It’s true that we were able to balance the budget this year during our legislative session, but at what cost? Balancing our budget required an infusion of $71 million of federal stimulus money from the national government. Crawling on our knees when times get bad is not a good sign of a healthy, fiscally responsible state that budgets for the future. South Dakota can take care of South Dakota. At present, it is becoming increasingly irresponsible and risky to look to higher powers to plug our budget shortcomings. The Congressional Budget Office recently came out with new numbers that put the United States’ budget deficit at $1.7 trillion. That kind of borrowing from other countries, mostly China, isn’t healthy or sustainable for the country or South Dakota, and we need to make sure we do our part to live within our means.
Creating a position of financial strength, through wise budgeting and a large pool of reserves, will help us to ride through the rough times and help us remain free of influence from higher powers, whether it be the national government or foreign countries.