On Saturday the Mitchell Daily Republic published a letter I wrote exposing Daugaard's deception on the state budget:
Your July 18 Our View regarding the state budget was based on faulty numbers. Gov. Daugaard’s 2012 budget proposal was only $12 less than what was budgeted in 2011 and not anywhere close to the $127 million figure that continues to be claimed by his administration and various South Dakota media sources.
The 2012 budget was based on $1.138 billion in projected revenues. The actual revenues for 2012 came in at $1.282 billion, a $144 million increase. Since only $48 million of that increase was put into reserves, the other $96 million was increased spending. So the 2012 actual spending was $84 million (96 minus 12) more than what was in the 2011 budget.
It is totally false to attribute the $48 million surplus to Daugaard’s claim that he cut the 2012 budget $127 million, when the 2012 General Fund spending level was higher than any other year in the history of South Dakota. It is also false for Daugaard to claim that the surplus was accomplished without tax increases, when tax revenues actually increased $144 million.
For those departments that spent less in 2012 than 2011, such as the Education Department’s state aid, they not only need to be told where their cuts went to, but where did that extra $84 million go.
And don’t bother asking our District 20 legislators about this issue. Their job is to protect the governor, and tell folks that a CPA with a master’s degree in accounting doesn’t know what he is talking about. I am sure they loved your July 18 glorification of the governor.