Pat Powers admits he's more of a big-government liberal than I am. In fronting for the crony capitalism South Dakota practices in the name of "economic development," Powers declares the following:
Our legislature needs to form a replacement plan for the large project fund. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the necessary thing [Pat Powers, "Jobs Are Priority #1," Dakota War College, 2013.01.12].
Translation: South Dakota needs government intrusion in the economy, because the free market on its own cannot solve our problems.
I would thank Mr. Powers for endorsing exactly the fundamental Adam Smithian view of the proper role of government that I've been advocating for years. Unfortunately, Mr. Powers still gets it wrong, using this reasonable principle to justify taxpayer handouts to really big corporations that can build their really big private projects without public assistance.
With his declaration of the essential nature of government involvement in the economy, one must wonder if Mr. Powers also considers House Bill 1060 "necessary." HB 1060 is the emergency revision of this year's state budget. Translation: spending increases. The biggest increase, 19% of the net $26.6 million the Governor wants to add to current spending, is the snudge over $5 million the Governor needs to cover the economic development promises he made last year, primarily to Bel Brands, without solid appropriations to back them up.
So there's a fun political question for the backers of crony capitalism and lovers of constitutional government: is it "necessary" for the Legislature to appropriate money to cover promises the Governor makes to private corporations without the Legislature's initial budgetary approval?