“We offer freedom from red tape, regulation and corporate and personal income taxes.”
When Gov. Kristi Noem looks across the nation to compare South Dakota to other states, she might look at places that are very different, such as California and New York. Unlike South Dakota, these large coastal states feature left-wing liberals who battle police and question whether they want to be part of America at all.
California and New York are also heavily impacted by COVID-19, both from a health care perspective and an economic one.
Noem may also see states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas and Montana. Though these states are unlikely to revolt against America anytime soon, they each feature Democratic governors who have imposed more restrictive policies on residents and businesses during COVID-19, such as shelter-in-place orders and mask requirements.
Noem has refused any call for a shelter-in-place mandate. And if you are forced to wear a mask at Walmart next week, it will be the company’s policy, not Noem’s.
Noem now even sees states such as Texas, Florida and Arizona. These states feature Republican governors, voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, and have relatively strong economies. Still, they now face COVID-19 hotspots in certain areas.
As these other states struggle with COVID-19 and social unrest, Noem sees an opportunity to promote South Dakota as a place of relative peace and prosperity. A video she posted to Twitter on Thursday registered approximately 175,000 views in 12 hours. It was up to 490,000 views by 4 p.m. Friday.
“South Dakota means business. In our state, you won’t find the restrictions that hold companies back in other places,” Noem says in the video.
“If you value our approach to reducing government and increasing personal freedom, we’d love to have you join us,” she adds.
Also on Thursday, Noem said South Dakota closed the 2020 budget year with a surplus of $19.1 million. She said although revenues were $7.9 million short of what had been anticipated, South Dakota cut spending by more than $27 million, resulting in the surplus.
“Despite the challenges with COVID-19, South Dakota remains in a strong financial position,” Noem stated via news release. “As many states closed their economies, I trusted South Dakotans to make the right decisions for themselves and their loved-ones. Our future remains bright because we kept our state open for business and we live within our means.”