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South Dakota Real Median Income Crashes 15.7% Without Federal Pandemic Relief

The United States Census Bureau reported last week that real median income after taxes fell 8.8% from 2021 to 2022. Note that’s real income, figuring everything in terms of 2022 dollars. In raw dollars, median income nationwide increased 5.4% last year, but due to inflation, the median income could buy less stuff in 2022 than it could in 2021.

The Census Bureau breaks down real before-tax median income by state in this spreadsheet. Nationally, real (i.e., measured in 2022 dollars) median before-tax household income dropped 2.3%, from $76,330 to $74,580. In South Dakota, real median before-tax income dropped 15.7%, from $79,680 to $67,180, lower than the median income in 2018. South Dakota’s drop was the largest in the nation—only four other states (Idaho, Kansas, New Hampshire, and Vermont) saw double-digit-percentage decreases.

The Census explains that the decrease in median income stemmed from ending lots of helpful pandemic socialism:

This dramatic difference can be attributed to key changes in federal tax policy.

In 2022, several policies enacted by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expired, including an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for filers without children and full refundability of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). ARPA also increased the maximum amount of CTC.

In 2020 and 2021, most households also received Economic Impact Payments (EIP) that were no longer issued in 2022 [John Creamer and Matt Unrath, “End of Pandemic-Era Expanded Federal Tax Programs Results in Lower Income, Higher Poverty,” U.S. Census Bureau, 2023.09.12].

South Dakota’s real median income boomed above the national median thanks to federal assistance during the pandemic. When we knocked those federal supports out from under South Dakota’s paychecks, South Dakota’s real median income crashed back below pre-pandemic levels.

You’d think the strongest economy in America would be able to sustain income gains without federal handouts.


  1. P. Aitch 2023-09-21 07:25

    Morning Solutions over coffee’.

    To increase the USA’s real median income through modern socialism, consider the following approaches:
    *Just read the titles of each paragraph if you’re busy this morning. Love ‘ya, shipmates.
    1. Progressive Taxation: Implement a progressive tax system that places a higher burden on the wealthier segments of society. This would allow the government to redistribute wealth and provide increased funding for social welfare programs.

    2. Affordable Housing: Address the issue of rising housing costs and lack of affordable housing by implementing rent control measures, investing in public housing projects, and providing subsidies for low-income individuals and families.

    3. Universal Healthcare: Establish a universal healthcare system that ensures everyone has access to affordable and quality healthcare services. This would reduce the financial burden of medical expenses on households, freeing up more income for other purposes.

    4. Quality Education: Prioritize education and provide equitable access to quality education for all citizens. Enhancing public education, making college more affordable, and investing in vocational training programs can help improve employment prospects and earning potential for individuals.

    5. Job Creation and Fair Wages: Promote job creation by attracting investment, supporting local businesses, and incentivizing industries that provide well-paying jobs. Additionally, implement policies that set minimum wage standards according to living costs, enabling workers to earn a fair income.

    6. Worker Empowerment: Encourage worker participation and representation in decision-making processes within businesses. Enhancing worker rights and strengthening unions can lead to improved working conditions, higher wages, and increased bargaining power.

    7. Income Support Programs: Expand and strengthen programs such as unemployment benefits, food assistance, and childcare subsidies to provide a financial safety net for those in need.

    8. Green Economy: Invest in the development of an environmentally-friendly economy, promoting the growth of green industries and sustainable technologies. This can create job opportunities while addressing concerns related to climate change.

    It is important to note that these suggestions align with modern socialist principles and seek to achieve a balance between economic growth and social welfare. Implementing such measures would require comprehensive planning, effective governance, and public support.

    AI Generated ~ fully curated & edited by P.AItch

  2. larry kurtz 2023-09-21 07:26

    COVID South Dakota 2022-23:
    Updated 9-20-23
    22,346 Total cases (+559)
    169 Deaths(+8)
    1,060 Hospitalizations (+30)

  3. O 2023-09-21 08:26

    Our GOP friends decided not to continue the child tax credit. That boosted real income and reduced child poverty. Combine that with the elimination of free school lunches, and the result has been a doubling if child poverty in the past year.

