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Saturday, December 4, 2010

South Dakota, the Welfare State: Chapter 847

Say it again, kids: South Dakota loves federal money. South Dakota lives on federal money.
  1. The new Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership building will be built on Uncle Sam's dime. Madison's city fathers cheerfully announced a $290K handout from the federal Community Development Block Grant program yesterday. The new office and Head Start facility has already received local subsidy in the form of a rock-bottom sale price for the land from the city.
  2. Heartland Conumer Power District general manager and DSU December commencement speaker Mike McDowell echoes Senator Max Baucus's complaint that the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan asks rural communities to pay their fair share of the decades of debt we all have rung up. McDowell and Baucus don't want us to pay higher taxes on energy (where's McDowell work again?) or receive less in social programs for our relatively high numbers of veterans and senior citizens.
  3. Governor-Elect Dennis Daugaard's announcement of his latest cabinet appointments includes this tiny tidbit from Dennis:

    "I want to thank Kim Malsam-Rysdon for taking on this new role as Secretary of Social Services.... At a time when federal support is falling and economic conditions are increasing demands for services, leading this department is challenging."

    Catch that? Daugaard is grumbling that his Secretary of Social Services is getting less money from Washington. This just days after hobnobbing in Washington with Speaker-designate John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other GOP leaders who insist government needs to shrink.
Maybe this is why the Tea Party has such piddly rallies in South Dakota. Maybe this is why Kristi Noem still plays so coy about being tagged as a Tea Party doll. Maybe they all realize what I've been saying all along: the Tea Party/Grover Norquist pablum about getting Uncle Sam off our backs is a prescription for fiscal and economic disaster in South Dakota. We are a welfare state. Dennis Daugaard and Kristi Noem are unlikely to change that.

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