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“We Won’t Raise Taxes” and Other Words Kristi Strings Together

Governor Kristi Noem addressed the South Dakota Legislature this afternoon. Several of her words deserve highlighting. (All quotes come from the transcript Governor Noem provided to the press ahead of her speech.)

We won’t raise taxes.

Governor Noem made this statement with no ifs, ands, or buts. Republican voters, I expect you to hold her to this absolute promise.

…over the last two years, I was able to do a lot of listening with a lot of South Dakotans.

I heard story after story from South Dakota families about the love they have for our state. They love our culture, our wide open spaces, they love their towns and their churches. I do too. But many families are struggling to get ahead. Parents lie awake at night and wonder if they are a medical emergency away from financial disaster. Or if they’ll ever be able to put money into a savings account for a new home.

Families struggling to get ahead? That’s not what Governor Noem’s party said when we fought to raise the minimum wage.

Parents fearing a financial disaster from a medical emergency? That’s not what Noem talked about last year when she voted to take health insurance away from millions of Americans. That’s not what her party talked about when it refused to expand Medicaid in South Dakota. Is that what she’ll talk about when she tells Attorney General Ravnsborg to pull out of the lawsuit his predecessor Marty Jackley joined to repeal the Affordable Care Act?

Folks struggling to put money away to buy a house? That’s not what Noem talked about as she let the Trump shutdown happen and denied 800,000 hard-working Americans the chance to stay ahead of their bills and keep building their savings.

…we are going to commit state revenues to closing the broadband gap.

This is the third plank of Governor Noem’s lead-off proposal to expand rural broadband access. The Governor rightly tackles this issue: substandard Internet access will stop families and businesses from moving here as surely as if water or electricity only flowed on odd-numbered days.

But if we’re committing state revenues and we’re not raising taxes, we’re going to spend less on something else.

My family has been blessed with prime pheasant habitat on some of our land. Of course, we have worked hard to preserve those grounds over the years and have long participated in the CRP program. But as land values have increased, areas like ours have begun to disappear, gravely affecting pheasant populations. It’s hard to blame folks for making those decisions when land values are high but it has an impact on how and where our pheasant population can nest and produce the next season’s birds. In fact, statewide pheasant populations have fallen 65 percent in the last decade.

While in the U.S. House, I authored a provision to increase CRP acres to 29 million acres, a priority for many South Dakota outdoorsmen. As Governor, I will continue to push federal policymakers to enhance CRP even further.

Translation: the free market leads us to destroy things we need and love. Government must intervene to check that destruction.

First off, we’ll work to increase resources for habitat management – without raising taxes. Maintaining and improving habitat is essential to the future of pheasant hunting in South Dakota. So today, I am directing the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to explore outside-the-box, voluntary funding solutions, such as an expanded Hunt for Habitat program, in which a limited number of hunting tags would be reserved at premium pricing. Programs like this have proven exceptionally lucrative in neighboring states. All proceeds would again go directly to habitat.

Since we absolutely will not raise any taxes, we need to come up with gimmicks to fund our priorities. Instead of asking every South Dakotan to shoulder some of the burden of maintaining public goods, we have to offer treats to the luxury class. Heavens forbid we just tax the rich to protect public goods; we have to make sure they get special privileges.

We need South Dakotans thinking about pheasant habitat, not just in October as we’re cleaning up our shotguns, but year round. To raise visibility and more funds, I’ll ask the Division of Motor Vehicles and Game, Fish and Parks to develop a specialty pheasant license plate program in which, again, all proceeds would go directly toward habitat management.

I see no harm in selling more fancy license plates. But pheasant imagery already so saturates South Dakota mindspace that I’m not sure added visibility represents a turnaround solution.

Pheasant hunting is a statewide tradition with statewide economic impact, so maintaining and growing the industry requires statewide involvement. This means we’re going to get aggressive on predator control with a bounty program. Young people will have a chance to get out there and help reduce the threats to our pheasant population.

Bounties for varmints? Load me up! But kids, check how much you’re spending on ammo, how much time you’re spending in the field, and how much you get per varmint, and calculate whether Kristi’s Kritter Kitty is paying out better than the minimum wage you can get making pizza at Casey’s.

…we’re going to crowd source habitat solutions. Taking advantage of online capabilities, my administration will expand the capabilities at to ensure every South Dakotan, not just those on assigned advisory boards or in Pierre, can directly contribute to the policymaking process. Should your ideas be implemented, I’d like to see the commission waive your hunting license fees for that year.

I’m all for this plan… but employees of the state and their families can’t enter to win, right? And why stop at pheasant habitat? If we can come up with pheasant policy by Twitter, let’s set up that Legislative wiki page and let citizens draft, amend, and debate bills on the LRC website! Contrary to Noem’s philosophy, we don’t need prizes: the satisfaction of participating in democracy and making our state greater is reward enough in itself.

…few things are as important as kickstarting our economy.

