for housing speculators but the weak-kneed house voted to over ride. We'll see whether the senate shows any common sense.

  5. Says Tony at 11:20 a.m. [redacted]:

    "Wait a minute Anon 9:22 AM.

    "As CAH points out we are a welfare state!!!! This cannot be understated. Every year we take out 1.5 times as much as we put into the pot.

    "But when [a certain substance] hits the fan across the nation we shouldn't help out those who have helped us for DECADES?!?!?

    "We have never been fiscally responsible. Give me a break."


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