    Our nations investor/owner class mindset in battling inflation is destroying the workers — the REAL drivers of any economy.

  4. Marie 2023-09-21 09:08

    For the bottom 60% of South Dakotans, SD’s 2022 15.7% drop in median before-tax income
    will continue to be compounded by the 4th most regressive state and local tax system in the nation.
    SD’s reverse Robin Hood tax system boasts of no progressive income tax, and relies heavily on regressive property and sales taxes.
    The bottom 20% pays 11.2% of income for state and local taxes–while the top 1% pays only 2.5%.

  5. All Mammal 2023-09-21 12:55

    Conservatives believe the only way to end poverty is by letting you keep more of your minimum wage….but then they still tax it so you don’t waste it by spending it.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2023-09-21 18:57

    First and Foremost…Remember: The South Dakota Tax Code is very, very cynical.

  7. leslie 2023-09-22 09:28

    Internal Revenue Service agent told South Dakota Public Broadcasting… ICIJ’s Pandora Papers investigation revealed the state had become a financial secrecy hub. Special agent Tom… Larson did not say which South Dakota companies were suspected of holding Russian assets or which oligarchs were currently being investigated by the IRS.

    The agency had also identified foreign nationals from outside Russia, including from China, benefiting from state’s highly confidential trusts, he said.

    “We also see a lot of Chinese individuals, business owners, and such, they want to keep their money out of the country — out of China, that is,” Larson told SDPB.

    “So they look at the U.S. as a safe place to hold their money … they also don’t want the Chinese government to know where the money is. So, they’re also doing it in trust in South Dakota because of the privacy laws that South Dakota has.”

  8. leslie 2023-09-22 09:53

    Trump and the adult family members he made executives there—Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric—persistently inflated the size and value of property to snag better bank loans and claim bigger tax breaks. They now face a $250 million lawsuit from New York AG Letitia James which seeks to cripple the corporation. [Trump] opened a new corporation in the shell company capital of Delaware, comically called “Trump Organization II.” And on Wednesday, he filed a state lawsuit in Florida’s Palm Beach County against the AG’s office trying to keep it from ever accessing any funds he shelters in a legal entity known as a “trust.” The lawsuit seeks a judicial order “declaring that James has no jurisdiction over the assets of a Florida revocable trust.”

    Bear, wouldn’t it be nice to know Trump hides assets on the backs of friendly South Dakotan’s “real median before-tax income dropped 15.7%, from $79,680 to $67,180, lower than the median income in 2018. South Dakota’s drop was the largest in the nation”.

  9. leslie 2023-09-22 10:11

    Trump, Sx Falls:

    “I’m the only president that ever lost money while serving in office,” he said to a crowd during a Friday, September 8 appearance in South Dakota. “I lost a number of billions… I could’ve made a fortune. I could’ve gone to these countries and made deals. I put thing in trusts, I said my kids are gonna run it. I said, ‘Don’t do deals outside of the country’… They go, ‘Dad can we do something? I said, ‘No, you know, I’m president. We have a higher standard.'”

    South Dakota legislature has been passing trust bills they profess they don’t understand, for years. Kristi thinks her next act is VP.

  10. chris 2023-09-22 10:57

    ” Our team had a very productive meeting with @USTreasury.
    We discussed South Dakota’s ongoing projects that will benefit every American.

    We will continue looking for clarification on guidance and regulations impacting SD programs and departments. “

  11. chris 2023-09-22 11:12

    Why is Kristi Noem suddenly paying any Heed to Federal Regulations that might “Impact” SD Programs or Departments? Is Noem no longer a Proponent of De-Regulation? Why is She now so attentive to Big Government intruding on the Personal Properties of the (SD located) everyman? Is The Republic of South Dakota no longer “Open For Business”?

