Governor Kristi Noem used her budget address yesterday in Pierre as another platform for her campaign to replace to Joe Biden in 2024. She capped her budget proposal with this grim assessment of economic and fiscal oppression under the Biden Administration:
Frankly, I expect the road could be rough under a Biden administration.
We can expect him to try and raise taxes. Similarly, we can expect him to try and eliminate fossil fuels by passing the Green New Deal. And, whatever else a Biden administration might do, it would certainly drown us in new regulation. I expect Biden’s federal agencies to see South Dakota not as a partner but as a subordinate.
So, we must be prepared [Gov. Kristi Noem, FY 2022 Budget Address, as published in that Sioux Falls paper, 2020.12.08].
That must be why she wants to buy herself a new plane now, before President Biden raises taxes on the airplane industry.
But her own Bureau of Finance and Management estimates that the first year of the Biden Administration will bring economic growth nationally rather than the decline Donald Trump is leaving us with:
GDP down 3.6% this year with great gobs of government stimulus (Noem’s main budget slides show that South Dakota’s share of federal coronavirus relief equals over 7% of our 2019 GDP), up 3.1% next year even if the Biden Administration and Congress choose not to further goose the pandemic economy—that doesn’t sound like a rough economic road to me. Maybe I’ll buy myself a plane….
BFM sees housing starts slowing to 2019 levels after folks settle down and get over the notion that they can run away from coronavirus to a new ranch in Rapid, but they also forecast that we’ll recover all the jobs we’ve lost to Trump fever in two years:
BFM warns that total general fund revenues for Fiscal Year 2022 may slip $1.4 million below what we’re now expecting to take in this fiscal year, but with Noem proposing to sock away $50 million of our federal coronavirus relief money in a new trust fund and another $41.6 million in our budget reserve fund, that revenue dip is negligible.
Economic pessimism may be warranted in the short term, but only because of the failure of Noem and Trump to properly manage the pandemic the way most Americans want and set the stage for swifter economic recovery:
The Dow Jones taking out 30,000, and Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials achieving up to 95% effectiveness haven’t stopped Americans’ view of the U.S. economy’s outlook from slipping into pessimistic territory, the December IBD/TIPP Poll finds. The growing toll of the coronavirus pandemic, the job market slowdown, and the lack of new federal stimulus likely kept Americans from focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.
…The IBD/TIPP Poll finds that 41% of households have at least one member who is out of work and looking for employment. Another 42% are concerned about job loss in the household. Factoring in the overlap, the share of job-sensitive households is currently 58%.
Meanwhile, the IBD/TIPP Financial Related Stress Index dipped 1.3 points in December to 65.4, still the second highest reading since April. Readings above 50 reflect rising stress.
Yet Americans favor measures to restrain the spread of the coronavirus, even at a cost to the U.S. economy, by a 59%-30% margin [Jed Graham, “Economic Pessimism Returns Despite Vaccine, Dow Jones High: IBD/TIPP,” Investor’s Business Daily, 2020.12.08].
To tackle that pessimism and the real and pressing problems causing them, President-Elect Biden is not prioritizing any of the fake news Governor Noem is trying to shove into his mouth. Biden is prioritizing more of the practical assistance that kept us out of an even deeper recession this year:
Biden said he would press for more relief once he is in office.
“Any package passed in the lame-duck session is not going to be enough overall. It’s critical but it’s just a start. Congress is going to need to act again in January,” Biden told reporters in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
“We’re looking at hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said.
Biden said he expected Republicans to join Democrats in delivering more coronavirus relief because “they are going to find there is an overwhelming need” [Trevor Hunnicutt, “Biden Urges Broad Action on Coronavirus Aid After ‘Grim’ Jobs Report,” Reuters, 2020.12.04].
Farm prices are already rebounding thanks to changing market conditions, and they’ll only get better under the boring, sane global trade policies of the Biden Administration. Biden’s economic and energy plans will put millions more Americans to work than four more years of Trump would have. Biden won’t sign the “Green New Deal,” but his vow to fight climate change will grow the economy in a long-term, sustainable fashion.
I don’t mind a conservative budget, but there’s no need to base the people’s budget on the Governor’s partisan hack lines. Save the campaigning for Fox News, Kristi; leave the budget projections to the BFM, which sees the economy growing in the first couple years of the Biden Administration.