Translation: Our economy stinks. Trumponomics isn’t working for Trump voters.

We owe it to ourselves to encourage growth and development in all communities, large and small. We are, after all, only as strong as our weakest community.

Translation: The Noem Administration will not support any effort to defund or consolidate small schools. Every town that has a school must keep it, or all of South Dakota will be as weak as Eureka, Herreid, and other dwindling rural villages struggling to keep their schools open.

This kickstart begins by lifting government burdens from small businesses [sic] owners and making it easier to work and create new opportunities that allow South Dakotans to prosper. By expanding on the strong business climate we have built through a low-tax, low-regulation environment, we’ll businesses room to grow.

Wait a minute: according to the long-standing marketing line that Governor Noem repeats in the second half of that statement, we’ve already resisted or peeled back more taxes and regulations than most other states. Are there really that many burdens to lift from small business in South Dakota? If so, how did previous Republicans Governors and Legislatures miss them?

Now is the time to begin the search for the “Next Big Thing” for South Dakota.

As many of you know, in the early 1980’s, Governor Janklow had the foresight to identify and to target the credit card industry as an area in which South Dakota could compete and win at a national level. We changed our approach to regulating that industry, ushering in a tremendous expansion of not only credit card processing, but our financial services sector more generally. We created thousands of good jobs. Today, South Dakota is home to $3.1 trillion in bank assets – more than any other state in the country. Our trust industry oversees billions more, providing still more South Dakotans with reliable, high-paying jobs.

If bringing in the financial services industry was the last “Big Thing” then it’s time to start looking for the “Next Big Thing.” Because we can’t stop moving forward. We must look ahead to the emerging opportunities that can power growth for the next generation.

Wait! I found some regulations hindering big business: maybe the next big biotechnical thing could be stem cell research. Repeal South Dakota’s ban on human embryonic stem cell research, and watch T. Denny Sanford, who made his millions on that First (Morally Questionable But Who Cares) Big Thing, bring all sorts of high-paying research jobs to our state… and maybe a cure for cancer. That would be a whole lot bigger than credit cards. (I get a free hunting license for that, right?)

In the Black Hills, the U.S. Air Force’s rollout of the next-generation B-21 Raider bomber will also bring with it a surge of activity in and around Ellsworth Air Force base. This growth will open up new opportunities for good jobs, provide a platform for attracting additional military-connected businesses, and increase Ellsworth’s already substantial $300 million annual impact on our economy. Ensuring Box Elder, Rapid City, and the Black Hills region are equipped to capitalize on Ellsworth’s rapid expansion must be a priority for us all.

Not a word about the national security merits of another big bang-bang; just keep the big-government gravy rolling! Once again, South Dakota needs big government! And thank you, neighbors, for spending more taxes on more bombers, so we South Dakotans don’t have to raise our taxes!

As I tour our state’s businesses and meet with employers, what I ahve heard from them is encouraging. Outside of ag, business is good….

Wait: what happened to those folks struggling to get ahead, fearing medical bankruptcy, and unable to save up to buy houses? Oh, that’s right: this is Kristi Noem talking, not a statesperson from whom I can expect coherence from beginning to end of a speech.

…and they’d like to expand. Again and again, though, I heard the same challenge that is holding them back: workforce shortages.

And again and again, we hear from our leaders what we heard from Noem today: a passel of proposals to check that workforce shortage—more cheap houses built by prison labor, fewer professional licensure requirements, continued vo-tech scholarships, more employer propaganda in middle school and apprenticeships (read again, cheap labor) in high school—but not one word about the most obvious free-market solution, the one that, if business is good and employers can afford to expand, is easy to do: quit whining and pay higher wages.

I would like our high schools to join together each year to hold a “Week of Work.” This will be a special week when every high school student will get out of the classroom to experience a day on the job.

Fewer requirements for business, but more requirements for schools. Sure, that makes sense.

Civics need to reemerge. From grade school to the universities. Interim Secretary Jones is a professor of history and he will be key to this effort. This year, as a first step, I will be bringing legislation to require that every high school graduate be able to pass the United States citizenship exam.

Prepping for that test will take at least a week. Looks like Week of Work will have to wait… unless you’re going to advocate lengthening the school year, which will mean spending more on schools, which will mean raising taxes… oh! but we’re not doing that! The Noem Administration are zero-sum gamers, so take your pick: what are you going to cut to make room for the things you want?

By the way, Noem’s address turned to “Improving Education” fourth, after broadband, pheasants, and The Next Big Thing, and even then only twinned with “Developing Our Workforce.” Governor Noem continues her party’s treatment of education as mostly a means to other, greater ends. She does invoke General Beadle—”Not for wage earning alone, not for money making alone, must we educate”—but she says not one word about directing more state resources toward education.

Turning to meth, Noem blames Mexico and weaker border security for our surging drug issues:

…meth is rarely made in South Dakota anymore, the vast majority of this meth is coming from Mexico. Our meth epidemic is the price we are paying for our nation’s failure to adequately secure our southern border.

