Whether we’re right or wrong, at least we’re relevant. Incredibly relevant, judging by the Democratic mouthpiece known as The Antidote, which has devoted most of its current edition to slamming The Daily Republic.
And to think, all this venom from Mitchell’s own Steve Jarding, the editor of The Antidote.
I’ve been amused by the rabid nature of the Democratic reaction to our editorial praising Gov. Dennis Daugaard for turning a budget deficit into a surplus in just two years. The budget turnaround seemed an obvious bit of good news to us. How could it be bad news? Would the Democrats have preferred Daugaard to double the budget deficit rather than convert it to a surplus?
Democrats, who to my memory were accusing Republicans of overspending just a few years ago, are now saying the surplus is evidence that Republicans are “hoarding” money. That seems a bit premature, given that we only learned about the surplus in recent weeks. It wasn’t as if Daugaard budgeted for a surplus — he budgeted to break even, and things turned out better than expected. Again, how is that bad news?
The thing missing from this whole blow-up is that this should be a forward-looking development, not a backward-looking one. Democrats want us to believe that Republicans have been running around the state stealing money from teachers, students and old people and stuffing the cash in a pot somewhere in a hidden corner of the state Capitol.
What’s really happened, it seems to me, is that state departments are under-spending their budgets (again, isn’t that a good thing?) and the economy is doing well, and those factors and others have produced an unexpected surplus. I agree with the Democrats that this money shouldn’t be “hoarded,” but again, that’s a forward-looking concern. We didn’t know we’d have a surplus. Now we do. It’s now incumbent upon Republican and Democratic legislators alike to go to Pierre in January and deal with the surplus responsibly.
If Democrats want to have any voice in that discussion with what, barring a miracle, is likely to be a Republican majority, they’re not helping their cause with all the bomb-throwing they’re doing now.