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Red State Budget Model: Milk Uncle Sam, Neglect Public Goods

Professor Schaff takes to the paywalled pages of the Pierre Capital Journal to blow smoke about South Dakota's fiscal ethos:

According to the Tax Foundation, South Dakota has the second lowest tax burden of any state in the nation. By way of comparison, South Dakota’s state and local per capita tax burden is $3,035 a year, while the highest taxed state, New York, has a per capita tax burden of $6,375.

Our state also ranks near the bottom in per capita government spending. This fiscal austerity puts our state in good stead, especially as compared to many states [Jon Schaff, "Forget the Blue State Model: SD deserves praise for fiscal conservatism," Pierre Capital Journal, 20912.11.22].

Yes, we keep our state and local tax burden low by relying on the federal government to take care of our needs. Take a look at the federal taxes we pay versus the federal spending we receive. In 2009, while we South Dakotans paid $6,069.40 in taxes per capita to the IRS, we received $11,792.40 per capita from Uncle Sam to build roads and other infrastructure, run our schools, pay wages, and produce and maintain other public goods. Even if you subtract the $2,917.90 that was everyone's share of how much federal spending exceeded IRS revenue, each South Dakotan still came out ahead $2,805.10, which just about covers our paltry state and local tax burden.

Schaff touts this federally funded fiscal conservatism as a sign of the superiority of red states over blue states on state budget policy. But that contention falls apart when you consider the extent to which our state budget relies on federal revenue. According to 2010 Census data, federal sources made up 38.5% of South Dakota state revenues. Only two states, both red, are bigger moochers, Louisiana (40.9%) and Mississippi (41.2%).

Compare those numbers to the national average of Uncle Sam kicking in 27.3% of state kitties. Based on the 2008 Obama–McCain vote, 19 out of 22 red states relied on federal funding to prop up their state budgets to a greater extent than the national average. 21 out of 28 blue states took less federal money as a share of their state budgets than the national average.

Now my numbers are coming from pre-Daugaard budgets. Dr. Schaff will contend that he is praising the glorious fiscal austerity rung in by Governor Daugaard. So let's look at this year's South Dakota budget:

  • Total Expenditures: $4,006,310,307.
  • Total Federal Funding: $1,754,052,061
  • Federal Percentage of South Dakota Budget: 43.8%.

It's easy to bark austerity when Governor Daugaard is just letting Uncle Sam pick up more of our tab.

Yet even with that inordinately large federal subsidy, South Dakota still isn't meeting its own needs. Dr. Schaff himself admits it:

Still, the state does have some priorities that have been neglected. Our roads are in terrible state of repair. Tuition at our public universities have soared as the university system softened cuts to its own budget by passing on much of the cost to students. And our teachers remain underpaid [Schaff, 2012.11.22].

So here's Dr. Schaff's "red state model" in a nutshell:

  1. Run your state on federal handouts.
  2. Run it poorly, letting basic services and infrastructure crumble.
  3. Pretend you're better than everyone else.

Red is blue; war is peace, ignorance is strength. Red state collapse? You betcha, Larry!


  1. Rorschach 2012.11.24

    I wonder when some intrepid reporter will report on the economics of secession. Lay it out there so people can see how big of a drain we are on the federal government, and how much SD taxes would have to go up if we paid our own way, and how much people's lives would change if the federal safety net were cut off and vulnerable South Dakotans were left to the mercy (or lack thereof) of their state government.

    [CAH: R, Mr. Montgomery spent more time on the practicality of secession than the question deserves.]

  2. Dougal 2012.11.24

    Schaaf's making the case for deadbeats: Skim off the feds, underfund your obligations and tell the taxpayers you're doing a great job, the real problem is in Washington. You can fool some of the people some of the time but ...

  3. Stan Gibilisco 2012.11.24

    Cory, can you calculate how much more revenue we'd have to take in, per capita on the average, to put South Dakota right in the middle of the rankings? That is to say, such that half the states rely more on federal funding than we would, and have the states rely less?

    Assume all other variables remain constant; simply tell us how much more money, on the average, we'd have to pay compared to the current figure of $3,035 a year.

    I wonder what the best state (that is to say, the one that relies least on federal money, or actually has a positive balance sheet in this respect) looks like?

