Rep. Kristi Noem has told us we should use eminent domain, usurp executive authority to unconstitutionally benefit one company, and build the Keystone XL pipeline because the Canadian tar sands pipeline would create 42,100 jobs (the number she has settled on between her past claims of 20,000 and 130,000 KXL jobs, but still a false claim. Governor Dennis Daugaard agrees that Keystone XL is worth doing for job creation.
Energy Transfer buys three quarters of a page in my morning paper to tell northeastern South Dakota that plowing up farm fields to ship Bakken oil across East River through the Dakota Access Pipeline is a good idea because it will create 4,000 jobs*:
Yet Rep. Noem, Governor Daugaard, and other job-minded continue to oppose the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, which will create 40,000 jobs just in Kentucky:
Medicaid expansion will add 40,000 jobs and $30 billion to the state’s economy through 2021, according to a new study Deloitte Consulting LLC and the University of Louisville’s Urban Studies Institute released today. Expansion will also generate a net positive impact of nearly $820 million to state and local government budgets [Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, press release, 2015.02.12].
The Deloitte/U. Louisville USI study enumerates numerous economic benefits beyond jobs for Kentucky, which had the wisdom to expand Medicaid early in 2014. It also lends credence to the data we’ve seen that indicates expanding Medicaid in South Dakota could create nearly 30,000 jobs.
Oil creates jobs but makes healthy people ill. Medicaid expansion creates jobs and makes sick people well. Even if we accept our Congresswoman’s dreamy numbers, we must conclude that Medicaid expansion would create more ongoing South Dakota jobs than Keystone XL and Dakota Access combined.
*Correction 15:24 CDT: The original version of this post said that Energy Transfer’s ad claimed the Dakota Access Pipeline would create 40,000 jobs, even though the photo of their ad clearly shows the company claims 4,000 construction jobs. I apologize for confusing Energy Transfer’s reasonable jobs estimate with Rep. Kristi Noem’s inflated job estimates for Keystone XL.