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BFM: Economy Better Than Noem Says

Even Governor Kristi Noem’s own budget experts don’t support her Trumpist campaign rhetoric about President Joe Biden somehow tanking the robust American economy. In budget overview slides they’ll present to the Joint Appropriations Committee when the Legislative Session opens tomorrow, the Bureau of Finance and Management cites S&P Global’s projection that economic recession will not happen and inflation will continue to decline:

Bureau of Finance and Management, slides prepared for Joint Appropriations, retrieved 2024.01.07.
Bureau of Finance and Management, slides prepared for Joint Appropriations, retrieved 2024.01.07.

Here at home, BFM says South Dakota will see employment level off, just like the national job count, but housing starts in South Dakota will retreat much more from their pandemic boom than national housing starts:

BFM, 2024.01.07.
BFM, 2024.01.07.

The healthy economy means legislators have 2.7% more revenue to finish out this fiscal year than they  budgeted last winter and may plan on having 5.0% more revenue available to budget for the coming fiscal year:

BFM, 2024.01.07.
BFM, 2024.01.07.

Hmmm… the robust economy will bring in 5% more revenue, but Governor Noem is proposing only 4% increases for K-12 education, medical provider reimbursement, vo-techs, and state employee pay. Governor Noem’s economic propaganda appears to be hindering her grasp of budget realities.


  1. sx123 2024-01-08 06:48

    With the US debt going parabolic ($34T), JP Morgan is warning of a ‘boiling frog” problem.

    Credit Karma says that “In 2023, more than half of Americans’ financial situations worsened”.

    So, someone is making money, but prices are way too high for many. Bell peppers at $2.50 each. Iceberg lettuce at $2.99/head. New Expeditions at $90k. Rent and housing prices are insane.

    For now, some frogs are enjoying the hottub, but the water is at 211 deg F.

  2. John 2024-01-08 07:30

    As much as we, (and I) grouse about the un and anti-democratic political management of the state and nation . . . the general course set up by the founders and other good stewards of our democratic republic carries water in the rest of the world.
    As seen through the eyes of much of the world, Fareed explains:

  3. Edwin Arndt 2024-01-08 09:07

    Just because the state might have more money to spend doesn’t
    mean the state has to budget to spend it all. It seems to me that
    prudence would suggest leaving a little cushion.

  4. sx123 2024-01-08 10:19

    @larry – that article is an example of the frogs coming to a boil. :)

    Here’s another headline from Bloomberg today: “Private U.S. companies increasingly going bust as profit shrinks”

    Although the inflation _rate_ is coming down, with elevated interest rates and the catastrophic price increases due to inflation the last few years (not just from Biden’s term), 212 degrees is approaching.

  5. larry kurtz 2024-01-08 10:29

    Bankers are enslaving Republican welfare farmers to plant subsidized corn so bankers can lend money to CO2 pipelines and rip up another 2000 miles of prairie already at risk to bankers? Is America great or what!

  6. Algebra 2024-01-08 11:50

    Blather about the improving economy means nothing to people whose employers aren’t giving them raises, and the cost of gas and groceries is going up.
    There is an adage about the perception of the health of an economy: a recession is when your neighbor is out of work, a depression is when you are out of work. It’s true: how you perceive economic conditions depends entirely on what is happening to you personally.

  7. O 2024-01-08 12:04

    Algebra, I agree 100% about perception; the problem is have people’s perceptions been so perverted by politics that they no longer pay attention to the reality around them? Also how “comfortable” to people need to be to FEEL financially comfortable?

    I am constantly dismayed how people — especially in conservative states — will not take actual steps to improve their economic conditions like join labor unions or change jobs; instead they hold that lot in life and vote for the snake oil salesmen-politicians who foster their discontent for votes (to continue that discontent).

  8. Richard Schriever 2024-01-08 12:31

    Edwin – if you have ever designed and implemented a budget – you would know that one of the elements is “reserves”, or “savings”. What you seem to be addressing is “spending” it all vs. budgeting it all. In addition, a budget is a general – adjustable – guideline, not a set-in-stone mandate.

  9. Richard Schriever 2024-01-08 12:40

    Algebra – to O’s point, I (and my co-workers) am employed in a closed (100% union) shop and have received wage and benefit increases for the last 4 years that have significantly outpaced inflation. What is truly amazing to me is that many of them continue to be Trump supporters. From my direct experiences, I will posit that “The economy” is just an excuse used by Trumpians to mask their true motivations for their political leanings (White Christo-fascism). It’s a lot easier to LIE about being in economic straits vs. admit one is who one is in relation to one’s attitude toward “those other” people.

