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Chamber’s Owen Self-Contradicts on Ed/Med Sales Tax, Corporate Welfare

When Steve Sibson takes his meds and stops screaming about Masons, he can make some great points. For example, Sibson perfectly skewers the self-serving inconsistency of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce in its opposition to both Referred Law 14 and Initiated Measure 15.

First, Sibby cites this Ross Dolan article in the December 16 Mitchell Daily Republic, in which S.D. Chamber president Dave Owens says the Chamber opposes IM15's proposed 1% sales tax increase because it dedicates the new revenue to education and health care. The Chamber says the Legislature should retain full control over how that money is spent:

Owen said the state chamber is more comfortable with legislative conclusions being the long-term way to make those decisions, he said. "That's why we have a Legislature" [Ross Dolan, "SD Chamber President: Referendums [sic] Will Play Key Session Roles," Mitchell Daily Republic, 2011.12.16].

Owen then turns on a dime and defends Referred Law 14, under which the Legislature surrenders millions of dollars in spending authority to the Governor's corporate welfare program. Sibby highlights the contradiction:

So when it comes to the sales tax issue, the Chamber says the legislature should control how it is spent, but when it comes to excise tax, the legislature should be bypassed and contol should be placed in a committee of business specials interests under the direction of the governor. Clearly the political positions of the SD Chamber of Commerce is not based on conservative principles, but instead based on what is best for its big corporate special interests [Steve Sibson, "SD Chamber of Commerce's Position on Ballot Measures Shows Its Greed and Socialist Agenda," Sibby Online, 2011.12.16].

Sibby, you can be so good when you're not crazy. Please, give up mentioning "Masons," "New World Order," and "New Age Theocracy" for the next three months. (I'll let you keep "socialism.") Do that, and you'll see your readership double by the end of the Legislative session. Guaranteed.


  1. larry kurtz 2011.12.19

    he's not crazy...he's my brother.

  2. Stan Gibilisco 2011.12.19

    If we really need the revenue, and if the people become convinced that we need it, then I have no problem with a penny sales tax increase.

    However, dedicating that "extra penny" to any particular program of branch of government would present an administrative problem, wouldn't it? Couldn't it also foster some resentment, seeing as education gets a pretty big slice of the revenue pie already?

    If we have no choice but to raise taxes in this fragile economy (a questionable move, as Cory indicated in the post about the payroll tax), I'd rather see the sales tax go up by a penny with a new exemption for groceries. That option might actually win in a popular vote. I suspect that all other proposals I've heard about (such as the one mentioned here, or getting rid of exemptions entirely) would lose in a popular vote.

    Keep in mind what happened in Colorado when they put the idea to the voters, "Increase taxes to fund education." Even in that relatively more liberal state, the people trounced the dedicated tax increase.

    Also keep in mind what happened last year in solidly liberal Washington state where they (led by Bill Gates) proposed a new state income tax for millionaires. It went down by a two-two-one margin when it came to a referendum!

    If we really need more revenue (and I won't try to say here whether we do or not), we should find a way to get it that the people will accept. Otherwise the whole debate, petition process, and referendum will constitute nothing more than a waste of time and a dissipation of hope.

    When and if we manage to get a tax hike through a referendum, we'll to trust our legislators to "do the right thing" with the new revenue. That's a whole 'nother blog post topic, of course! If we can't trust the legislators we've got, then we had better fire them and hire some new ones.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.12.20

    Stan, your position sounds like that of the Chamber (without the thoughtless contradiction): they're o.k. with the extra tax if it's needed; they just don't want it locked up in two programs. As for resentment, I'm inclined to say tough shiskey: if ed/med are the two most important programs, then folks working in or benefiting from other programs will just have to deal with it.

