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Op-ed: Jamie Smith is too extreme for common sense South Dakota
Guest column by Gov. Kristi Noem
In South Dakota, we focus on solving problems. Despite national challenges like stagnant economic growth and skyrocketing cost of living, South Dakota is growing our way to a stronger and more prosperous state.
My opponent in this race is too extreme to solve the problems that we’re facing. He’s embracing new taxes, more spending, and a woke cultural agenda – the same agenda that caused these problems in the first place. And to hide from that extreme record, he has repeatedly made false statements both about his positions and about me and my record.
If I am blessed with another term as governor, my top priority will be repealing the state’s sales tax on groceries to give relief to South Dakotans, which will be the largest tax cut in our state’s history. A pound of ground beef costs 25 percent more today than when Joe Biden took office, and a dozen eggs costs a whopping 113 percent more.
In South Dakota, we balance our budget. We aren’t taxing our way to record revenues – we’re growing our way there. Our state agencies spent $43 million less than they were budgeted for this past year. This strong fiscal position makes it so that we can afford to cut taxes.
South Dakota is already a low-tax state; our people pay no state income tax nor a state business tax. South Dakotans pay no personal property taxes to the state. With the future repeal of the grocery tax, we will become the most taxpayer friendly state in the nation.
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Unfortunately, my opponent has repeatedly and openly stated that he wants to find “more things to tax.” He has voted for and supported several tax increases in the past. He opposed the federal income tax cuts that I helped pass through Congress, which put $2,400 back in the pockets of the average South Dakota family. He wants to increase spending in state government.
Basically, he wants to bring Joe Biden’s failed economic policies to South Dakota. His policies would undo the tremendous economic success we’ve had since I took office.
South Dakota’s growth took off thanks to our handling of the COVID pandemic. We were the only state that never ordered a single business or church to close or even defined what an “essential business” was.
Now, our personal incomes are growing faster than any state. Our new business applications are leading the nation. Our population is growing 10 times faster than the national average. And our new housing development is number one in the country. People want to live and work in a state that respects freedom and allows them the opportunity to succeed.
In contrast, the federal government continues to push mandates on the American people. They’re expanding government control over your lives. They racked up a $2.8 trillion deficit in 2021, with more to come. This extremist agenda is driving up costs for South Dakota families. We cannot allow Jamie Smith to bring the same agenda to Pierre.
My opponent is also embracing other items of the woke cultural agenda. He marched with the same BLM “protestors” who launched a violent attack on Sioux Falls businesses and law enforcement officers. He did not defend fairness for girls’ sports. He has not stood up to prevent our classrooms from being infiltrated with divisive ideologies like Critical Race Theory. He pushed mask and vaccine mandates. He is too extreme for South Dakota.
States like South Dakota are doing the right thing to fight the Biden Administration’s extremist policies. And we will prevent liberal extremists like Jamie Smith from bringing those policies to South Dakota.
Kristi Noem is the incumbent Republican governor of South Dakota.