  12. leslie 2023-09-22 14:08

    “For perhaps $2,000 to $25,000, they can set up a trust that, in some instances, allows its beneficiaries to control their money while embracing the legal fiction that they don’t control it – a bit of paper-shuffling creativity that helps shield assets from creditors, law enforcement and ex-spouses.”

    chris—“The secret files provide a layer of behind-the-curtain context to public pronouncements this year about wealth and offshore refuges — as governments around the world struggle with revenue crunches, a pandemic, climate change and public distrust.”

    I would ask, what is Noem’s reason for making this public announcement? More “damage control” like her statement at the Trump Sioux Falls rally last week concerning the then pending Lewandowski adultery confirmation. She still has not denied the NYPost/Daily Mail story.

    The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change urged policymakers to seek, among other measures, higher taxes on land and homes. Blair, the institute’s founder and executive chairman, talked about how the rich and well-connected shirk paying their share of taxes—

    “For those who can employ the right accountants, the tax system is a haven of scams, perks … and profits,” he said during a speech in England’s West Midlands. “We should not make our tax rules a playground for …. tax abusers who pay little or nothing while others pay more than their share.”

    Like Noem, Blair was exposed by the truth.

    The Pandora Papers show that, in 2017, Blair and his wife, Cherie, became the owners of a $8.8 million Victorian building by acquiring the British Virgin Islands company that held the property. The London building now hosts Cherie Blair’s law firm. By purchasing the company shares instead of the building, the Blairs benefited from a legal arrangement that saved them from having to pay more than $400,000 in property taxes.

    “These are loopholes that are available to wealthy people but not available to others,” Robert Palmer, executive director of Tax Justice UK, told The Guardian. “Politicians need to fix the tax system so that everyone pays their fair share.”

    In December 2018, the Bahamas enacted legislation requiring companies and certain trusts to declare their real owners to a government registry. The island nation was under pressure from larger countries, including the U.S., to do more to block tax dodgers and criminals from the financial system.

    Some Bahamian politicians opposed the move. They complained the register would discourage Latin American clients from doing business in the Caribbean. “The winners of these new double standards are the U.S. states of Delaware, Alaska and South Dakota,” one local attorney said.

    Months later, a confidential document indicated that the family of the Dominican Republic’s former Vice President Carlos Morales Troncoso had abandoned the Bahamas as a go-to sanctuary for their wealth.

    For their new refuge, they chose a place 1,600 miles away: Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

    The family set up South Dakota trusts, leaked records show, to lay away various assets, including shares they’d held in a Dominican sugar company. The family did not respond to questions about the assets moved from the Bahamas to South Dakota.

    The Pandora Papers provide details about tens of millions of dollars moved from offshore havens in the Caribbean and Europe into South Dakota, a sparsely populated American state that has become a major destination for foreign assets.

    ***Consider where SD would be today under the Democratic leadership of Britton SD accountant/legislator Susan Wismer as governor (she lost that 2014 race).***

    Year after year in South Dakota, state lawmakers have approved legislation drafted by trust industry insiders, providing more and more protections and other benefits for trust customers in the U.S. and abroad. Customer assets in South Dakota trusts have more than quadrupled over the past decade to $360 billion.

    “As a citizen, I’m so sad that my state was the state that opened Pandora’s box,” Susan Wismer, a former lawmaker, told ICIJ.

    When an offshore provider or jurisdiction is exposed by a leak or comes under pressure from authorities, others use its misfortune as a marketing opportunity, snapping up clients fleeing for safer havens.

    Over the last 20 years, political leaders have vowed to “eradicate” tax havens. They’ve called shell companies and money laundering “threats to our security, our democracy and our way of life.” They’ve passed new laws and inked international agreements.

    But the system is nothing if not adaptable, and cross-border financial crime and tax dodging continue to thrive.

    Many obstacles remain. Big banks, law firms and other powerful groups often oppose stronger transparency rules and tougher enforcement against abuses.


    In South Dakota under corrupt Republican leadership we have became the problem. Our legislature has become co-opted.

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