Newly elected Tea Party darling Kristi Noem (R-SD) appeared on CNN this morning for a few softball questions from John Roberts. Noem has been appointed to one of two new leadership positions in the House as a liaison between the incoming class and the leadership. In her grand introduction to a national audience, Noem unsurprisingly said that the deficit was a top priority but could not name a single program she would cut. She went on to claim that her work in the state legislature helped balance the South Dakota budget. Now, I suppose she did do some work on the budget but go ahead and guess how South Dakota really balanced their budget. I'll wait for you below the fold.
If you guessed "because of stimulus funds", congratulations! First, here's the video:
We need to go back to 2008 spending levels before these bailouts... I was still able to work with the other party to get some good legislation passed for the state of South Dakota... That's why we had a balanced state budget.
Except that's not exactly true.
South Dakota balanced its budget for the current year, but the governor and legislative leaders have predicted greater problems in FY2012 when the state will no longer get any money from the original stimulus measure passed in 2009.
After initially being hesitant, Gov. Mike Rounds announced that the state would accept all the $47.2 million in federal aid it was allocated in the jobs bill passed by Congress in August 2010...
The state will receive approximately $49 million from the federal government under H.R. 1586, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the President signed into law on August 10, 2010. Although the state was one of the first to receive its education funds from the federal government, Gov. Rounds opted to save the $26.3 million for K-12 education for FY2012, at which time it will boost the state's budget by replacing state-aid funds that were to go to schools this year. Under the governor's plan, the extra money from the federal government for education to increase spending per pupil in FY2011, but instead will use the federal money to free up state funds that can be carried over to support school districts in FY2012. The federal stimulus funds will act as more state fiscal stabilization funds. The governor spokesman said that he didn't want schools to get used to the one time funds that won't be available next [year].
Congratulations, Representative-elect Noem. You've proven yourself to be a hypocrite and a liar right out of the gate! You're not going to be getting any stimulus funds to balance the federal budget and you don't have clue one about where to start on the deficit. You're going to fit in just fine with the rest of the Tea Party crowd in congress. I can't believe that the same state the gave us George McGovern sent you to Washington.