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Friday, December 18, 2009

Rounds Budget: Living in the Now

Let's take a spin at the latest Madville Times poll. The question: "Do you approve of Gov. Rounds's proposed state budget?" Your answers:
  • Yes: 5 (8%)
  • No, spend more: 30 (54%)
  • No, spend less: 21 (38%)
Choose your interpretation:
  1. The anti-Rounds line: More than 90% of South Dakotans think Governor Rounds has failed to submit a budget that meets the needs of South Dakota.
  2. The pro-Rounds line: When nobody's satisfied, you've obviously found the perfect compromise.
  3. The Tea Party line: Nearly a majority of South Dakotans agree that we shouldn't have bigger government! We're on the way to victory!
My line: If I were Dennis or Scott or Scott, I'd be torqued. Governor Rounds is living in the now and kicking the can down the road to whatever real statesman (or kamikaze pilot) takes the reins in Pierre in 2011.

Now maybe I should go easy on the Governor. I appreciate the point Governor Rounds made in his budget address that his proposed budget gets us through another year of recession with our budget reserves intact.

The problem is, that's about the only gift he's leaving the next governor and the 2011 Legislature. The proposed budget is an act of abdication, not leadership. Governor Rounds offers no new ideas or significant changes in how the state does business that might lay the groundwork for a lasting local solution to the big budget shortfall we face after we've spent all the federal stimulus dollars. (Boy, for all his erstwhile grandstanding, Governor Rounds sure seems glad to have Uncle Sam bailing out two budgets in a row.) His plan is all increasing one big tax (freeze the levy instead of the usual reduction that offsets increased valuation), hoping the recession will end and sales tax revenues rebound, and shifting the hard work of raising education dollars to more local boards who will have to opt out to keep pace with costs.

Even his pay freezes for state employees put the 2011 Governor and Legislature in a tighter bind. Sure, freezing pay makes some business sense, but another year of no raises makes it that much harder for the next administration to go to that trough for more budget savings.

The responsible thing to do would be to put a budget fix in place now that doesn't just get us through the recession but gives the following administration more options for meeting everyone's needs. Unfortunately, the Rounds administration appears content to dodge the bullet and let someone else make the hard choices.


  1. It would have made more sense to examine all state programs, reduce or eliminate those that are not relevant anymore, ask each level of government to submit funding reductions for their offices including staff reductions, use a portion of fed stimulus and a portion of reserves to balance in 2011. After all, why brag about preserving our state reserves when those funds are specifically for a rainy day. That's OUR tax money that the state has salted away. Rather than use a portion of our taxpayer reserves for a some of the deficit, Governor Rounds is placing the financial burden on our most precious resource...He's cutting education funding, putting the burden on K-12 education, which harms every child in our state. He's also shifting additional tax burden to each local school board and local property owners when we have millions in reserves in Pierre. That's money we've paid once, now he wants us to pay twice? Didn't they call that "taxation without representation"?

  2. Steve Sibson12/18/2009 6:03 AM

    "The responsible thing to do would be to put a budget fix in place now that doesn't just get us through the recession but gives the following administration more options for meeting everyone's needs."

    So you want an unlimited government. What needs do you have that you cannot fulfill that you think government should be responsible for?

  3. Mark O'Loughlen12/18/2009 11:35 AM


    Here are some basic needs that I am unable to fulfill at the present time that I am currently dependent of our government:

    1. Building and fixing roads. As much as I would like to build a road wherever I want, I do not have the equipment to do so.

    2. Fire protection. My garden hose does not have enough water pressure to supress a large fire in my home. However, I have a plumber coming over next week to take a look at it. So I might be OK in that department, unlesss I am not home.

    3. Police protection. I do own some guns, so I guess I could take matters in my own hands. I talked to my Sheriff this morning, and he highly recommended that I not shoot speeders on the highway.

    4. Water service. I'll give you this one. I could go to the river every day and get water, but that would leave me in a pickle if a fire were to break out, please refer to item 2.

    5. Providing a military. As much as my ego would like to think so, I am unable to fight off foreign invaders on my own, unless A&E is running a Delta Force marathan, then I might be pumped up enough to fight off the invaders.

    Steve, these are just 5 simple examples of the need for government. A little common sense goes a long way.

    I will now sit back and await your rant on cap and trade and natural law.

  4. Mark,

    Are those specified in the Constitution?

  5. Mark O'Loughlen12/18/2009 12:38 PM

    So Steve, what you are saying is that since it is not in the Constitution, government should not build or maintain roadways, including snow removal?

    I hope my assumption is wrong here.

  6. Steve Sibson12/18/2009 3:58 PM


    What is not specified as a power in the Constitution is reserved to the states or the people. If you research Andrew Jackson, he was against local imporvement...federal funding that helped only a particular area of the country.

