Rep. Kristi Noem releases a year-in-review column. She leads with her son's growth of three inches, then reels off several other "achievements" for which she deserves little if any credit.
Rep. Noem trumpets the "long-awaited" Farm Bill and says she got "so many provisions in place for South Dakota producers and consumers." Crop insurance, livestock indemnity, pine beetle eradication—she's claiming credit for socialism here. If we accept that farm socialism is good for South Dakota, Rep. Noem is ignoring the fact that she and her party denied South Dakota those benefits for the fourteen months that they delayed the farm bill over their insistence that poor people deserve less help than wealthy ag corporations.
Rep. Noem says she wrote a provision that directs $31 million to a rural water projects fund from which the long-delayed Lewis and Clark pipeline may draw. Again, socialism. Again, delay—if it's so great, Rep. Noem, why aren't you just getting it done?
Rep. Noem highlights the passage of her mostly uncontroversial Black Hills Cemetery Act. The only earth this law moves is a few more acres of the Paha Sapa that will be torn up to bury the corpses of mostly white colonizers.
Already out of things she got done, Rep. Noem turns to human trafficking. Of all the concrete actions she could take to end global slavery, Rep. Noem brags up a minor policy change, one that didn't allocate new money to police and prosecutors, didn't offer any stronger penalties for treating humans like chattel, but simply promised to stretch existing funds to make more shelters for trafficking victims available. Rep. Noem couldn't even sell that meager action to her Senate colleagues.
Rep. Noem expresses her support for government-run health care in Hot Springs, talks about a lot of talk, but can point to no achievement beyond hanging a bauble in the latest stopgap spending bill to prevent the VA from saving money in this fiscal year.
Rep. Noem touts the ABLE Act, pending legislation that would create tax-exempt private savings accounts for disability-related expenses that would not count against income/asset thresholds for various government benefits. This band-aid bill doesn't help low-income families who don't have money to contribute to savings accounts. Once again, Rep. Noem ignores the truly needy.
Rep. Kristi Noem uses a lot of shiny wrapping paper, but the boxes she puts under our tree are mostly empty.
Related Right-Wing Rage: Bob Ellis calls Rep. Noem "feckless" and longs for something other than the coming triumvirate of ineffective Republicans in South Dakota's Congressional delegation.