    Recent voting trends in other states do indeed bode ill for this effort. You get me thinking: the initiative and referendum process is a rather blunt instrument compared to the regular legislative process. We the People have to place our proposals on the ballot a full year ahead of time. We have to finalize the wording before we even circulate petitions. The lengthy public debate doesn't allow us offer amendments that could improve the proposal's workability and appeal to voters. We should expand the referendum process into a People's Forum where citizens would first come together (online, of course!) to debate the issues, craft and amend wording, then offer final wording for a public vote. Allow the People's Forum to meet, debate, and propose legislation until April 1; then give signature gatherers 90 days to qualify their proposals for the ballot. Candidates get until summer convention to qualify for the statewide ballot; so should initiatives and referenda.

  4. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Cory, suppose we could get the LRC to help us write 'em?

  5. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    "Do that, and you’ll see your readership double by the end of the Legislative session."

    Cory, first off thanks for seeing the common sense analysis that I put forward. For me truth is more important than popularity, so I will not drop the core source of our problems in order to become a popular read. The Chamber is nothing more and nothing less than a cog of the New World Order.

    And in regard for the need for more revenue...Medicaid spending for the year ended June 30, 2011 is way below budget and way below the FY2010 level. If that truth becomes well known, the ballot measures dies. Unless a second truth becomes known...we need more revenue to fund RoundsCare (SB38 implementation of ObamaCare last session). Can Democrats understand that their Big Government feeds Big Business?

  6. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    I'm in the process of reordering my Cliff Notes on the Steve Sibson political philosophy now that all these new revelations have come to light for him.

    There was a time when he would have fervently argued against any form of I&R or any semblance of direct democracy, insisting instead that ours is a Republic and that such democratic thinking will lead to either a tyranny of the majority or a tyranny of the minority depending on the contest.

    Anyway his message was clear if I recall:

    Democracy = bad.
    Elected representation = good.

    I can't tell if he believes this anymore.

    I think he just might be ready to abandon the whole pagan "Democracy" experiment all together and go back to some form of tribal thingy where a leader takes orders directly from on high and we either do what the old man says or else.

    Maybe Sib can straighten me out here.

    I do get it that he's fed up with those Masons and us secularists trying to pretend that our non-religious approach to government isn't really a religion even though it isn't.

    But that's about as far as I can get.

    Because just as I finished typing that sentence out, I heard a little crackling noise between my ears and saw some blue and white sparks behind my eyeballs... and now there's some funny smelling bluish smoke is coming out of my ears.

  7. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Above ...depending on the conteXt, not conteSt, although "contest" kinda works too, especially since I'm not sure if I'm really trying to make any specific point.

    This Sibby approach is starting to rub off on me Cory.

    Will you call my shrink if I refuse to tell you his number?

  8. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    Bill, greed and corruption will destroy any form of government. Greed and corruption can only be dealt with when it is exposed to the air of public awareness. I think that should be the point that comes out of the conversation happening at the SDWC regarding the SDGOP leadership in bed with the LRC. Secrecy is an important ingredient for greed and corruption to come into existence. Thus, the issue of secret societies are paramount in understanding what is the core source of our problems. In Pierre the most powerful secret society is the Republican closed legislative caucus. Committee hearings are viewed as open governemnt. But when the outcome of the hearing is determined ahead of time in secret, then openness is gone. The analysis exposed on this thread makes it clear that the greed of special interests is what is being served in Pierre, not the people of South Dakota.

  9. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    So to be clear, you're not supportive of representative government any more, is that right Sibby? Are you now instead an advocate of direct democracy? Or have you become an anarchist?

    Still trying to nail down your politics here, brother.

    You're so coy about it these days.

  10. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    p.s. Sibby, isn't Stace Nelson arguing that the information on his bill should have been kept secret? I ask because you write "Secrecy is an important ingredient for greed and corruption to come into existence."

  11. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    p.p.s. Oh and Steve, aren't you also the one who is refusing to tell us who the people behind the bogus "Republican Purity Test" site are? A site that you and Nelson helped create, so we know that you both know.