  10. O 2024-01-08 14:43

    I would also add that the US policies to control inflation focus only on efforts that take money out of the hands of lower and middle-class wage earners — not from the wealthy. Inflation need not be intrinsically harmful to those we target now; choosing to dry up the money supply from the investor-class/billionaires and price controls to stop price gouging are also options that policymakers choose not to use. As with all, ALL, fiscal/monetary policy, we choose winners and losers in what is implemented. The wealthy, the winners, just have better lobbyists. We choose who will be hurt and who will be held harmless in every financial crisis: inflation, housing, savings and loans . . .

  11. sx123 2024-01-08 19:05

    O, that seems to be the case. With military spending a whopping half of the budget, lots of large companies eating from that trough.

    If one’s wages aren’t keeping up with inflation and the extremely elevated prices, one is screwed (that would be most people).

    America is becoming no place for the middle class or even lower class. Quite a shame. It was a good experiment for a while.

    The days of most people being able to take that summer vacation without going farther into debt appear to be gone.

    No more buying a decent house or renting an apartment one can actually afford.

    Someone better get this sh*t figured out.

  12. Algebra 2024-01-09 08:27

    O, your comment about people who won’t take steps to improve their conditions, like change jobs, brings teachers to mind. All they do is complain, why don’t they change careers??? They keep showing up at political events to wail about how much they hate their jobs. What the hell is wrong with them?

    Richard Schriever, your comment about how you don’t understand how people who are doing well economically are still Trump supporters doesn’t actually make a lot of sense. It was the Trump tax cut, the nearly doubling of the standard deduction, that put money in middle class pockets. The middle class doesn’t file itemized returns. You can verify the statistics as to who itemizes and who doesn’t just by googling the subject: the very poor and the very wealthy itemize. The middle class files the standard deduction, hence they still like Trump. Plus, Trump was well aware of the effect of immigration on a local economy: it doesnt matter who the new arrivals are or where they come from, an influx of a large number people causes wages to fall and housing costs to rise. This pressure doesnt affect the very poor, who depend on public assistance, and it benefits the very wealthy, who own the rental properties and hire the labor, The people who are squeezed by immigration are the middle class. Supporting Trump makes a lot of sense if you are middle class.

    I think what is more curious is the anti-vaccine ideology of many Trump supporters. A Trumper who refuses the Covid vax is like a Christian who refuses to take Communion. That one makes no sense at all to me.

  13. jerry 2024-01-09 09:16

    Supporting the US Constitution and Democracy overrules your post Algebra. Only traitors support trump, only traitors, so good for you, you have a category. Your people were immigrants to this country that trump hates. Shame on you for dumping on them.

  14. jerry 2024-01-09 11:13

    South Dakota, regressive taxer. ““When we look at how states are taxing their residents, it’s clear they’re falling very far short of what most people consider to be a fair tax code,” said Carl Davis, ITEP’s research director.

    In the top 10 states with the most regressive systems — Florida, Washington, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Arkansas and Louisiana — the middle 60% of families pay an average of twice as much of their income in taxes as the top 1%, and the poorest 20% of residents pay an average of three times as much as the very wealthiest.

    Thirty-four states tax low-income households at a higher rate than every other group.

    “The core problem is not that complicated,” Davis said. “The problem is that state and local governments are raising most of their tax revenue from regressive taxes on what people buy, or the homes that they own or rent, and those expenses swallow up a larger share of income for low- and middle-income people.”

    Why you should vote to remove every republican from any form of government period, full stop.

  15. O 2024-01-09 11:38

    Algebra, IRS data on the 2018 tax season released in May 2019 shows that savings for taxpayers were uneven. For example, the average refund was $90 higher, nationally, in 2018 than 2017. But the taxpayers who saw the largest refund increases had an adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least $200,000. Tax returns showing an AGI of less than $100,000 paid less income tax overall, but returns with an AGI just above $100,000 (many middle-class families) owed more tax, on average.

    Although the standard deduction was doubled, but the personal exemptions (which included children) were eliminated. Many single-parent families got hit by this reduction of total exemptions.

    The cuts also drove up the deficit, which will fuel demand for further taxation (when Democrats hold the White House and Republicans hold congressional seats).

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