We've all heard GOP Senate candidate Mike Rounds's risible vow to eliminate the Department of Education. Rounds repeated that empty promise in last week's candidates' debate. Pish posh: he won't fight for that Republican talking point any more than he'll repeal the Affordable Care Act.
But suppose he weren't kidding. Suppose Mike Rounds actually planned to turn the words wheezing through his plastic smile into action. What would happen?
As Bob Mercer points out, a tax-pocalypse for South Dakotans:
One of the candidates for federal office said last night he wants to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education. For the coming school year, that would be a loss of $191.9 million to the state Department of Education; the money for the most part gets passed down to local schools and cooperatives. Replacing that sliver of federal aid alone would require approximately 1.5 cents of additional state sales tax [Bob Mercer, "How About a Really, Really Big Tax Increase?" Pure Pierre Politics, 2014.05.16].
$191.9 million—recouping that loss would require a 15% increase in our general fund revenues. So when Mike Rounds says he wants to eliminate the Department of Education, he's saying he wants to increase our state taxes 15%.
Stace Nelson and Larry Rhoden probably can't make much hay out of that point, but we Democrats sure can. Whoo-hoo!