    I ask because you write “Secrecy is an important ingredient for greed and corruption to come into existence.”

    What's up Sib? Are you gonna come clean about this or not?

  12. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    (...personally I think this whole New Age, Shirley Templton, Mason thingy of Sibby's is a smokescreen so he and his black-arts, wing-nut, Bircher pals can carry on their secret holy roller skullduggery unnoticed while wrapping themselves in the bible and the flag and pointing fingers at unicorns and other figments of their limited imaginations.)

  13. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    Bill, we are all sinful and fall short.

  14. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    Bill, now you are the paranoid conspiracy nutcase.

  15. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Oh, brother. What a cop out. Go to your room, Sibby.

  16. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    The difference between what I write, Steve, and what you write is that I am writing parody and satire, and you I fear, are not.

  17. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    I have promised you I would ridicule you relentlessly until you make your ideas more distinct and rational Sibby. It would be dishonest of you to pretend that you were not forewarned or that you do not know exactly what I am doing here. I'm exposing you for the mountebank that you are. When are you ever going to stop doing it?

  18. troy jones 2011.12.20

    Good point Bill. Quite a contradiction to demand openness from others but not live by it yourself. Kinda Saul Alinsky-ish if you ask me.

  19. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Indeed, Troy, Saul Alinsky's book is the radical right's new political bible. Ironic, isn't it? It's kind of like listening to Pat Boone trying to sing "Good Golly Miss Molly" like Little Richard, but hey, you can at least recognize the tune, right?

  20. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    "Quite a contradiction to demand openness from others but not live by it yourself."

    I am being open about who I am and what I stand for. It is not my fault that others don't want to be exposed to Fleming's "ridicule" and RINO retaliation.

    Bill, listen very carefully, because this si the second time I said this:

    I advised then to identify themselves. They decided not to agree with me.

    Do you that straight Bill, or are you still spinning like a top to help the RINOs hide their secret agenda.

  21. tara 2011.12.20

    Do we need to separate you two?

  22. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Then you should expose them Sibby.
    Otherwise you are a co-conspirator.
    You can't have it both ways.

    You're either in the "Skull and Bones" club or you ain't.

  23. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    You have one out, Sib. Did they pay you to help them? And was part of that payment an agreement that you would keep their identities confidential?

  24. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    tara, LOL. Not just yet, we're just now getting to the good stuff.

  25. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    Bill, I do not plan to operate under your conditions. You and the RINO tyrants are the last vulchers I would throw anybody to. Sorry you tyrants like and ever controlling Big Government. Why do citizens, who simply want to expose the voting records of their representatives to their neighbors, have to line up in front of the firing squads of you governmental tyrants?

  26. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    And Bill, your actions tnd the threats Stace is receiving at the SDWC is proof to support my last comment.

  27. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    And I would go over to the SDWC and say these things, but I am locked out. And Bill, you are on record approving that lock out. Again, proof positive that you and the RINOs are tyrants who expect others to operate under standards that you yourselves refuse.

  28. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Sibby is a "vulcher" like a "voucher" with wings, a long neck, and beak?

    Or do you mean "vulture?" They're sacred birds in most ancient societies, you know? They get rid of the dead yuck so the environment stays healthy.

  29. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Aww... poor Sibby. Always with the persecution act. That's textbook paranoid politics in case you forgot, brother. You and Stace are milking it for all it's worth, I see. Too late. Everybody's onto ya, Stevie.

  30. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    There is a tactic of tyrant. Threaten to "ridiclule" and then mocks when the victim mentions it. Bill, you are the one that is also complaining about some kind of bircher conspiracy here. How does the paranoia shoe fit on the the left foot?

  31. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    "Did they pay you to help them?"

    I mention greed and corruption and look who is worried about money.

  32. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Pretty evasive answers, Sibby.

    You're losing a whole bunch of debate points here, bud. You have free reign here to say anything you please, and all you can do is whine that SDWC won't let you post on their blog?

