South Dakota - a State That Never Shut Down - Declines Trump's Unemployment Extension Because They Don't Need It

AP featured image
Rep. Kristi Noem, R- S.D., left, Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., center, and Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., leave a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Capitol Hill on Thursday, June 2, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Here’s something you don’t hear every day: A state government has said, “Thanks, but no thanks” to money.

But that government isn’t headed by just any old politician — it’s Kristi Noem, Republican chief of South Dakota.

As noted by The Daily Wire, Kristi’s declined to accept Donald Trump’s August 8th-ordered $400 in extra weekly unemployment benefits.

She released a statement Friday, observing that, “despite significant [dysfunction] in Congress, President Trump continues to problem solve and provide great leadership during this recovery effort.”

And she appreciates the offer, but her state just doesn’t need it. Because every place ain’t New York:

“My administration is very grateful for the additional flexibility that this effort would have provided, but South Dakota is in the fortunate position of not needing to accept it. South Dakota’s economy, having never been shut down, has recovered nearly 80% of our job losses.”

About not having shut down, Kristi impressed a lot of working people when she refused to mandate a pandemic-propelled lockdown.

As some have observed, every area is different. South Dakota has its challenges, but overcrowding isn’t one of them.


Thus, she stood her ground back in April, despite criticism from “herd mentality” hecklers.

You may recall:

Kristi nailed the “role of government in a crisis situation”:

“My responsibility is to respect the rights of people, and the people who elected me. To manage our state operations in a way that reflects the realities of what we have here on the ground in our state. On the foundation of my principles, commonsense conservative values, and the principles that we hold dear in America, the facts, the science, and the data will guide our decision-making here in South Dakota.”

“The calls to apply a one-size-fits all approach to this problem in South Dakota,” she asserted, “is herd mentality, not leadership.”

Kristi made clear she believes in individual responsibility:

“Our Constitution ensures the citizen’s right is protected. I agree with the role of our government as set forth in our state and in our national constitution. I took an oath to uphold these constitutions. … The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety. They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms – they’re free to exercise their rights to work, to worship, and to play – or to even stay at home, or to conduct social distancing.”


Back to her Friday statement, Noem pointed out SD’s been killin’ it where employment’s concerned:

“South Dakota is the only state in the nation that didn’t have extended benefits kick in because our insured unemployment rate has been the lowest in the nation. We have the third best housing construction market in the country. And many, many businesses are looking to relocate to South Dakota because of the decisions we made during the pandemic.”

Bottom line:

“South Dakota is open for business —  that applies to our business owners and their employees.”

Nicely done.

“For those still needing help with unemployment benefits,” she added, “please visit”

As for the $400 beef-up, that’s 200 fewer clams than the previous COVID-related assist.

Last week, RedState’s Mike Ford explained the decrease in dough:

Having pointed out the most obvious and egregious Democrat faults, the President moved on to explaining the Executive Orders which…extend unemployment benefits at a rate of $400.00/week, $200.00 less than previous plan. This gets rid of the “stay home” incentive by making work more attractive.

South Dakota’s lucky to have largely escaped such worry. And residents are blessed to have Kristi Noem, who — evidently — guided the state wisely.


As of this writing, SD’s seen 10,118 total COVID cases, and only 172 deaths per million. By contrast, New York’s had 1,691 per. Even Alabama’s suffered 387 per million.

Good job, Governor Kristi. And great job not taking money you don’t think you need.



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Fangs a Lot, 2020: Libertarian Presidential Candidate Cancels Campaign Stop After Being Bitten by a Bat

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