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Republicans Admit Free Market Doesn’t Work for South Dakota

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?


  1. Rorschach 2013.01.12

    The Governor ought to give that $5 million from the general fund to schools. If he made promises to big corporations he must keep, he should use the Employers' Investment in the Future Fund ("Future Fund") to meet those commitments. Governors use the Future Fund as their own private slush funds, and won't accept the legislature appropriating money from it. So the legislature should tell him they aren't going to let him take that money from the general fund. Rather he should use the Future Fund for any corporate welfare he promises. But the legislature, being that one-party entity that it is, will remain the Governor's lap dog.

  2. John 2013.01.12

    All faux conservatives KNOW that it is the government's duty and role to pick economic winners, and then to lavish taxpayer funded welfare upon them.

  3. bob newland 2013.01.12

    PuPu the Blogger (aka Pat Powers) is so inconsequential that to quote his inconsistencies to make a point is like saying Larry "Wide Stance" Craig is a hypocrite. John (above) makes the point more directly.

  4. Richard Schriever 2013.01.12

    How about creating a state SMALL business development fund instead of a large projects fund??

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.01.13

    Richard: ding ding ding! You are correct! Large projects come from big corporations that don't need help. They're already hoarding wealth and thereby sandbagging the economy, making it harder for small businesses to get the capital they need to start and grow. Time for the state to counter that wealth concentration!

  6. hmr59 2013.01.13

    This whole thing seems to me like foregoing passage on the Titanic for a ticket on the Hindenburg...

  7. Steve Sibson 2013.01.15

    So we have a second piece of evidence that shows Pat Powers and his Establishment SDGOP cohorts to be fascists and not conservative/libertarian.

Comments are closed.