    Just wondering, in case you have time for any more analysis.

    I guess we South Dakotans can smell a rat a mile upwind ... and a sucker, too. Or can we?

  4. Stan Gibilisco 2012.11.24

    Oh, waitwaitwaitwait ... I figured out a few numbers for myself, just to get a better idea how much more or less bad we are than the average, and to save you the work.

    The two links you cite, labeled "federal taxes we pay" versus "federal spending we receive," contain data for the average of all states ("all states combined"). Those numbers:

    Contributions = $7,663.20

    Receipts = $10,581.10

    So the average state apparently gets $2,917.90 more from the Feds than it gives the Feds.

    South Dakota gets $11,792.40 and puts in $6,069.40 for a net handout of $5,723.00 from the Feds, annually.

    In order to put ourselves in the middle, we'd have to contribute $2,805.10 more per year and not take from the Feds any more or less than we do now.

    But this analysis leaves out something really huge ... an X factor in bold italics (and parentheses). Here in South Dakota, we have far lower wages than they have in, say, Connecticut. So naturally we will pay less in federal tax per year than Connecticutans (or Nutmeggers, as they call themselves) do.

    How much less are our needs, in proportion to our actual wages? I don't know, but if you look at the average Sioux Falls, SD resident and the average Greenwich, CT resident, I don't think you'd find it terribly easy to pity the Nutmegger.

    Just musings ... not sure how much sense it makes. But I do think the situation is a whole lot more complicated than you make it seem here, Cory.

    On whose backs, then, do we ride? The rich? That's exactly the way Obama and Biden and Reid and company keep saying they want it, innit? Redistribute the wealth?

  5. Jana 2012.11.24

    Stan, the GOP in Pierre will pound their chests, pat their backs the whole while boasting about how they balanced a budget without raising taxes and demonize the blue states that sent them the billions of dollars.

    Hey, SD GOP, that balanced budget you brag didn't build that.

    I've got to believe that the yearly welfare check we get from Washington DC, based on the backs of taxpayers from Blue states, has to drive Troy crazy given his firm belief that welfare does more harm than good.

  6. Stan Gibilisco 2012.11.24

    Actually, I did commit a semantical error in my previous post. I said:

    "In order to put ourselves in the middle, we'd have to contribute $2,805.10 more per year and not take from the Feds any more or less than we do now."

    I should have said:

    "In order to put ourselves in the middle, we'd have to take $2,805.10 less per year from the Feds while contributing the same amount in Federal taxes as we do now."

    Presumably that reduction in handout would have to either be "sucked up" or else made up for in the form of new or increased state taxes.

    Try selling that idea to the struggling taxpayers of this state: "We need $2,805.10 more per year in state and local taxes from you."

    Nearly all of the states that contribute more than the average in Federal taxes (accordint to Cory's links) appear to be the blue states to me, with a few notable exceptions such as Florida.

    But even those states, for the most part, get more from the Feds than they give.

    So, while one might argue that we're balancing our budget on the backs of the blue states, another might say that it's only a case of wealth redistribution, the richer states helping out the poorer ones.

    And South Dakota certainly is one of the poorer states.

    One might use that argument to suggest that we ought to get more serious about creating some of our own wealth. Wind power? Solar power? You tell me. Democracy, or should I say capitalism, is all about creating wealth, yes?

    How about "Red State Rising"? Yes we can!

  7. Stan Gibilisco 2012.11.24

    Here's another question I just dreamed up: Why do the blue states seem to be the richer ones generally, and the red states seem to be the poorer ones?

    It's not a rhetorical question. I honestly wonder. Ideas? Clues?

  8. Jana 2012.11.24

    Keep it up with the questions Stan. It's good to think about these things.

  9. Dougal 2012.11.24

    This is an old, old story. Doc Farber at the U used to say people elect Republicans to Pierre to stop tax increases, but they elect Democrats to Washington to bring home the bacon.

    Somehow, in the parallel universe thinking of the new GOP, federal budgets and -- God forbid -- earmarks are bad, bad, bad.

    If you lived on either coast where the taxes are generated, you might think earmarks are bad, except for the special highway and construction projects they build in your backyard. But if you live in South Dakota and other states that freeload off the federal government, that big spending is good because your state won't pay its fair share in locally-generated taxes.