But then:

There are no easy answers to this issue… but we need to do more. And we need to focus on three key areas: education, enforcement, and treatment.

Notice that the cheap Trumpist potshot doesn’t cohere with Noem’s half-grasp of policy clarity: our meth epidemic is not a result of an insufficiently walled southern border or those dastardly Mexicanos. The key to reducing drug use is not fighting supply but cutting demand.

But dang: that’s going to take money, and Noem asks for it:

…I am proposing that we expand prevention and treatment programs. We need to do more to educate our young people about the effects of meth and give them strategies to avoid it. In the past these efforts have relied on grant funding, but I will be asking for dedicated general funds to carry a strong and consistent message, especially to our young people.

Noem doesn’t ask for more money for education in general (which provides the general skills with the best shot at expanding opportunities, reducing despair, and keeping kids away from drugs), but she does ask for more money specifically to tell kids even more often, Just Say No.

As a lifelong farmer and rancher…

…I’ll utilize my experience as a lifelong producer….

Lifelong? Come on: Kristi hasn’t legitimately dirtied any Carhartt coveralls in this decade.

Farmers want trade, not aid. Producers don’t want federal bailouts. We [We?! really?!] crave expanded market opportunities. And I believe we’ll get there with this Administration.

Wait: we were there under the Obama Administration. Farmers had more access to foreign markets before Donald Trump started whacking our trade partners with chest-thumping tariffs. Farmers didn’t need tariff reparations before Donald Trump. Why should we believe Donald Trump will take South Dakota farmers anywhere good when he has spent the last two years taking them everywhere bad?

Many Americans and many South Dakotans are losing their trust in government… stories of government ineptitude and downright scandal don’t help matters much. I hear you. I’m with you.

Holy cow: Governor Noem just endorsed my last decade-plus of blogging. People don’t trust South Dakota government. People see ineptitude and scandal in South Dakota government. And that ineptitude and scandal have been brought to you by the people in charge: Governor Noem’s Republican Party.

Fact-based reporting must be valued and encouraged in order to uphold the integrity of government entities. To that end, I want to see a commonsense Reporter Shield law, protecting the constitutional right to a free and independent press.

Well. Thank you. Maybe I can take a day off work and go to Pierre the day Governor Noem signs that bill and get a free and independent interview.

I want to take heart that Kristi Noem would mention journalists’ rights in her first State of the State address and not embryo rights. But don’t think Governor Noem is all that excited about the First Amendment:

I am sure that there will be issues that arise during my tenure as governor that will require the strength and resolve of our first responders, our military and our law enforcement. I know that they will be up to the task. I know that they are training and preparing right now, even today, for the unexpected as well as the expected.

One of those issues that we do expect, is the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through South Dakota. Let me be very clear on this: I want the construction of this pipeline to be safe, clean and efficient. We will make sure that people, water and the environment are protected. My administration will work with the tribes, the companies, and as necessary, law enforcement, to make this as uneventful as possible.

Translation: Don’t you darned Indians kick up a stink about TransCanada’s pipeline. They bought me some really nice hors d’oeurves for my inaugural ball.

Governor Noem’s first State of the State Address leaves me hopeful of just one thing: Kristi Noem will continue to say plenty of things for honest bloggers to write about and straighten out.

But one thing’s for sure: “We won’t raise taxes.” Forget funding Aspire, Al. Governor Noem gets what she wants, and you’re going to have to cut other things to do it, because she said, “We won’t raise taxes.”

Vocabulary Note: “We need to do more to empower families. Every child has different needs and talents, and we all know that family involvement gets better results. The All-City Elementary School in Sioux Falls is an example of this and a model for others to emulate. One of its core tenants and requirements is a high level of parent involvement.” All-City Elementary has no tenants, Kristi. It has tenetsTenants are the people who reside in dwellings. Tenets are the beliefs that reside in our souls.


  1. leslie 2019-01-09 01:13

    Corps tents (as in USACOE) is a common phrase in DC which she likely absorbed after college graduation by mail working for us as a full time high paid/benefitted US Congresswoman. Core tenets however is more likely a Gear Up type libbie phrase more in keeping with Betsy Devos’ Department of Ed wonks which neither Kristie nor a relative who works for her would be familiar with.

    While Jackley will bill SD $300 per hour advising Ravnsborg how to AG (and join RAGA), Kristie and Jason can rely on “Flood-King” Rounds on how to boss around the Corps of Engineers.

  2. leslie 2019-01-09 05:54

    But seriously, like Trump Noem is a conscienceless hostage-taker. Look at her late stage campaign tactics against Billie.
    Putin took children hostage—adoption of Russian children were cancelled in retaliation for US sanctions imposed on Russia. Trump took DACA Children hostage. Neither Putin nor Trump have shown any mercy to these hostages yet. Suffering and death of innocent children and others is their leadership style. Quite a resume.

