Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Might I Add "Self-Aggrandizing" and "Delusional," Lieutenant Governor Michels?

     South Dakota Republican Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels just came up with a doozy.
SD Lt. Gov. Michels.  "We're Collectively Brilliant"
Might I Add  "Self-Aggrandizing" And "Delusional?"
(photo from http://sd.gov/governor/aboutmatt.aspx)
Talking to WNAX Radio this morning he said of himself, his boss Governor Dennis Daugaard, and the administration's propensity to replace action with study groups ("workforce summits," "blue ribbon" education panels, among others), "we might be smart individually but collectively we're brilliant." Michels went on to talk glowingly about the "data driven" prospects for Daugaard's  latest effort at understanding the obvious, which in this case is the simple fact that we're either at or close to the bottom in virtually every element of spending and performance in our public schools.  The "data driven" part really rankles, because last year's report on Daugaard's "workforce summit" initiative failed to address the most obvious piece of data relevant to our state's chronic labor shortage: the gap between wages in South Dakota and wages in our surrounding states.  This comes across more as "data indifferent" than "data driven."  

     If Michels characterizes this omission as "collective" brilliance, what do you suppose he thinks of the administration's overall performance these days?  Remember, this is the same Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels who yesterday dished out the disturbing news that South Dakota's economy is "somewhat soft" and that "we've had to revise down where we're at."  Michels was standing in for Governor Daugaard at the governor's weekly legislative news conference.  Why Daugaard missed this weekly gathering is unknown, but I'm sure it would have been a rather squirmy confrontation, considering how a year ago his outlook for the state's economy was bullishly optimistic and how badly South Dakota's actual numbers have missed the mark, creating a shortfall in tax receipts that Michels had to acknowledge at yesterday's conference.   More difficult for these "collectively" brilliant folks to deal with is the fact that South Dakota lags behind state revenue performance and projections around the country, per the
Our State Pastry, Kuchen
Looks Like We'll Have To Settle For The Smaller Pie This Year
(photo from library.ndsu.edu)
National Association of State Budget Officers. NASBO projects state general fund revenues, nationally, to "increase by 3.1% in fiscal 2015."  So far South Dakota's numbers have been up an anemic 1.1% and will very likely fall far short of the state's hopes for a 2.8% gain as fiscal '15 winds down. 

      Considering that the overall U.S. inflation rate during the past few years has been hovering between 1.5% and 2%, the numbers for South Dakota look even worse.  Not being able to keep up with inflation means that real revenues are actually down.  So where's the "collective" brilliance in all this, Lieutenant Governor Michels?  My comments section is yours to access.  


  1. In a real world? Chicago lawyer Dennis Daugaard and Matt Michels would be Democrats. In SD they are fast talking moderates who tax, spend, create more government, and push crony-capitalism.

  2. Shirley Harrington-MooreFebruary 24, 2015 at 8:27 AM

    Looks like we may be headed south like as in Kansas.

  3. He sent his "deputy" to give the bad news? No wonder SD education is in trouble. Look at their LEADER.

  4. Not to make excuses for the Gov. but earlier in the week the Governors were meeting in DC.. You wouldn't want to give the bad news, let the underling take the heat. Saw that the GOP governors were encouraging congress to shut down the Homeland Security funding. But the article said many saw themselves as possible Presidential material.
    I have seen Michels in action 4 or 5 times and I sure don't care for his style. Always tries to be funny and just isn't.

  5. Maybe they should consider letting somebody besides ALEC write their policy. Just a thought.