    So, who is being stupid in this reality? States that send out more taxes than they receive, or states that suck up more taxes than they generate?

    John Thune and Kristi Noem are being dishonest when they talk like budget hawks when their state would crumple up and croak if their pal Paul Ryan got his way with federal spending. It would wreck South Dakota's economy, shut down hospitals and nursing homes, shut down schools and universities and force farmers and ranchers into foreclosure.

    One of these days, folks in South Dakota would wake up and realize they are being sold down the river by these two shucksters for Grover Norquist and the phonies who call themselves Tea Party patriots.

  10. Steve O'Brien 2012.11.24

    How did this state of affairs become so accepted? It certainly is not new. This past election, with IM 15, SD residents had the opportunity to turn their back on this regressive thinking. There have been other initiatives to do similar work - to increase funding through different taxes to increase funding for state needs, especially education.

    When does shame kick in? How does greed become so prevalent that we as a state are willing to sacrifice safe roads, good education, decent salaries, medical care for the poorest and elderly for a few more coins in our pockets. For all the vaulted rhetoric about small government and low taxes, it all seems to come down to individual greed.

    I find it shameful that we exalt greed as some nobel value under the guise of conservatism.

  11. Bree S. 2012.11.24

    Are you including the Reservations in the equation?

  12. Stan Gibilisco 2012.11.24

    So, who is being stupid in this reality? States that send out more taxes than they receive, or states that suck up more taxes than they generate?

    Actually, if you compare the amounts sent to Washington to the amounts received from Washington for each state, most states get more than they contribute.

    Delaware sends in way more than they get. I didn't check many others. But:

    Massachusetts pays in $10,717 and gets $12,824, so they mooch.

    New Jersey pays in $11,790 and gets $9,183, so they contribute.

    California pays $7,157 and gets $9,348, so they mooch.

    New Mexico pays $4,041 and gets $13,555, so they mooch big time.

    Delaware contributes $15,455 and gets $9,191, so they contribute big time.

    Check out those links and do the math. We're not as greedy as some people might have us believe, methinks.

    Check out Alaska, just for kicks. Guess those mama grizzlies really gobble up the grub, eh!

  13. Stan Gibilisco 2012.11.24

    So, who is being stupid in this reality? States that send out more taxes than they receive, or states that suck up more taxes than they generate?

    Actually, if you compare the amounts sent to Washington to the amounts received from Washington for each state, most states get more than they contribute.

    Delaware sends in way more than they get. I didn't check many others. But:

    Massachusetts pays in $10,717 and gets $12,824, so they mooch.

    New Jersey pays in $11,790 and gets $9,183, so they contribute.

    California pays $7,157 and gets $9,348, so they mooch.

    New Mexico pays $4,041 and gets $13,555, so they mooch big time.

    Delaware contributes $15,455 and gets $9,191, so they contribute big time.

    South Dakota contributes $6,069 and takes in $11,792, so we do indeed rake it in pretty well!

    Check out Alaska, just for kicks. Guess those mama grizzlies really gobble up the grub, eh!

    I'd like to see all 50 states listed that way, so we can see which ones really pull it in and which ones actually pay more than their way.

  14. Les 2012.11.24

    No they're not taking the Rez into acct or the fact that Lawrnce county has more miles of road than Mass or the population/square mile or the large ag base functioning on the Feds cheap food policy.

    Spin spin spin.

  15. Charlie Johnson 2012.11.25

    I agree with Steve's points. Every person says they support education but their funding math doesn't add up. Kristi Noem is an expert on that false math.

  16. larry kurtz 2012.11.25

    Statehood for the tribes and Mexico.

  17. Charlie Hoffman 2012.11.25

    Thanks. I send you a paragraph and you send me a book. Someday people will be chopping out concrete in order to plant gardens. Urban sprawl has occurred over the deepest and most productive top soil in America. That just makes conservation easements more valuable which someday will be put on land allowing only farming to occur dissimilar to today which finds easements disalowing all farming with the legal use that of only grazing or the taking of grass.

    That is unless Ebola goes airborne.