    I ignored Kristi and Trump public speeches yesterday. My time is more important.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-09 06:15

    The Nelson wing of the party should jump on any reference to “core” and a school as a sneaking return to Common Core.

    What, Trump made a speech yesterday, too?

  4. mike from iowa 2019-01-09 07:34

    Noem loves pheasants and CRP subsidies. Voting public doesn’t fare so well in Pheasant Dakota.

  5. John 2019-01-09 07:53

    Fees, tuition, assessments, duties, fines, levies, rates, surcharges, contributions — will all go up. Taxes? We’ll never raise taxes. Like her apostle one knows she’s lying when her lips are moving.

  6. Donald Pay 2019-01-09 08:27

    OK. Nothing really different in South Dakota, I see.

    I don’t like “the next big thing” thinking. That’s what is wrong with leadership in South Dakota, and it’s what leads to corruption. Leaders often overlook that “the next big thing” is really the millions of the next little things that have been overlooked because they were looking for “the next big thing.” In South Dakota “the next big thing” turned out to be nuclear waste or mega-scale landfills or unregulated gold mining or huge CAFOs or “the gorilla project” brought in by some megabillionaires from outside the state. Or it was some big government boondoggle like the Oahe Project or the deep borehole project. They never consider that the people in South Dakota ARE the next big thing.

    In the 1990s Dakota Rural Action and other environmental groups thought South Dakota needed to get a small start on wind development by making sure farmers got some benefits out of wind development. But Republicans were wedded to the money that utilities and the coal industry were providing, and dismissed “the next little thing” that environmentalists were calling for. It’s too bad, because Republicans pissed away what would have been a big effing industry by now in South Dakota, and that might have been joined by solar development. Too bad, but when you chase “the next big thing” you overlook the steps needed to get to the next big thing.

    The history of South Dakota is riddled with this sort of failure, caused by chasing “the next big thing.” We forget that before Janklow lucked into City Bank his plans for “the next big thing” was a nuclear waste dump and “the next big thing” after City Bank was the sewage ash scam, both of which brought huge controversies and failures. And Janklow thought later that the usury changes he had to make to secure City Bank were wrong.

    But South Dakota leaders never learn from history, so they are doomed to repeat it.

  7. TAG 2019-01-09 09:54

    I’m not a Pheasant hunter, but I recognize the economic impact it has on the state, and I recognize the positives of hunting, in terms of teaching responsibility, gun safety, conservation ethics, etc. In addition to being a sport that gets people outside, exercising and spending time with family.

    With that having been said, Noem’s solution to the “Pheasant crisis” only serves to reinforce wrong-headed and simplistic views we have had about wildlife conservation for decades. Scapegoating predators and ignoring or minimizing the habitat loss that is actually driving the decline ignores science.

    I may not be an expert on Pheasant production or conservation, but I know who is:

    “research over several decades has proven that coyotes focus their foraging on rodents and rabbits and do not take adult pheasants or nests as frequently as the other mammalian predators (red fox, striped skunk and raccoon). In addition, the larger home range and territorial nature of coyotes can actually result in lower populations of these other, more destructive predators.”

    “trapping efforts that rely on bounties are destined to fail.”

    “It is important to understand that sustained trapping efforts tend to stimulate reproduction by predators”

    “While predator removal and exclusion methods can increase nesting success on small areas, these methods are too expensive for use on a landscape basis and do not significantly increase the number of nesting birds over the long term. Through the addition and management of habitat, we not only decrease the impact predators have on existing nests, but also increase the number of nests and population size in an area. Predators will continue to eat pheasants and their nests, but weather and habitat conditions will drive population fluctuations.”

    Take home message: more contiguous habitat (not fragmented narrow pieces) and more high-quality habitat (not mowed or grazed) will lead to more pheasants. Predator control makes people feel like they are doing something, but in the end has little impact, and can even make things worse.

    But that’s assuming we actually want to solve the problem rather than just make people feel good.

  8. o 2019-01-09 10:19

    This is the section that got me: “But many families are struggling to get ahead. Parents lie awake at night and wonder if they are a medical emergency away from financial disaster. Or if they’ll ever be able to put money into a savings account for a new home.”

    To me, this is what ought to dictate tax policy: we ought to more heavily tax those who do NOT have these concerns, and more lightly tax – even help those who do have these concerns. I wish that the conditions of the less-well to do could stop being the stalking horses for the more-well to do to shirk their social responsibility. Instead of using the struggling to be the baseline for all policy, maybe the focus ought to be on those who can give more to give more. Instead of focusing only on small businesses when it comes to setting fair wages, the focus ought to be on the megacorporations with billionaire owners.

    Not raising taxes is the ABSOLUTE right answer — for SOME South Dakotans; it is the absolute wrong answer for the rest.

