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Biden Infrastructure Plan Promises Investments in Multiple South Dakota Needs

The White House today released fact sheets for every state laying out the need to invest in infrastructure now. The fact sheet on South Dakota gives our infrastructure a grade of C– and identifies several problems that President Joe Biden is offering to help fix:

  1. 1,038 South Dakota bridges and 2,031 miles of South Dakota highway are in poor condition. Driving on those rough roads costs each driver in this state an average of $562 a year in extra vehicle costs. (Assume 600,000 drivers, multiply by $562…that’s $372 million.)
  2. Our drinking-water pipes will need $730 million in repairs over the next 20 years.
  3. 42,000 South Dakotans are paying more than 30% their income for rent.
  4. 48% of South Dakotans live in areas with only one broadband provider.
  5. Our schools have $125 million in maintenance they can’t afford to do.
  6. Low-income families spend an average of 8% to 10% of their income on home energy costs.

Today’s SD fact sheet and President Biden’s complete infrastructure covers many more issues—veterans health, clean energy jobs, manufacturing, repairs and resiliency for extreme weather events….

Investing in all of these things would boost South Dakota’s economy and South Dakotans’ quality of life. No one is hurt by better roads and schools, unleaded water pipes, cleaner energy, weatherized houses, and power grids that can withstand stronger storms. President is offering to pay for building those things entirely with taxes on a handful of the wealthiest, most powerful entities in the country that benefit more than anyone else from the American roads, water, wires, schools, health care system, and everything else that makes for easier access to healthy workers and buyers. The corporate tax rates hiked by the plan would still be lower than they were the last time Joe Biden was working in the White House. But even if we didn’t raise any taxes and put the whole plan on our tab the way we have all of the coronavirus relief/stimulus bills, the major tax cuts of the previous administration, and most of our warmaking of the last two decades, the gains in GDP and jobs that come from stronger, better infrastructure might be worth it.

What is your problem, Republicans? Do you not want to build a better America? Do roads and schools and power and data and water only matter when Republicans are President? (Oh, that can’t be true, because you didn’t pass any infrastructure bills during the last four years that you controlled the White House.)

President Biden and the Democrats want to fix things and make America stronger. Republicans want to sit around playing word games while the basic shared resources of the nation crumble. Let’s drop the malarkey, Republicans, and get back to building a great nation.


  1. Mark Anderson 2021-04-12

    Come on Cory, the republican party has now totally given in to lying and deceit. They live in another universe, trumpie is just the end result of their lies over decades. What can anyone say other than just vote and defeat them. The sidewalks in Highmore are all labeled from the WPA, what can you say to that, even back then the pubs let them build infrastructure now it’s nothing, so sad isn’t it?

  2. grudznick 2021-04-12

    Where is this money coming from?

  3. Rick S 2021-04-12

    Instead of a trickled down economy from tax cuts to (rephrase- no tax for) wealthy corporations and individuals (that never have worked out that way), build the economy up from ground level workers getting paid to improve buildings, roads, water systems, airports, schools, health facilities. Things that American businesses and individuals use or would use on a daily basis if built.
    Put the money to use on a level where local contractors, plumbers, electricians, manufactures etc get jobs by competitive bidding and expanding their work forces rather than huge defense contractors using political contributions and lobbyists to tilt grossly overspent contracts their way. Yes, we do need defense spending, but prioritize what America needs. Circulate the money and the benefits in the United States through the hands of working people not just financial investors and see how the tax base and collections actually grow instead of deteriorating which happens when you set on your….hands like Republicans would like us to do.
    Republicans have latched onto corporations for their financial support and will do whatever is asked of them to favor that support. McConnell was confused last week when he thought corporations should stay out of politics, but keep making political contributions. Should be no confusion, we see what they care about. Not you and me.

  4. Porter Lansing 2021-04-12

    Grudznick – 78 % of American voters agree that people with adjusted income over $400,000 annually and mega-corporations should have their taxes brought into line with the common folk. .
    PS … rich people, business owners, and corporations DON’T create jobs!
    Demand for the things they build and sell, creates jobs.
    -We all know exactly what what you lobbyist’s create.

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-04-12

    They print it in Washinton DC and Fort Worth Grudz.

  6. I’m No Dr. Seuss 2021-04-12

    Pubs want to dig in their heels and cry attention how they are “saving” America in our culture wars. Some of our senators want to acquit Trump twice while convicting Bill Clinton. Well, I am sick of it and hope every single one of those R rubber stamps retires or meets their rest during the next 20 years.

  7. John 2021-04-13

    Not surprisingly representative johnnson wants you to think small. johnson is against the infrastructure plan. johnson gives the impression that county highway superintendents and county commissioners exaggerate the poor condition their bridges and roads. Republicans had 4 years to bring up an infrastructure plan and a healthcare plan. Crickets. Crickets because governing is supposed to be about solving problems. But all republicans want to do is whine, attack, and obstruct.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-13

    From the Johnson interview John points out:

    “I think health care is important, but it is not infrastructure. I think day care is important but it is not infrastructure. I think elder care is important but it is not infrastructure. He’s calling all of that infrastructure. If that stuff is infrastructure, everything is infrastructure. I don’t want to live in a country where words have no meaning,” Johnson said [Tom Hanson, “Congressman Dusty Johnson Not a Fan of President’s Infrastructure Plan,” KELO-TV, 2021.04.12].

    I don’t want to live in a country with crappy infrastructure.

    But for Pete (Buttigieg!)’s sake: are we really going to let Republicans turn a debate about investing in our nation’s economic future into a quibble about the definition of infrastructure? Who cares what we call it? Let’s invest in things that make South Dakota and the whole country stronger!

  9. Richard Schriever 2021-04-13

    grudz – First of all – as i have explained almost innumerable times – ALL MONEY IS DEBT – a bunch of IOUs. It’s only real value is it’s utility as a measure of the POTENTIAL indebtedness of those who don’t have it to those who do have it. It has never been anything else.

    Where those IOUs “come from” is a little thing called a government (US Treasury) printing press.

    Second, the Biden proposal is that the US government take some of those IOUs out of the hands of those who have too many to count (insert cartoon of Scrooge McDuck in his money bin here) and pass them over to people who have the knowledge, skills, abilities and materials to accomplish the tasks outlined (which the Scrooges do NOT) in exchange for the accomplishment of those specific tasks that benefit us all.

    Get a clue.

  10. Porter Lansing 2021-04-13

    SD ranks among the bottom five states in “innovation skills”. Those who think outside the box are neither glorified or rewarded. In short, new things are scorned.

    – Infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms. Serving a country, city, or other area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function.

    Your U.S. Rep is what’s known in science as a “shallow thinker”, in that corner of the box where few reside.

  11. Arlo Blundt 2021-04-13

    Well…only a little more than 2,000 miles of highway in bad shape??? South Dakota has this enormous network of car quaking gravel county and township roads that destroy suspensions and eat tires..I think this 2000 miles quoted must be just within the state and federal highway system. In a county I lived in they have been discussing paving 20 miles of “county highway” since the 1940’s. We are a very patient and tight fisted people.

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