The National Debt Doubled Under Bush
Like many of the enterprises owned by my peers in the business community, mine would probably gain a "little" something from Noem's plan, but I doubt that the cumulative effect would amount to much. We South Dakotans know from personal experience that there isn't any correlation between lower income taxes and economic stimulation. The fact that we don't even have a state income tax hasn't done much to spur economic growth in our state. We've certainly had an awful track record since 2011, the first year of Governor Dennis Daugaard's term. Since then our cumulative per capita GDP growth through 2016 has been .2% (yep, the decimal is in front of the "2"). That compares to a 6% total, nationally. In other words, U.S. growth during that period has been 30 times greater than South Dakota's. Tell me again how low or no income taxes stimulate economic growth.
If this anemic performance were a regional phenomenon, that would be one thing. But it's not. With the exception of energy market-hammered Wyoming, all of South Dakota's surrounding states have done significantly better than we have, and 5 of the 7 have state income taxes. Our state's "no income tax" appeal has been an illusion. Meantime, leapfrog Nebraska and check out Kansas. The results of Kansas' tax-cutting regimen based on the notion that lower taxes stimulate economic growth have been a complete bust. When Governor Sam Brownback took over in 2011 he vowed to turn Kansas into a fiscal conservative paradise by slashing state income taxes. The result actually turned out to be "paradise lost," with economic growth coming in at a fraction of the national rate and a budget shortfall this year of nearly $1 billion.
The national track record on tax cuts is just as bad. George W. Bush's cuts were followed by the worst recession since the 1930s and a doubling of the national debt. Reagan's led to a tripling of the national debt. I'll take a tax cut anytime, but spare me the baloney about how it will stimulate the economy.