  9. mike from iowa 2019-01-09 10:30

    Mammalian predators with hay windrowers do considerable damage to nesting pheasants, pheasant nests and hatchling pheasants. partridge and deer fawns.

  10. Donald Pay 2019-01-09 11:17

    I’ve heard all of the pheasant arguments my entire life. She just recycled about everyone’s pet ideas for the last 60 years.

    I never thought shooting the damn things out of the sky was all that fun or sporting. I liked a slow walk through the fields to get as close to the birds as possible without flushing them. That’s the real skill needed in hunting birds, and the same skill that predators need. Flushing them to blow them out of the sky is not the kind of hunting that is anywhere near a real hunting experience.

    So, I have more respect for the predators that actually hunt the birds the way God intended, so to speak, than for the fat men who tromp through the fields scaring birds up in the air so other fat men can blow them to pieces. I say, let the varmints hunt.

  11. jerry 2019-01-09 11:39

    Someone missed the broadband thingy “President Obama signed into law on Tuesday the $787 billion stimulus package, which includes $7.2 billion for broadband grant and loan programs.

    Both the House of Representatives and the Senate on Friday approved a conference report that reconciled the two chambers’ versions of the bill.

    The bulk of the funds directed at broadband–$4.7 billion–will be distributed through a program run by the Commerce Department, while $2.5 billion will fall under the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Department, giving particular emphasis to broadband deployment in rural areas.”

    Nothing new that President Obama already had done.

    Speaking of broadband, why? China already has the 5G and is now working on the 6G for wireless. We are still proudly blathering about 4G. What’s up with that?

  12. Roger Cornelius 2019-01-09 12:12

    If South Dakota has a middle class I didn’t hear Noem mention them. We repeatedly hear that the middle class is the economic backbone of our country, yet republicans seem to forget about us.
    The second point I would like to make is that Noem promised “no new taxes”, but that does not exempt republicans to continue to raise fees (taxes) on state services.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-09 12:50

    “The Next Big Thing” is code for, “I spent eight years in Congress campaigning and Glamour-Shotting, so I really didn’t learn anything or hear any amazing ideas that I could bring back to South Dakota or build any kind of vision, so I’m just going to wait until someone else thinks of something or something lucky happens, and then I’ll just take credit for it.”

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-09 12:57

    Roger, yeah, where was the middle class recovery plan? She says some vague collection of South Dakotans are suffering enormously in our state economy, but then she turns around and tells middle-class parents they aren’t involved enough in their kids education. Noem’s speech was not a coherent message. It was a pile of leftovers from her speechwriting staff, filling time until she could get back to finding jobs for her kin.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-09 12:59

    Promoting pheasant habitat is a good idea in and of itself. It’s good conservation policy, reducing overdevelopment, overfarming, and pollution.

    But as economic development policy, Noem is also going to have to come up with more hunters. Fewer kids live in the country. Fewer kids grow up shooting their food. Fewer kids are interested in spending their weekends in the fields with guns. What plan did Noem include to reverse that trend?

  16. Jason 2019-01-09 13:00

    The American people received a tax cut because of her vote.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-09 13:02

    No doubt, O. That account of economic ills sounds like a call for drastic policy action for economic justice. A little income tax on our undertaxed wealthy class, some progressive tax reform, some relief at the bottom from our current regressive taxes—that’s totally what’s in order. But after painting that dire picture of South Dakotans suffering eocnomically, Noem just kinda shrugs and natters around the edges, basically endorsing the policy status quo. What kind of leadership is that?

    As your next Governor, I promise that if South Dakotans are still living in terror of medical bankrupcty and not able to make ends meet, I will open and close my speech with serious proposals for dramatic reforms in tax policy and education funding, the two core policies we can use to make the biggest difference in the lives of every South Dakotan, not just old farts with time on their hands to Tweet some new habitat policy in hopes of getting a free hunting license.

  18. Roger Cornelius 2019-01-09 13:06

    Booker, Noem’s son, will have to pay for that tax cut she gave to herself and the 1%.

  19. o 2019-01-09 13:19

    Roger, Robert Reich has a new piece about the deficit/debt. He explains that the wealthy come out ahead by not paying taxes AND come out ahead by buying the bonds (and getting better than ever before returns) to fund those deficits.

    The middle-class is invisible. We (I include myself here) are not suffering to make ends meet; we are not profiting from the wealth grab of the 1%; we stagnate, but stagnate in a place of relative “comfort” –doomed to never get ahead or provide for a better life for our next generations. We are in a stasis between the winners of the wealth grab and the real casualties of that grab.

  20. jerry 2019-01-09 13:28

    Our school systems in South Dakota do the best they can with dedicated teachers and administrators, but that doesn’t mean they can be abused with crappy wages and a lack of materials needed to do their job. “Won’t raise taxes” is just verbiage for screw you teachers. In Los Angeles, California here is the deal there

    “(CNN)The country’s second-biggest school district could see a mass exodus of teachers Thursday when the Los Angeles teachers’ union goes on strike.

