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Rounds Promise to Nuke Dept. of Education = 15% Tax Hike for South Dakota

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!


  1. owen reitzel 2014.05.19

    Good job by Bob Mercer. Now the conservative media has to pick this up. Where are the big 3 TV stations?
    How about a hard-hitting piece rather than anther fluff story!

  2. Steve Sibson 2014.05.19

    "Stace Nelson and Larry Rhoden probably can't make much hay out of that point"

    Stace can. Number one, it is a bogus point. Without the feds influence we can remove expensive layers of government enforcers of the standards. Standards push via a partnership that includes the US Dept of Ed, both teachers' unions, the Business Roundtable, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the National Governors Association. Rounds' crony capitalist special interests' path is made possible by the US Dept. of Ed. He has been a ranking member of the NGA and his campaign is paid for by those are proud member of the US Chamber and the Business Roundtable. He as no more intentions of eliminating the US Dept of Ed than he does eliminating Obamacare. He is playing conservatives as fools. Of course the Democrats are also playing teachers for fools as the unions are also part of the crony capitalist plans. Again, I learned that lesson when the NEA gave the SD Chamber one million dollars in order to protect Pierre's crony capitalist system of legal corruption.

  3. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.19

    Don't think that I can link that first debate in Aberdeen but if memory serves me right, the last question asked was what department in the federal government would you eliminate. I know Rounds listed education and maybe something else, but it seems to me like it was at least two and maybe three total who said the same thing.

  4. Donald Pay 2014.05.19

    If he's going to eliminate the US Department of Ed, someone needs to ask him about his plans to replacement funds for current programs, particularly in the title and special ed areas. Or he needs to outline how he's going to change programs, or how he's going to deal with the horrendous results of cutting everything out of these programs.

    If he thinks he can just cut these federal programs and not affect his more affluent base, he's nuts.

    Rounds knows better. He knows that without replacement funds districts will have to cut in the affluent schools in order to shore up those programs. For one, sports would be gone and so would a lot of other programs that have broad support---TAG, debate, music and arts. Curriculum would be dumbed down, but standardized testing would increase because the loss of programs would cause what the anti-school elitists want---private schools run by the out-of-state corporate elite funding Rounds campaign.

  5. Douglas Wiken 2014.05.19

    Almost all the GOP dwarfs are screaming the equivalent of the end time based on Obamacare destroying America. They are terminally silly.

  6. Steve Sibson 2014.05.19

    Donald, back in the day when public education actually educated, there was no US Dept. of Ed.

  7. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.19

    Substance. Wouldn't it be nice to have Substance from the Roundy camp?

  8. owen reitzel 2014.05.19 Another right wing rag

  9. larry kurtz 2014.05.19

    Lanny, bless your heart: Mr. Tsitrian's perspective has just never stirred my imagination. Good that you and Cory think so highly of his opinions.

  10. Donald Pay 2014.05.19

    Just to have a little factual base on which Rounds and Republicans can focus their efforts around, I offer the following info. Scroll down to find South Dakota federal funding for various programs in the Department of Ed.

    Mike needs to clarify if he means to cut all these programs, or if he's just bs-ing.

    It will be interesting to see how college kids react to Rounds and Republicans stripping them of their financial aid to attend college. You want to encourage voting among the young, who vote mostly Democratic, just threaten them some more, Mike.

  11. 96 Tears 2014.05.19

    Why does Rounds hate public school kids so much? As governor he fought the court case to force the state to pay its fair share of your local school costs. Now he wants to eliminate federal help. Apparently he's trying to force a job-killing income tax by creating a funding crisis that will shut down our schools and eliminate South Dakota's economic development future.

  12. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.19

    Probably most of you are unaware that the current Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan is the former CEO of Chicago's Public School system, in which he closed down a lot of neighborhood schools in favor of charter schools, which in a lot of cases turned out to be military academies. I bring this up because of the following. As you are probably aware, No Child Left Behind, had a stipulation that required all schools receiving federal money to give access to the schools' list of students names, addresses and phone numbers, to all military recruiters. Even though much of NCLB is no longer in force, that stipulation is. (Parents do have the option to have their child's name removed from the recruiters list but it has to be done in a timely fashion.)

    I ride the bus. A few weeks ago, a boy got on the bus wearing full desert camouflage fatigue uniform, boots through cap. When the bus got down to the bus central, I ran after him and asked if he was in the National Guard, he said no the Marines. I asked how old he is and he said 14. About that time two more boys got off other buses dressed the same way.

    Two weeks ago, I went to the SF school board meeting protesting what I consider the militarization of our youth. I know these kids. They are the same ones that were the cool kids when I went to school more than 50 years ago. The military, (They were actually Jr ROTC) uses these kids and the cool uniforms, (I saw the same kids in jungle camouflage uniforms the day after I went to the school board meeting) to reload the military with more cannon fodder for future wars.

