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
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.