The Governor’s Office toots its horn about Standard and Poors’ upgrade of South Dakota’s credit rating from AA+ to AAA. Among the reasons for this upgrade, S&P cites South Dakota’s healthy rainy-day funds… which we should be prepared for the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students to tell us are bad for schools to build up.
I don’t know how much trumpeting to make over a grading system that includes B’s, C’s, and D’s but hasn’t handed out such a grade to any state in the past decade. Looking at this chart of S&P credit ratings for the states since 2004, I find only five states (Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and South Carolina) whose grade has gone down even a tick since 2004; generally, everyone’s credit rating has been creeping up, suggesting either steady improvement from the Bush Jr. era through the Obama era or simple grade inflation.
Governor Daugaard is touting South Dakota’s achievement of a credit rating that the United States has held for most of its existence. What took us so long?