    Don't get me wrong. I believe that all young folks should serve their country or community in some form or another. But I don't think they should be indoctrinated into that service. I think that they should wait until they are at least old enough to be able to sign that contract (17) to be contacted and until they are old enough to make a mature decision on how they are going to perform that service.

    Increasingly, our schools are getting money through the military funding as a means of militarizing our schools.

  13. Jerry 2014.05.19

    96 tears, I asked you before, what do you know about a grand jury regarding Rounds? You mentioned it and now I would like to know what you know.

  14. Jerry 2014.05.19

    Lanny, it is all good with the Jr. ROTC. As long as education costs as much as it does, it helps some young people get a further education. Of course it means military service, but in my view, each young person should have some kind of service to their country. It does not have to be military but something that shows that the are a part of this land rather than just have a bunch of poor kids doing all the work. They could go help take care of the elderly, or work in a library or some kind of public service for 2 years. Why not?

  15. Les 2014.05.19

    I believe they do that in Africa Jer. A little younger maybe. Those kids will shoot ya between the eyes for fibbing, just a little bit!

  16. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.19

    Damn, Jerry, I could have sworn that your last three sentences is what I said.

  17. Jerry 2014.05.19

    Damn Lanny, you don't need to swear, you are correct. I could not agree with you more on those last three sentences. It was just the first part that I was not so in sync with you on.

  18. Jerry 2014.05.19

    Yeah Donald, back in the day..What day Mr. Sibson is talking about though is still up in the air.

    What gripes republicans the most is that they want private schools with vouchers. That way, poor kids can just be educated enough to pull a switch and work for peanuts. Did I mention that these poor kids would all be of color. Mr. Sibson longs for the days of Jim Crow and all of the rest that came with it.

  19. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.19

    Sorry, Jerry, if you think damn is swearing. I am glad you don't hear me when I get my vulgar tongue going overtime. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the first sentence. I am pretty passionate about the bodies and souls that our country has discarded fighting bogeyman, all in the name of the military industrial complex.

  20. Jerry 2014.05.19

    The perfect soldier is 18-19 years old. They still play games and are basically kids. They can hump a ruck all day and bitch a little but with some sleep, they are up and can go again. They can take pain along with misery and they can pull the trigger without hesitation. Some say that when you are just beginning your teen years, you are about as grown as you are at 18. So yeah Les, 14 year olds are just as much of a killers as 18 year olds, good soldiers all. In Vietnam, the average age was 19.

  21. Jerry 2014.05.19

    You may not believe it Lanny, but there really are bogeymen out there and they hate your ass. Not you in particular, but you in general. What will calm a lot of that down is for us to start getting more real about renewable energy and stop with this oil shit. A week ago, Germany, the entire country, ran on 74% renewable energy. I laugh my ass off, in a sardonic manner, at a bill board with a man dressed as a soldier declaring that he will not have to go to war over a cornfield. I say really. Your kidding right. Gettysburg was fought partly in a cornfield that Pickets men got slaughtered in July of 1863.

  22. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.19

    Mike Rounds belief in economic development is limited to bogus meat packing plants and manufacturing.

    He apparently does not consider main street as economic development, nor does he think that the Dept. of Education, EPA or Obamacare as economic development.

    He does not address what abolishing these federal agencies will have on South Dakota, it is economic development Mike.

    If Mike Rounds was truly concerned about this nation's economy and debt, he would be taking an ax to the Dept. of Defense and their bloated budget.

  23. Les 2014.05.19

    Tell me abut The Nam, Jer. I'm still losing friends over that damn war. Tell us abut a war that was started for all the right reasons Jer.
    George McGovern said it best. "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."

  24. 96 Tears 2014.05.19

    Jerry - Winter is coming.

  25. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.19

    Roger, You wrote, "If Mike Rounds was truly concerned about this nation's economy and debt, he would be taking an ax to the Dept. of Defense and their bloated budget."

    That is the point that I was trying to make in saying that I don't want our kids being trained in school to be cannon fodder for the military. Although with the use of drones, instead of B-1s, instead of B-52s instead of tanks, instead of infantry, there is less and less need for cannon fodder, as we can have the computer games whizzes operating those drones from Ellsworth AFB killing people halfway around the world with their computer. Never mind the fact that there is an occasional wedding hit or a funeral for someone that we previously accidentally killed. But I still say that it all begins with stopping the militarization of our youth.

  26. lesliengland 2014.05.19

    yup. nice website sibson, "be very afraid" must be its premise.