    Years of frustration over class sizes, salaries and a shortage of school counselors and nurses have boiled over for more than 30,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles.
    The Los Angeles Unified School District has made offers to try to prevent the walkout, but the teachers’ union said they’re not enough. So unless the warring sides find a solution fast, LA teachers will go on strike for the first time in 30 years.”

    Teaching is a professional job that cost a whole lot of money to be able to do. Teachers went into debt to be able to work, much like a farmer or rancher goes into debt to work. I say teachers should not only receive their low wages, they should also be as subsidized as are the ranchers and farmers for whom the teachers provide their services for. Each professional teachers salary should start at $60,000.00 with full benefits of healthcare and retirement. The salary should increase yearly and should also have incentives. In addition to that, if the teacher should be tasked with educating in an isolated area, then housing and something like hazardous pay should also be included. Education needs to be made more important by local, state and national government that could start with higher pay scales.

  21. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 13:58

    That’s a load of BS Jerry. How about you look at Los Angeles. Come on now. This is the Mecca for all of you. Blue in control of EVERYTHING for EVER. Over 50 in each class? WTF? How can it be? A nurse on staff maybe 1 day a week? In CA???? Say it ain’t so…

    CA: The base salary for Teacher High School ranges from $53,675 to $79,571 with the average base salary of $67,743.

    SD: $41,240 to $59,712 with the average total compensation of $50,344.

    Now you’ll say, “See, Cali at least pays there teachers more….” More BS.

    Here’s just ONE factor to think about. Home prices.

    The median list price per square foot in Los Angeles is $517 per square foot. -Zillow
    The median list price per square foot in Sioux Falls is $173 per square foot. -Zillow

    Does that $17k difference a year cover that grand canyon?

  22. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 14:07

    Let’s not stop there.

    Reports show that in the Los Angeles county area, average gas prices have risen to $3.16 per gallon.
    Today it was $1.97 at the pump at Holiday Gas Station on 57th St.

    Let’s do one tank of gas a week for a year. 12 gallon tank let’s say.

    $1971.84 for one year, filling up a tank a week. – California
    $1229.28 for one year, filling up a tank a week. – South Dakota

    Sales Tax:
    The combined sales tax rate for Los Angeles County, CA is 9.5%
    The combined sales tax rate for Sioux Falls, SD is 6.5%

    Would you like me to keep going?

  23. jerry 2019-01-09 14:12

    So then, you agree that teacher wages need increasing, thanks

  24. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 14:15

    Oh no, you don’t get away that easily. If a State like California is the ideal for Dems, Lefties, etc then how do you explain that?

    Average class size in SD is almost half that. That ALONE should be calculated in income because the job is WAY harder in CA for crap pay. How about all of these factors for how bad CA costs? It’s blue state, this shouldn’t be the case right? It’s everything you want. It shouldn’t be impossible to live.

  25. jerry 2019-01-09 14:29

    Okay then, ” It is no secret that California is the largest and most productive state in the U.S.. California’s GDP last year was $2.7T, representing 14.3% of the total U.S. economy. California’s economy is so big that if it were a country, it would be the 5th largest economy in the world, more productive than the United Kingdom.” Wow, California’s economy is more productive than that of the United Kingdom, that includes a few countries there, not just merry ol’ England. Even with Steve Hickeys enormous contributions, still behind California.

    Democrats love success stories, and that is why they continue to work towards lifting us all to higher standards. Come on aboard Prickly Pear, come on aboard.

  26. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 14:31

    Exactly. You avoid the discussion. Nice spin by the way.

  27. jerry 2019-01-09 14:34

    How about property taxes, shall we discuss those? Pretty simple stuff, not as unfair as South Dakota’s red state robbery. What is your mill levy there in your adobe? Are you happy with your assessment?

    “In order to assess your annual property taxes, first convert the property tax rate to a decimal value by dividing it by 100. A tax rate of 1.1723 percent = 0.011723 (1.1723 / 100). Finally, multiply the assessed value of your property by the converted tax rate. The answer will be the amount of property tax owed.” California looks like they have worked it out regarding property tax.

  28. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 14:36

    Quit avoiding. You’re saying the small difference makes up for all of that OTHER cost?

  29. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 14:38

    And then factor in the cost of said home there, size etc. Who cares is their percentage is .3% lower….FFS

  30. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 14:42

    2000 sq foot home in CA. 1 Million dollars.
    2000 sq foot home in SD. $346,000.

    Calculate your property tax on that one…

  31. Porter Lansing 2019-01-09 14:51

    South Dakota property tax: Calculating Property Tax. Your property’s assessment is then multiplied by the local tax rate, sometimes called a millage rate or mill rate. One mill equals one-tenth of one cent or $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s value. … Multiply the property’s value by 4.5 percent to arrive at your tax bill: $11,250 for the year.Aug 26, 2018

    California property tax: Tax rates in California counties vary according to the level of bond payments added to the state base rate of 1%. These are based on assessed property value, not market value. The average county tax rate is just under 1.25%, and the median is just over 1.11%.