  18. Les 2012.11.25

    There is something honorable about putting concrete on top of the most productive soil Charlie.
    Out in Spearfish, rather than up by the sawmill where the traffic is light and the soil is weak, alongside the busiest highway they could find, we put up a school on the Josef Meier irrigated land. Beautiful, with that great trout proudly displayed, covering enough irrigated land to feed half the town as that wonderful valley did at one time.
    Weak minds believing their food comes from Safeway.

  19. Charlie Hoffman 2012.11.25

    Right on Les. I've been saying this for a long time and my cousins out in Lodi just have a fit with all the building on the San Joaquin valley holding some of the most productive and expensive sub-irrigated land in the world. Instead of alongside the hills with nothing growing except scrub Oak and weeds.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    Stan, good math! I've tackled some of your questions in this morning's new post on state and local taxes. I do note that our income is 23rd in the nation, not as far behind as you'd think. We pay 15.2% per capita in federal taxes, versus a national average of 18.6% (which is also the average that the 22 states above us are paying in federal taxes). So even with lower income than some states, we're paying less than our expected share.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    Stan I will agree that the full picture of our tax revenues and dependence on Uncle Sam is more complicated than either my post or Dr. Schaff's op-ed can portray it. But I'll stick by my essay here as an essential part of the picture that Dr. Schaff ignores.

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    Les, it's not spin. Bree, the data includes all South Dakotans. The plain fact is that we live in such a way that we cannot sustain ourselves by our own taxation and must rely on federal handouts.

  23. Bree S. 2012.11.25

    Cory, the Reservations are federally supported dependent foreign nations which would be sure to rebel if South Dakota did secede - so it is illogical to include them in an objective comparison of state budgeting and fiscal dependency on the federal government.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    They vote in South Dakota. They're in South Dakota. They play South Dakota basketball. Heck, by treaty, a good chunk of the state belongs to them. They are South Dakotans.

  25. Bree S. 2012.11.25

    Yes, they are South Dakotans. But it isn't fair to say that South Dakota mooches off the federal government when a large chunk of the state is composed of federally dependent Reservations, which are legally foreign nations. The Reservations shouldn't be included in the equation because there is nothing our legislators can do about the federal dependency of the Res.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    All right, put up some numbers. I'm showing you data that shows South Dakota mooches off the federal government more than other states. You want to escape that label by putting all or most of the blame on those darn non-White folks? If you think that somehow makes things better, then go ahead: show me data that puts the onus on the Rez. Until then (and even after then), South Dakota owns the moocher label.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    But wait a minute! I had this argument with Linda McIntyre in 2009! I dug up a breakdown of federal investments in South Dakota that showed the Rez constitutes maybe 5% of the take. The biggest takers by far are recipients of farm subsidies and Social Security.

  28. Bree S. 2012.11.25

    Both farm subsidies and Social Security are also federal budgeting problems our state legislators can't do anything about. So wouldn't you say the implication that the "mooching" of our state is somehow the fault of state GOP legislators is a tad bit unfair?

  29. larry kurtz 2012.11.25

    Hence, a high property tax, CAH?

  30. Michael Black 2012.11.25

    Cory, if we don't have any new farm bill, does that mean the state will be even next year?

  31. Bill Fleming 2012.11.25

    Bree, the South Dakotans on the reservation receive Federal funding by virtue of an agreement with the Federal government in the same way as South Dakotans on SS and Medicare do. And in the same SD Forest Service workers and Postal workers and Military and other Federal Government workers do. And in the same way ag businesses who get federal subsidies do. Are you denying that those dollars contribute to the South Dakota economy and that South Dakota would be better off economically if those mentioned above didn't receive those funds or perhaps moved to another state? I hope not. That would be irrational and ridiculous, wouldn't it?

  32. Bree S. 2012.11.25

    Bill, would you agree that these budgeting problems caused by our federal government are not due to the capabilities of our state legislators?

  33. larry kurtz 2012.11.25

    SS and farm payments are paying property taxes subsidizing a miserly legislature?

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    Bree, I stand by the mooching declaration, for the reason Bill gives. We benefit economically from that federal largesse. We do not pay for our benefits to nearly the extent other states do. We depress both our state investment in public goods and our wages and coast on the boost Uncle Sam gives us. Moochers.

