Friday, March 25, 2016

Kristi's Krazy Krusade . . .

Right, Those Other Programs Are A Waste
A Lot Of Federal Lettuce In This Word Salad
(photo from
     Klever.  What else can you say? Kristi Noem is getting her re-election campaign (as South Dakota's GOP rep in the U.S. House of Representatives) underway with an appeal to fans of politics, basketball
and hypocrisy.  Pretty neat political hat trick that reveals much about her commitment to national Republican political rhetoric at the expense of her constituents here in South  Dakota.  Her zeal to shut down the government during a budget spat in 2013 virtually closed down the busy Fall tourist season in South Dakota's Black Hills and Badlands region, where the shuttering of national parks put our industry into a coma.  Then just last December she stood by with nary a word and voted for a spending bill that included the elimination of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat products. That effectively put South Dakota's ranching industry into a serious competitive disadvantage by having to compete with imported meats that don't completely inform American consumers (favored by 93% of them, by the way) as to where their products are coming from. "Disgusted" stockgrowers notwithstanding, I haven't heard much from Noem's office about any substantive efforts to restore COOL--and I most certainly invite a recap of concrete actions, not rhetoric, to do so from her office.
     I also wouldn't mind hearing an explanation from Noem as to how her contempt for excessive federal spending hasn't deterred her ag business operations in South Dakota from grabbing subsidies by the boatload over the years.  Noem's family farm operation helped itself to $3 million from '95 through '08, just part of a massive transfer of money from federal sources to South Dakota's ag industry that in 2012 totalled $721 million--actually $1.2 billion if subsidized crop insurance is added. Of some note, Noem's husband sells crop insurance, making this a family affair.  That Noem is now running on a meme that disses federal over-spending is startling and surreal.  
     Complaining about federal assistance I'm not.  No doubt these programs could stand some pruning, but for the most part I understand that they're a way of life in the American farm economy. Apparently on this both Noem and I agree.  But Noem's acceptance of this status quo in the context of
Noem's A High Seed . .
. . In The Hypocrisy Bracket
( pic from
her general derision of much federal spending is ludicrous, considering that all she's doing is bowing to the notion that special interests control the federal budget.  It's especially noteworthy considering that the doyennes of American conservative political and economic thought, The Heritage Foundation and The Cato Institute, have strongly opposed farm subsidies.  
     You could argue that Noem is simply exercising the "Trump option," which means that even though she may not like the system, she has to take advantage of it to stay competitive.  As a businessman I'm okay with that.  As a political observer, though, I'd say Kristi Noem is talking through her hat when she says she wants to rein in a federal system that does nothing but dispense money to her and to South Dakota's principal industry.  She ought to be honest about it and admit that she likes her federal programs as much as a lot of other people in this country like theirs.


  1. John, sorry but 'Honesty" and our current crop of Federal reps just don't correlate!

  2. John, she wants to keep her subsidies, it's the poor in this country she wants to cut off. You know, the ones getting free stuff.