  7. Steve,

    Does Andrew Jackson currently hold office today?

  8. If you further research Andrew Jackson, you will find that he defied the Supreme Court and moved by force Native American tribes to Oklahoma. You might be able to argue that Andrew Jackson caused more grief for the Indian Nations than any other President in history. He makes a very poor leadership role model.

    Governor Rounds is dealing with the economy the best he can. A small percentage drop in sales tax revenues can be in the millions of dollars. If the economy picks up a little, we can easily spend more money later.

    The SD Constitution demands that we have a balanced budget. The US Constitution does not. We now rely on the federal gov't to borrow eternally forever without worrying about the consequences of pushing the debt on to our children and grandchildren.

  9. "Does Andrew Jackson currently hold office today?"


    No he doesn't nor could he if he was alive today. He would be considered a anti-government right-wing nut job by Progressives like Cory Heidelberger and painted as a racist by people like Mike Black. And the mainstream media would be happy to provide free campaign advertising in the guise of reporting the news to help the Progressives defeat him.

  10. Steve,

    When you refer to the mainstream media, are you referring to, Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hannity, Mike Huckabee, G. Gordon Liddy, Mark Lemons, Neil Bortz, Lou Dobbs, Laura Ingram, Neil Cavuto, John Stossal, David Horowitz, Bill Crystal, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Rielly, Glen Beck, Peggy Noonan, John Funds, Brett Bozell, Cal Thomas, George Will, and Matt Drudge.

    Because after all, the media is controlled by a bunch of liberls isn't it?

  11. good job Mark, i see you are pointing out exactly 1 tv station with that whole list of names.....

    that kinda leaves all of the rest of tv news in the severely lefty camp...

    so, yes, Steve is correct.

    mainstream media = liberal media = everthing on tv except for fox

  12. Steve Sibson12/19/2009 2:15 PM

    No Mark, I am referring to those that repeat what the New York Times prints. Those you reference would support the founding fathers, they are called the New Media.

  13. 15 or 20 years ago I would buy into your guys' argument. However today, talk radio is dominated by the conservatives, FOX news is very established with it's programming. There are countless authors that publish conservative writings, and throw the internet into the picture now and every point of view is represented.

    Back in the days when people got their news from the networks and CNN was the only cable news network, yes, I would agree with you guys. But in today's world, people can get their news and information from thousands of sources, mostly from the internet. And if you check newspaper subsribtions and news ratings, more and more people are turning to their computers for their news.

    Steve, look at your own blog. All that copying and pasting you do, is that liberal stuff you are puting on? Where does that come from? Liberal media?

    It's a free market. Start your own radio station, or TV station, or newspaper, or blog to make things "fair and balanced" if things are so bad.

    You know what you guys sound like when you complain about a media bias? A liberal. Think about it.

    Mr. Meyer, I didn't know Rush, Drudge or any of the columnist I listed worked for FOX.

  14. Steve Sibson12/19/2009 4:03 PM


    You do make a good point, and I do agree with it. It seems to me that the MSM vs New Media is still fostering the Republican versus democrat feud. But that is a distraction. I have now come to understand that the real battle should be between the people and the leadership of both parties. Glenn Beck is the only TV media program that points this out. Most of those on your list are still fighting as Republcians.

    There is a huge amount of corruption with both parties. I hade hope that people like Cory, who I thought had somewhat of an open mind, would understand some of what I am seeing. Right now, I could care less if I am a Republican or a Democrat. I want to be a God-fearing American first and foremost.

    I have just got a copy of Tim Carney's "Obamanimics". I recommend it to both libertarian/conservatives and Progressives. Ron Pua ended the forward with this:

    "Every Libertarian and free-market conservative who still believes that large corporations are trusted allies in the battle for economic liberty needs to read this book, as does every well-meaning liberal who believes that expansion of the welfare-regulatory state are done to benefit the common people."

    I think all of want the same thing, but we battle over how to get them. Let us add truth and remove the Democrat versus Republican distractions and find solutions that will put an end to the coruption.

    I don't know who you are Mark, but the little that I have read leads me to believe that you do care about the truth. I do to, even though I fail it at times.

  15. Steve Sibson12/19/2009 4:06 PM

    Sorry about my frequent typos. (Now you guys understand why I like to cut and paste (grin)) It was "Ron Paul" who wrote the foreward to Obamanomics.

  16. I'm so glad that Steve Sibson holds in such high regard a man that was responsible for so much death.

    Steve, have you ever heard of the trail of tears?

  17. Steve Sibson12/20/2009 9:03 PM


    No I have not heard about the trail of tears. Research shows it happened two years after Jackson left office.

    If you want to change topics, then I reserve the same. Shall we talk about the deaths in today's abortion mills too? Could we then agree that the founding fathers created a system that we have failed to fully maintain?


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