    Our Legislature could do plenty about this situation. They could raise our state tax level to the national average to put $900 million more into K-12 education, higher education, roads, and parks. They could pay teachers a wage commensurate with our 23rd-place income per capita to keep and recruit more talent. They could ease the tuition burden that the Board of Regents have had to shift to students to attract and keep more students in state. They could improve roads and parks and other local quality-of-life investments that would make our towns (White and Red alike) more attractive to families, workers, and entrepreneurs alike. The Legislature could invest in $900 million more in public goods and services each year that would boost economic development, boost income, boost the amount of revenue we pay to Uncle Sam, and make us less dependent on federal handouts.

    But no. For our Governor and Legislature, mooching masquerading as "austerity" is much easier.

  35. Bill Fleming 2012.11.25

    Bree, what Cory said.

  36. Steve O'Brien 2012.11.25

    Bree: Bill, would you agree that these budgeting problems caused by our federal government are not due to the capabilities of our state legislators?

    I remember during most every welfare debate, some reasonable conservative will offer the position that those on the dole should have to make an effort to help themselves before the government should step in to help them.

    South Dakota claims a need for this federal assistance, yet that "need" doesn't seem to hold up under scrutiny: our wages are not below average, but our taxation is far below. The state legislature creates a budget that both chokes off local investment revenue while at the same time relying on federal assistance. How can the creation of that budget system be anything other than the SD legislature's doing?

    If the fed's would say, "tax at least at the national average before you get a dime more than you pay in" they would force SD to wake up to the revenue problem our legislature and Governor has created in this state.

  37. Bill Fleming 2012.11.25

    Exactly, Steve. Self reliance is a GOP buzz-phrase in SD. Nothing more. It's just astonishing though how many actually believe it. But then, if we look at all the other mythology they believe in, and I guess it's maybe a little more understandable.

  38. larry kurtz 2012.11.25

    liberals: why use diplomacy when nuclear weapons work just fine?

  39. Bree S. 2012.11.25

    Bill, don't work too hard over there lol.

    I get your (plural) point of view. It amounts to "increase the size of government and raise taxes." I disagree with your assessment that the government is the most efficient servicer of these "quality of life investments." You lean socialist and I lean libertarian economically so we are simply not going to agree on that. You (all of you) did evade the simple fact that the state legislature is not responsible by any of the fiscal mess created by the federal government.

  40. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    But Bree, where in South Dakota is the private sector stepping in to be the more "efficient servicer of these 'quality of life investments'"? It's one thing to claim a philosophical disagreement, which libertarian-leaners are awfully good at. It's another to point to empirical examples (which libertarian-leaners are awfully bad at) that show someone other than government providing good schools, roads, and parks available to all citizens.

  41. Bill Fleming 2012.11.25

    Bree, understanding thi isn't hard for me. Seems like it's hard for you. Maybe you're the one who needs to work a little harder. It's not my job to get you smart. (libertarian position).

  42. lrads1 2012.11.25

    Sorry to change the subject, but... Schaff spends five paragraphs heaping praise on the Gov, and then says “we have needs that cry out for attention,” And that “The reason to keep taxes low is so when the government needs revenue it can raise that revenue with little pain?!?” but that I15 was “poorly designed.” Is that code for the Governor’s crew didn’t get to write it? And what kind of grade would that essay get for its clear central idea??

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.25

    I agree that the ending of the essay seems to knock the legs out from under the thesis of the beginning. And I was of the impression that IM15 was about as tightly and clearly designed as it could have been.

  44. Bree S. 2012.11.25

    Cory, you are still evading the simple facts.

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.26

    No I'm not. We brag about our fiscal austerity while the federal government props up our economy and public services, even as our wealth rises above the national average. The red state fiscal model is moocherism.

  46. Les 2012.11.26

    "Demographics" can be confusing to people. Sometimes used as a "catch all" for many groups within society, and rarely understood fully by any. What comes to mind is, a highly successful mall developer from the northeast studied East Tn and North GA's numbers and decided to place three malls in this region. Those three malls broke the 15-20 other malls he had and eventually bankruptcy. Just another case of "numbers" behaving differently and what "averages" actually are. (19 and 1 average 10. 15 and 5 average 10, 9 and 11 average 10). Same averages, very different situations............ A costly numbers game for the developer......... As is calculating SD income now being touted as 13th and your statement that we can so easily raise taxes.