  32. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 14:57

    Still doesn’t make up the difference in cost of living…not even close. Remember, property cost is HUGE there compared to here.

  33. jerry 2019-01-09 14:59

    Amount of income it takes to afford an average home cost of $393,000.00 According to the reports, $78,000.00. Average income in California $82,000.00 looks like you could afford a house there. Average wage per hour $24.96

    South Dakota average home cost $184,700.00 average wage per hour $16.53 kind of a difference.

    State income tax

    A very wealthy state by all standards that will now have to come to grips with the complaints of the educators. Methinks they will handle it nicely

  34. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 15:00

    But let’s compare shall we?

    57103 Sioux Falls. $380k house. $5411 in property tax
    90001 LA. 1 Million dollar home. $7930 in property tax

    Yes, property tax lower percentage wise in CA….but of course it has to be! It costs a RIDICULOUS amount to live there.

  35. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 15:01

    Average home cost? What does that mean? What’s the size? You’re intentionally avoiding specifics. And “methinks?” Well they haven’t for years and years.

  36. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 15:05

    Again, spinning instead of dealing with specifics. CA economy has relevant details to the teacher stuff we are discussing?

    You are making yourself look stupid.

  37. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 15:11

    The economy of CA is not run by the govt. You know that right? It’s hard working Americans. Companies like Disney, UCLA health system, Nestle and many others.

  38. jerry 2019-01-09 15:13

    I just provide the good information, that shows that the idea of not raising taxes is the real stupid. In case you might have missed it, soybeans are not selling and neither are other commodities. That means that the sales tax that the state collects on those kinds sales along with all that is related to that income, is gonna be tanked. Where is the money gonna come from?

  39. jerry 2019-01-09 15:16

    I only point out that South Dakota’s economy depends on government subsidies. There is another post Cory put up that deals with a subsidy for a shrimp farm in Madison that we taxpayers are gonna pony up for. As long as ranchers, farmers and now shrimpers in South Dakota are getting a payoff from the taxpayers, why not teachers so NOem can keep her word.

  40. Steve Pearson 2019-01-09 15:17

    SMH, you just can’t engage in the topic can you?

  41. jerry 2019-01-09 15:47

    Here in South Dakota, we are still on the hook for the republican 2013 shutdown. Not raise taxes? who you kidding there NOem, just Pearson, that’s all.

    “”There is no guarantee that states will be reimbursed for those outlays, Howard said. It’s up to Congress to determine whether to pay back states, and though it has done so after some previous shutdowns, states have not always been made whole.

    Four years after the two-week shutdown in 2013, for example, Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah still hadn’t gotten paid back after shelling out millions to keep parks open.”

    No tax raise, read her lips.

  42. o 2019-01-09 16:10

    I would like to toss one thing into the Steve/Jerry California teacher discussion: The issue undermining the ability of LA, and California in general, to fund their schools goes back to Prop 13 in 1978 — a measure that reduced and capped taxes available to fund public education (and other needs of course).

    I agree: a “blue state” is hurting; it is hurting because it chose to not only say “no new taxes,” but to also bind itself to that restriction. I don’t care if we are discussion the “red state” of Kansas, or the “blue state” of California, when a revenue stream is choked with no regard to the programming and the value that revenue stream can accomplish, there will be problems.

    I believe there are 144 (a gross appropriately enough) billionaires in Ca. Nothing of this nature ought to happen the children of a state AND preserve the fortune of 144 billionaires.

  43. mike from iowa 2019-01-09 16:14

    If memory serves didn’t Noem dump the AG comm and left Northern Mississippi w/o representation 2 full years ago?

    CRP was set at 27 million acres, not 29 million acres because Noem wasn’t there?

  44. mike from iowa 2019-01-09 16:19

    I noticed Prof Pearson hasn’t bothered to include a single link to any of his unproven stats and accuses Jerry of much the same.

    Gawd is that stoopid!

  45. TAG 2019-01-09 16:44

    Steve, I don’t think anyone is arguing against the fact that cost of living in California is higher than in South Dakota. That’s not really a newsflash. The fact that California is one of the more liberal states rerally has nothing to do with that. It’s more about supply and demand. Lots of people want to live in California, and they haven’t done a good job of keeping up with the housing demand. So what. That’s not the indictment you think it is on liberalism.

