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Drunk Economics: Cutting Education Dept. Three Times Worse Than Repealing EB-5

Last updated on 2015.07.27

A South Dakota Republican Party press release (apparently from Dick Wadhams) claims that the EB-5 visa investment program brought over $600 million into South Dakota and that Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Rick Weiland is a poopyhead for criticizing his Republican opponent Mike Rounds for using EB-5 for economic development.

Let's all get drunk with Dick and Mike and assume that $600 million (a) exists and (b) is good. Let's assume that if a Senator Weiland repealed EB-5, South Dakota would lose $600 million (and the concomitant 5,000 jobs that such money brings in direct and indirect economic impacts, according to the implication of Wadhams's press release—remember, we're all very drunk) over a nine-year span. (Nine years is how long EB-5 ran in South Dakota from the time Mike Rounds plugged his Governor's Office of Economic Development into EB-5 in 2004 to Governor Dennis Daugaard's cancellation of the GOED's contract with private EB-5 manager SDRC Inc. in September 2013.)

Mike Rounds has proposed eliminating the U.S. Department of Education. Since we're already drunk, taking that claim seriously isn't hard, either.

Eliminating the Department of Education would lose South Dakota $192 million a year. In little more than three years, Rounds's death-to-Education policy would negate the economic benefit of nine years of his EB-5 economic development policy.

So elect Mike Rounds instead of Rick Weiland, keep EB-5 but nuke Education, and over nine years, you cost South Dakota over a billion dollars—

(where's my beer—glug glug glug)

—and ten thousand jobs.

Sure, Mike, Dick, let's play drunk economics. You still end up under the table.


  1. Steve Sibson 2014.09.05

    Cory, Rounds has no serious intention of killing the Dept of Ed. Same thing regarding Obamacare. He is just lying to conservatives to get their votes.

  2. 96 Tears 2014.09.05

    When you toss a rock into the hog pen and hear a big squeal, it means you hit the hog.

    Interesting how loud and nasty Smilin' Mike's reaction is to that ad. I hope Weiland's follow up ad shows how completely corrupt the Rounds administration was in using that EB-5 mooney, stuffing millions in the pockets of pals.

    And if thousands of jobs were created, where are they? Time to put up or shut up, Rounds.

  3. mike from iowa 2014.09.05

    Has anyone in the state or the lege opened a constructive dialog with leaders of the Reservations to see what their wants and needs are? Did Hickey write this plan all by his lonesome with zero input from Native South Dakotans? Why would Natives trust Wasicus?

  4. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.05

    It's time for Rick to do a A-R-I-T-H-M-E-T-I-C ad using Cory's numbers. Perhaps set in a 2nd grade classroom.
    When I see Republican voodoo economics I'm always reminded of Bill Clinton's comments at the last Democratic national convention. When asked how he maintained fiscal responsibility during his tenure, he would always respond, "its arithmetic".

  5. Rorschach 2014.09.05

    $600 million into SD, huh? How much of that just foreign money just passed through SD into the ether? Does Rounds really want to have a discussion about where the tens of millions of dollars of investor money for NBP really ended up?

    If we want hundreds of millions of $$ coming to SD, expanding Medicaid is a surefire way to do it. EB-5? Not so much.

  6. larry kurtz 2014.09.05

    $500,000 is chump change for anyone wanting to start a prostitution ring, human trafficking business, heroin distribution, or even just for industrial espionage.

    Curious that Mike Rounds expected to raise $9 million but has fallen far short since Rich Benda, instead heading to a cush job at NBP, allegedly met his fate in a shelter belt because he found out Marty was ready to issue an warrant for his arrest and/or someone threatened his family.

    Just the appearance of buying access to governors who subsequently visit their countries to partake of the local delicacies, if you get my drift, at taxpayer expense under the cover of executive immunity is an orgy of one-party excess that must make money launderers groveling to buy a path to Pierre.

    It makes me want to puke.

  7. larry kurtz 2014.09.05

    Bendagate has spurred a few trips to alternate universes where Governor Billion and Governor Abbott have been given Nobel Prizes and Senator Herseth Sandlin is considering a run for President.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.06

    R it would be interesting to see Mike Rounds do a blog post detailing that $600 million. Does it include the millions in fees ($50K each) that the EB-5 investors paid Bollen, Benda, and Sveen on top of their $500K visa purchase? Does it include the $95 million that disappeared into Northern Beef Packers along with $4.3 million in state tax dollars? And as you ask, where did that money end up? What was its lasting impact? How much stayed and circulated in South Dakota, and how much helped Joop Bollen buy Egyptian antiquities for Emory University? (And just how did Bollen buy that mummy mask, anyway? Was that purchase legal or black market?)

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