  47. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.26

    Les, we have nearly four billion dollars more wealth in our state. Indeed, that wealth is not distributed evenly: the rich get more of it; the poor may actually be losing. But averages be darned, that wealth is here, and it's been growing through the recession. Why aren't we tapping that wealth to avoid budget cuts, not to mention expanding needed services (teacher salaries, Medicaid, road and bridge repairs)?

  48. Les 2012.11.26

    My knee jerk on wealth increases in SD would be due to the inflation no one seems to agree on plus a huge increase in ag land values.

    Now go back and re read my post on averages. The poor folks I know of have gone backwards, middle income in a struggle and again, ag the big winner of late which makes a dysfunctional average. We will all pay with more load on those less able.

  49. Les 2012.11.26

    Btw on road and bridge repair, I've been touting a small fuel tax increase which will be shared a great deal by interstate, trucking and tourist travelers.

    I've been attacked for this approach more by Hyundai(50mpg) drivers and farmers who are exempt on their production fuel.

    Representatives like Hickey and others following the governors lead, reject that approach and instead charge Grammy and Gramps the same with the fee increases that they charge me a volume user of our roads.

    Good grief Charlie Brown, poor people are not breaking our roads down!!

  50. Les 2012.11.26

    Write a check jicapi hoksila.

  51. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.26

    So Les, wouldn't a nice progressive income tax solve the problem of unjust tax burdens that you sound worried about? Farmers make more, they pay more. Poor folks take a pay cut, they take a tax cut. Wouldn't that be better for taxpayers and the state alike?

  52. Les 2012.11.26

    Research Corey. It gives a living expense rebate and is a flat tax on purchases. It will get the corruption money's never taxed.....what say you?

  53. Les 2012.11.26

    Btw Corey, where are you on the fuel tax? You seem to avoid wanting to pay an extra nickel / gal so gramps doesn't have to pay all those fee hikes?

  54. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.26

    A fuel tax is a reasonable way to pay for the externalities of continued dependence on fossil fuels, not to mention road upkeep. Of course, like sales tax, it will hit lower- and middle-income folks harder, especially when they are commuting 60& ndash;120 miles a day to hang onto a decent job. And, like property tax and sales tax, fuel tax doesn't do a very good job of capturing wealth. Farmer Joe burns up about the same amount of fuel in a good year as in a bad year.

    Remind me to start calling the income tax "The Good Tax" or "The Super Sexy Tax." That will make it harder to debate.

    I like the flat tax's living expense rebate. But make it the primary tax, and won't the corruption shift to find ways to hide purchases on the gray or black market?

  55. Les 2012.11.26

    Those folks using the roads should pay Corey. i feel the fuel tax is shared in a larger way and is not passed as heavily to the low mileage drivers as the fees are.
    The fair tax will bring its unique fraud as any tax can and does. I would eliminate the IRS and that alone would be a major shift of dollars. Think of the immigration of Companies wanting to do biz in the US with no income tax. How much fraud would you say we have in our current system?

    Farmers don't fit into this equation, their offload fuel is state tax exempt.

  56. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.27

    Eliminate the IRS, and fraud goes unchecked. Someone has to enforce tax law.

    User taxes impose a business model on government that doesn't always fit. We don't charge K-12 kids tuition. We don't charge a service fee when the fire department comes to your house. Workers at the courthouse don't charge you by the minute when they answer your questions.

    I don't pay diddly to maintain the road when I bike to work or up the Canyon. Homebound old folks still benefit from the roads that allow the cops and Meals on Wheels and their grandkids to get to their house. The general social benefit from roads justifies funding them at least in part with some broader tax that taps everyone's wealth more fairly.

  57. Les 2012.11.27

    There is much less fraud in the the retail collected sales tax without any overhead than the IRS system.

    I don't mind you siding with the Gov and his boys like Hickey on the fee increases Corey. It just means my 18 wheelers crush roads in a comparison to grandmas car that never leaves the garage. I'm all for that. What in the heck does Grammy do for economic progress anyway?

    Now lets tax her med care and tax her death too.

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