    Here’s something that might be more illuminating:

    Adjusting teacher’s salary by cost of living:(2016 data)

    CA teacher’s real average salary: $72,842 (#4)
    CA teacher’s salaray adjusted to COL: $57,628 (#19)

    SD teacher’s real average salary:$42,025 (#50)
    SD teacher’s salary adjusted to COL: $45,679 (#48)

    Using the Cost-Of-Living adjusted pay levels, why would a teacher want to stay in SD when they can move a relatively short distance to:
    #8 Iowa
    #9 Illinois
    #11 Minnesota
    #13 Wyoming
    #14 Wisconsin
    #24 Nebraska

  46. Rorschach 2019-01-09 16:49

    They put souvenir license plates with a pheasant image on them on vehicles loaned for the governors hunt. Then they give the plates to hunt participants when it’s over. So now they will take the design they already have and make it into real plates they can charge people extra for. Brilliant! S.D. is years behind other states that have a large array of specialty plates. Minnesota’s pheasant plate is quite nice. Check out the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois dmv websites to see how far behind S.D. is with specialty plates.

  47. TAG 2019-01-09 16:50

    In other words, the Teachers in LA that are making significantly below the state average definitely have a gripe.

    And so to teachers in South Dakota.

  48. mike from iowa 2019-01-09 16:55

    In California, school class size is determined by the districts, irrespective of teacher’s wishes.

  49. bearcreekbat 2019-01-09 19:03

    Interesting how Pearson jumped ship as soon as other commentors pointed out the flaws in his analysis. That is a pattern that I have seen several nay sayers repeatedly use on DFP. As soon as their assertions are debunked, dead silence. Don’t hold your breath waiting for acknowledgement that he might have missed a fact ot two in his analysis.

  50. Porter Lansing 2019-01-09 19:48

    Pearson is one of a group that post on DFP not to learn or inform. They post to disrupt. To stop cohesion, tolerance and resistance from SD liberals and Democrats. That’s textbook “Putin Agenda”. That’s what the trolls on social media that work in Moscow are all about. Disruption of America. Pearson and the like are without a doubt Russian influencers. Whether they know it or not doesn’t change the fact.

  51. John 2019-01-09 20:40

    Steve ignores the population of California is 45+ times that of South Dakota. Given the right wingnuts proclivity for self-determination – if SD were nirvana then the population of California would be 45+ times that of California. Also, California is a younger, growing state, while SD is an older, dying state.
    Clearly Steve’s simplistic numbers tell a fraction of the story.

  52. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-09 20:55

    California’s working to save the world and make room for everyone to live in it. California should be a source of inspiration and vision, not a tired old whipping state for South Dakota State of the State Addresses.

  53. jerry 2019-01-09 21:10

    Here is a senator out to save this country. Senator Jon Tester of Montana on the floor of the Senate today. Where are our voices? Take some time to listen to the truth on the Senate Floor.

    This is about as clear as it gets. We are gonna get taxed on all of this trumpian/republican failure no matter what the little fibber NOem says. We have lost revenue because of this shutdown and there cannot be any dispute over it. We know all of that, but Thune and Rounds along with the new guy, Dirty Johnson, they refuse to acknowledge it and all just to keep the Russian investigation news under wrap.

  54. Dana P 2019-01-10 07:53

    “Nimble”….. boy, that is her new word, isn’t it?

    Ms Noem, is the new SD word salad governor. Lots of “celebration” about the first woman governor of South Dakota. But let’s face it, she is just the voicebox of what many white older men are telling her to do and say.

  55. o 2019-01-10 08:26

    I want an answer from Steve (et al) about how it is the very “never raise taxes” mantra – whether proclaimed in blue California or red Kansas — leads to specific and real trauma to the most needy.

    Jerry, great link to the Tester floor speech. Speaking of Montana, I think we will be hearing more about Governor Bullock as primary season takes shape for the Dems.

  56. Roger Cornelius 2019-01-10 12:05

    In a Rapid City Journal editorial this morning it was noted that Noem neglected west river and more specifically Black Hills tourism.
    It would be my guess that the rest of the world is more interested in Mount Rushmore then in pheasants on the governor’s land.

  57. jerry 2019-01-10 13:19

    Roger, good catch, very good editorial indeed. How in the hell did NOem get the governor’s chair. The least qualified always seems to win in South Dakota.

  58. Porter Lansing 2019-01-10 13:49

    Peter Principle

  59. jerry 2019-01-10 13:53

    Of course Porter, the perfect description of South Dakota, land of infinite dumbness.

  60. jerry 2019-01-10 14:05

    NOem is so dull that she thinks the southern border is Missouri. That is where the meth comes from….and South Dakota.

    “…meth is rarely made in South Dakota anymore, the vast majority of this meth is coming from Mexico. Our meth epidemic is the price we are paying for our nation’s failure to adequately secure our southern border.”

    Thanks Jackley for being such a putz. Good news though Marty, you’ve got your equal idiot in office to coach.

  61. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-12 16:49

    Oh, we’ll get West River. Somebody will get a free hunting license for submitting the suggestion that we drain the Missouri to irrigate all of West River, plant everything from Pierre to Sturgis to corn, and introduce a hundred thousand pheasants into Meade, Pennington, Haakon, Ziebach, and Stanley counties. There, West River and tourism all in one.

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