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Barth Bashes Deadly Noem Medicare Plan; GOP Doesn’t Like Death Panel Reflection

Jeff Barth has been hammering Republicans on health care so hard that they've felt obliged to respond. GOP tool-blog Dakota War College takes Barth to task for using the Holocaust-loaded phrase "Final Solution" in describing Rep. Kristi Noem's support for privatizing Medicare.

I will accept critiques from intelligent observers like The Displaced Plainsman that likening one's opponents to Nazis too easily invites Godwin's Law to negate one's message. Matt Varilek shows we can cream Noem on her ill-advised support for Paul Ryan's un-American (and un-Catholic) drive to destroy our social safety net for seniors without drawing Hitler mustaches on Noem (fun as that might be).

But I find the South Dakota GOP's selective linguistic sensitivity disgusting. Don't forget that the Noem conservatives made grouchy by Barth's bluntness have yet to disown the lying cries of "Death panels!" that they happily embraced to challenge President Obama's solution for America's health care woes.


  1. mike 2012.06.04

    Why would anyone compare anyone to one of the most evil people who have ever lived?

    Both parties should stop it.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.04

    If we get past the words, Barth's basic critique is dead on. When Kristi Noem proposes privatizing Medicare, she proposes a scheme that will serve only those who are healthy and wealthy. Everyone else will face quick medical bankruptcy or untreated disease and death. The travesty is not that Barth used the loaded words "final solution" to describe that policy and its likely outcomes; the travesty is the policy itself.

  3. larry kurtz 2012.06.04

    In South Dakota, right wing social engineering entered the modern age when Bill Janklow was elected attorney general where comparisons to his career to J. Edgar Hoover's would be just as fair.

  4. Douglas Wiken 2012.06.04

    Don't forget the GOP attacks on the "death taxes".

  5. WayneB 2012.06.04


    I don't care how you dress up an inheritance tax, I don't think governments should touch the same pot of money twice. If my dad dies and I inherit his house, I shouldn't have to sell off the estate just to pay for it.

    My father paid taxes on his income. He paid for the property with the remaining money he had after being taxed. He paid taxes on that property... why then should the government tax that wealth transfer?

  6. testor15 2012.06.04

    WayneB you paid no taxes on the gift. It would be a free gift to you, for what?

  7. WayneB 2012.06.04


    Say you buy a nice flatscreen TV from WalMart for $500. You pay the good state of South Dakota $20. Say you bought it in Sioux Falls - you're paying Sioux Falls an additional $10.

    Retailers like WalMart don't have to pay sales tax to wholesalers when they buy products to put on the shelves. Imagine if they did - every time that item changed hands, the state would get more funds - and we would pay more. Groceries would be even more expensive; so would fuel.

    Why, then, if we don't double tax retail goods, should we double tax personal property and wealth?

  8. Barry Smith 2012.06.04

    @ WayneB. Why have the inheritance tax? Maybe so that we don't become like Guatemala.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.04

    Personal property and wealth... beyond the excellent concentration point Barry raises, I'm curious about taxing pots of wealth more than once. My employer will give me about $3000 in this month's check. Uncle Sam takes income tax. I then use that pot to buy a lot of cereal at Hy-Vee. Governor Daugaard takes sales tax. I also use another chunk of that money to pay my brother to paint my house. Governor Daugaard takes contractor's excise tax. Is constant retaxing of my pot of money allowable in a way that the inheritance tax is not?

  10. WayneB 2012.06.04


    You're not being re-taxed. You're being taxed for different activities. You're paying for income generated by providing goods and services. You're paying for goods. You're paying for services.

    If your wife had to pay separate income taxes on what's left of that $3,000 you made because she gets to enjoy the privilege of having that money too (guilty by association), that would be re-taxing.

    Or, more to the point, if you gave that money to your daughter for a college fund, why should she have to pay income tax on it again? You just did!

    It'd be like Governor Daugaard forcing your daughter to pay a nickel every time you gave her some of your cereal in the morning. That food was paid for by you - taxes and all - to do with as you see fit; to eat yourself, to feed your wife and kids, or to give to the squirrels. Once you've paid your taxes, that property should be free to dispose of as you see fit.

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