    Kind of pathetic.

    How about you just answer the questions here?

    Are you in cahoots with the guys who are trying to throw a monkey wrench into the workings of our State government or not?

    I really don't care one way or the other. I just find it interesting that you won't own up to it and instead are pointing accusatory fingers at anybody and everybody else instead of taking responsibility for your own actions.

    You're being secretive even as you accuse everybody of conspiring against you.

    That dog ain't just gonna hunt, Sib.

    It's truth time, baby.

  33. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    "Are you in cahoots with the guys who are trying to throw a monkey wrench into the workings of our State government or not?"

    Bill, thanks for showing your true colors. Wow!

  34. Stan Gibilisco 2011.12.20

    "As for resentment, I’m inclined to say tough shiskey: if ed/med are the two most important programs, then folks working in or benefiting from other programs will just have to deal with it."

    But they won't, especially if they know that that's what you think of them.

  35. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    So, is that a yes or a no, Steve?

  36. Stan Gibilisco 2011.12.20

    The foregoing comment applies a ways back, BTW -- to Cory's comment right after my original one (Nos. 2 and 3 in this thread).

  37. Stan Gibilisco 2011.12.20

    Let writers live tax free, say I! And let the rest of you just deal with it!

  38. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Here is the list of your unanswered questions, Sibby:

    1. Are you supportive of representative government any more?

    2. Or are you now instead an advocate of direct democracy?

    3. Or have you become an anarchist?

    4. Isn’t Stace Nelson arguing that the information on his bill should have been kept secret?

    5. Aren’t you also the one who is refusing to tell us who the people behind the bogus “Republican Purity Test” site are? A site that you and Nelson helped create, so we know that you both know.

    6. Did they pay you to help them?

    7. And was part of that payment an agreement that you would keep their identities confidential?

    Better get busy Sibby. These things are starting to pile up over here.

  39. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    Stan, it's not unusual to have specific taxes allocated for specific purposes.

  40. Stan Gibilisco 2011.12.20

    But part of one specific tax allocated to one specific purpose?

    If I'm wrong -- if in fact there would be no administrative burden (which would cut into the tax revenues in effect) -- then okay, it's not a bad plan.

    Problem is, I think the voters will kill it in the referendum, 57-43. Then what? Figure out some way to bypass the people's will?

  41. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    I guess I'm not tracking what your objection is, Stan. It's not uncommon for example to have an extra penny tax added so a community can build a new airport. The new tax is a specific proportion increase of an existing tax allocated for a specific purpose. What's the problem with that?

  42. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    "So, is that a yes or a no, Steve?"

    Bill, are you really that parnoid that you think that the State Government is being taken over? I thought you Democrats were the ones that want to take it from the SDGOP. Looks more and more like you are in with the RINOs.

  43. Stan Gibilisco 2011.12.20

    Bill, I guess the problem derives from the apparent fact that I don't know anything about how tax departments work (thank God!).

  44. Bill Fleming 2011.12.20

    I didn't say "taken over. " I said "monkey wrench." Gumming up the works. Two completely different things, Sib.

  45. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. No
    4. Need to ask Stace
    5. None of your business, unless you are a card carrying member of the RINOs.
    6. None of your business.
    7. None of your business.

  46. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    Bill, so are you a member the the Chamber of Commerce?

  47. Stan Gibilisco 2011.12.20

    Maybe I can divert the skirmish between Bill and Sibby if I remark that Cory's response to my original comment did get my hackled up a bit.

    Cory, do you mean to say that we ought to keep the payroll tax cut at the federal level, yet impose an extra tax at the state level?

    Do you really think you'll win over any supporters by telling those who don't like your ideas "tough shitskey?"

    Okay, I've made a sitting duck out of myself. Go for it!


  48. Steve Sibson 2011.12.20

    "Two completely different things, Sib."

    Bill, then provide a link as to what you believe is going on. Or is this all just something you are imagining?

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