Money is tight, says Governor Kristi Noem in defense of her visionless budget. But the Governor’s kin are seeing no lack of government money, thanks to Donald Trump. Our discussion of the $665 million in farm Trumpfare checks that are keeping South Dakota farmers on life support led me to peruse the Environmental Working Group database and find that Racota Valley Ranch, the corporation held by Noem’s brothers Robb and Rock Arnold, has received $345,775 in Market Facilitation Payments from 2018 through October 31, 2019.
$345,775: that’s enough cash to pay seven teachers the average South Dakota teaching salary (or 6.9 teachers the target salary that Noem says we can’t afford to reach or raise the way state law requires).
$345,775: that’s enough to build 87% of the Cyber Cync Incubator (come on DSU: Cyber Cyncubator!) for which the Governor is seeking a special appropriation.
$345,775: that’s enough to cover the federal subsidy for 101,400 free school lunches, enough to feed all 834 kids in the Hamlin County school district for two-thirds of the school year.
$345,775… and they aren’t even required to go out and get a paying job to receive those checks.
Racota Valley Ranch has raked in $4.13 million in farm subsidies since 1995. Noem owned a share of the farm during much of that period. And with Trump now saying he might keep the trade war going until after the 2020 election, Noem’s kin may get to sit back and cruise on another full year of six-figure farm welfare checks.
Also of note among the Trumpfare handout recipients is Former Ag Secretary Walt Bones’s Hexad Farms has gotten $350,344 in MFP. Just a few weeks ago, the state approved $756,000 in tax kickbacks to subsidize an expansion of Bones’s Turner County Dairy into Minnehaha County.
That’s South Dakota: run by Republicans, fed by socialism.