  27. Troy 2014.05.20

    I think the Bob is over-stating the impact. According to the USDOE website the total grants into South Dakota is $42 million. Maybe the difference is student loans which could be passed over to the private sector as it was before Obama.

    If you asked me would I pick up the $42 million tab in exchange for the deficit reduction impact of the elimination of USDOE and getting them out of our local education, where do I sign up? Not even close.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.20

    Wait a minute, Troy: you'll support a 42-million-dollar tax increase (sales tax? new income tax?) to reduce the federal deficit and reduce federal intrusion in local control, but you and your party won't support a similar tax increase to boost South Dakota teacher pay to maybe 45th in the nation?

  29. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    You don't need to replace the federal monies if you eliminate their police state command and control system. If we did that, South Dakota would be money ahead, the kids would actually receive an education, and teachers were be higher paid "teachers", instead of facilitating robots for the crony capitalists.

  30. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.20

    Do you have a map to lead me through the maze of that statement, Mr Sibson?

  31. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Anyone believing Marty Jackley isn't surveilling South Dakotans en masse is delusional.

  32. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    Larry, Common Core (the current label for the education reform movement that came out of the 1980s) is being implemented via a partnership that comprises the US Dept. of Ed, the US Chamber, both teacher unions, the National Governors Association, and others. Their goal is to provide human capital for the 21st century global economy. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to part a part of such partnership. But because the constitution has been destroyed, we now have crony capitalism running wild with the government schools leading the way.

    I was tipped off in 2008 when the NEA gave the South Dakota Chamber a million dollars to fight IM10 so that Pierre's crony capitalist system of legal corruption can be preserved.

    So clearly, the special interests of both political parties are working in partnership with the feds. Both, supporters of liberal Democrats and conservative GOPers, are being deceived by the leadership of both parties. And the corporate media are a big part of their propaganda.

    The aforementioned education reform movement was called America 2000 under H Bush, Goals 2000 under Clinton, NCLB under GW, and now RTTT and Common Core under Obama. Again the goal: to implement a 21st Century global economy with a centralized command and control system, but to made to appear as an bottoms up approach via the states. Again, more deception.

  33. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    You have no children, Steve: your concern is greed-bases only. My enemies are real, not imagined.

  34. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.20

    Well Mr Simpson, it's Lanny not Larry, but. beside that, thanks for your explanation. Are you as opposed to the globalization of wars as you are to this globalization? It is all related, along with the destruction of economies and making countries and therefore their citizens answerable to the World Bank and the International Monetary fund. Is it both political parties? Unquestionably, but if you have read many of my posts you already know that I think that the two party system that we have in this country has outlived its usefulness. And as uninformed as the American public seem to be willing to remain, we would be better off with a benign dictator.

  35. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    Lanny it is, yes I have changed by position on the Iraq war. It was a mistake. Haven't read much of your stuff yet, but you obviously have done plenty of research and seem to be on the correct (versus right) path.

  36. Les 2014.05.20

    Of some note. President Obama awarded Bob Dylan a medal of freedom. Even crazy old Bob Dylan had it figured out decades ago. "Imagine".
    I wonder how this superior nation would be reacting to armed foreign nationals on our soil with our best interests at heart. We haven't just dumbed down our society through our meager attempts at education Sibmiester.

  37. Donald Pay 2014.05.20

    People like Sibby is why Round's nonsense will have some play in the dumb crowd. Virtually none of the federal education money going to SD has or had anything to do with Common Core or any of the other programs he mentions. It has to do with special education, providing additional funding for teachers and programs in schools where most of the students are in families below the poverty level, etc. Some folks just get all twisted in knots over various conspiracy theories and think somehow that eliminating a Department is going to solve all their delusions. Rounds and the other folks are counting on the dumb and deluded to vote dumb and deluded. They know better, but they know the dumb and deluded folks don't.

  38. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Which church(es) should be running education in South Dakota, Sib?

  39. Kal Lis 2014.05.20

    Not to get too off topic, but "Imagine" is John Lennon's.

    Dylan was reminding us about things "Blowin' in the Wind." In 1971, the "Imagine" came out if memory serves, Dylan was doing the Basement Tapes.

  40. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    Should American Indian children keep learning how Europeans brought religious freedom to the Western Hemisphere along with an Earth-centric universe?

  41. larry kurtz 2014.05.20

    The average pre-Columbian mesoamerican knew far more about the galaxy than the average christian in Europe did, Sib.

  42. Les 2014.05.20

    I was there KL, you are correct, but if you are going by memory, you were not a child of the 60's.
    Dylan opened the protest door long before Imagine.
    I should have started a new paragraph. My point was, "Imagine".

  43. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    So Donald, how well has the federal command and control system worked over the last several decades in eliminating poverty and putting teacher pay where it should be?

