Feds send much money to South Dakota

Legislative report

Last week our legislative fiscal staff gave a report detailing the funds South Dakota has received to date related to COVID, and the total is larger than I remembered – $13.529 billion! That is $15,258 per South Dakota resident. Did you get yours? Me neither.

The federal government did send some directly to individuals, but the vast majority went out to other layers of state and local government. I understand why that is the process, but it frustrates me on a fundamental level. You see, doing it that way ensures that government grows, citizens are burdened with more debt – and freedom is less. Do you remember the scripture passage that says “ ... the borrower is the slave of the lender”? (Proverbs 22:7) The truth about borrowing is the same today as it was thousands of years ago when that wisdom was penned.

Abraham Lincoln, in his Gettysburg Address, famously said our government is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people ....” Yet, when we are force fed handouts, needed or not, like it or not, we become as scripture says, “slave to the lender,” which in this case is our federal government.

So what can we do? Some say we just need to elect different people. The pendulum of politics has swung back and forth throughout our nation’s history, and at times we have made progress. Debt has been reduced. Freedom restored. Still we see that the cumulative effect over the years has been an ever-growing government and ballooning debt. To see a shocking reminder of our nation’s debt, search for usdebtclock.org on your computer. The number changes as you watch it. I used a stopwatch. It took only 40 seconds to add another million and grew over $80 million while I wrote this article!

Fortunately there is a way we can affect the change that is needed. Our nation’s founders, relying on God’s providence, wisely inserted Article V into the U.S. Constitution. Article V allows for the states to “call a convention for proposing amendments ....” It takes 34 states to call such a convention. Fifteen states have already done so. South Dakota should join them.

Two resolutions, HJR 5001 and SJR 501, that are currently before the South Dakota Legislature are asking South Dakota to join the request for congress to call a convention of states. I will be supporting them. If you agree with me, please contact other legislators and ask for their support.

While the numbers are staggering and the consequences of not acting dangerous, there is hope. An amendment to require Congress to live by a true balanced budget (like South Dakota does) would fix irresponsible spending by Washington once and for all.

In service to God and you,

John Mills, representative, District 4, [email protected] or [email protected]