  44. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.20

    Kai Lis is correct. Imagine was John Lennin's and was the theme song in the movie "Killing Fields"

  45. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.20

    I don't have a kid in the Common Core fight, but what is irritating is that the right wingers are portraying this is some sort of Obama communism conspiracy,when the facts point to the National Governor's Association.

    Sibson's near glee in announcing that the Constitution has been trashed and rendered ineffective is just more of the same trash of the tea party spin machine.

    Steve, the Constitution works, it may not always work the way we want it to, or like or dislike various rulings, it is doing what it was designed to do, give citizens a voice.

    The greatest threat Americans face is not Obama taking away your guns or even losing your free speech, it is Citizens United, the owning of America and it's political system that support that crony capitalism you are concerned about.

  46. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    Roger, did I not mention both Bushes before I pointed out that Obama is the current President implementing what Donald wants to dismiss as a conspiracy theory. So what is the US Dept. of Ed doing with an alleged conspiracy theory on their website that is "Pushing standards to a whole new level":

  47. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    And Roger, can you tell Donald what it would feel like if I dismissed your Citizens United as just some kooky conspiracy theory?

  48. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.20

    I have not aware that the federal government actually publishes its conspiracies, doesn't that defy the meaning of a conspiracy theory?

    Citizens United is not a conspiracy theory Steve, it is a reality that made its way all the way to Supreme Court where it received support and protection from Republican judges.

  49. Steve Sibson 2014.05.20

    Roger, that is my point. Donald accused me of promoting a conspiracy theory, but I was simply providing research.

    And yes, I have researched the Citizen United movement and their work is tied to the Business Roundtable and the US Chamber. Question for you liberals, why would the 2 teacher unions be in partnership with them and the US Dept of Ed in order to implement Common Core so that they can build a workforce for the crony capitalists who want to make money in the 21st century global economy?

  50. Donald Pay 2014.05.20


    Don't forget conservative icons, President Reagan and Bill Bennett, Secretary of Education under Reagan, who birthed the first federal attack on public education, and pushed cuckoo conspiratorial ideas such as standardized testing, home schooling, charter schools, vouchers and such ideas in league with the religious conservatives and educational privatizers.

  51. Steve Sibson 2014.05.21

    Donald, are you talking about this:

    Focus on the Family and the RAND Corporation would like to have the citizens of Washington State and other states believe they are working for their good. Yet, they are provably working for the implementation of GOALS 2000. During the 1998 legislative session in Washington State, I had occasion to find on the Internet the record for a legislative hearing on a charter school bill I had been following. The names of people or organizations giving pro and con testimony were openly stated. Two names caught my attention: Jeff Kemp of the Washington Family Council*, a state affiliate of James Dobson’s Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, and Paul Hill from the RAND Corporation.** According to the legislative report, both Jeff Kemp and Paul Hill had spoken in support of the charter school legislation.

    Jeff Kemp's father is Jack Kemp, the co-director of Empower America [EA] and a 33º Freemason. EA's main luminaries are William Bennett, Jeanne Kirkpatrick [CFR], Lamar Alexander and Vin Weber, who is also co-director of the Aspen Institute’s Domestic Strategy Group. The President and CEO of Empower America until March, 2000 was Josette Shiner, a high-ranking Unification Church member and former editor at the Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington Times newspaper. William Bennett is a Fellow on the staff of Hudson Institute where he served on the GOALS 2000 Modern Red Schoolhouse Design Team with Dennis Doyle, Chester Finn, Jr., Pierre du Pont IV and Lamar Alexander (former Education Secretary under George Bush). The board of Empower America is composed almost entirely of CFR members and/or high ranking Freemasons, including Jack Kemp [33º Mason], Jeane Kirkpatrick [CFR], Michael Novak [CFR], Trent Lott [CNP] [33º Mason], Ward Wood [CFR], Theodore Forstmann [CFR] and past board member Newt Gingrich [CFR/33º Mason].

  52. Jenny 2014.05.21

    Sibby, what kind of indoctrination were you indoctrinated with in your public school back in the 70s? You seem to have been traumatized by it.

  53. Steve Sibson 2014.05.21

    Jenny, it was a mild version of the indoctrination that you are currently suffering with.

  54. larry kurtz 2014.05.21

    we are suffering from you, sib.

  55. Jenny 2014.05.21

    Everybody suffers, Sibby, but I'm not blaming what suffering I have from the public school system. Some of my best role models were teachers that I remember in the small town public school I went to.

  56. Steve Sibson 2014.05.21

    Jenny, it is not the teachers. It is the crony capitalist working with the teachers' unions, along with the US Dept. of Ed and the National Governors Association. The problems lie in the standards and the textbooks/curriculum that are driven by the standards.

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