In the Weekly Republican Address, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple explains why the economy is doing so well in his state, in stark contrast to the national economic picture.
Full transcript of Governor Dalrymple’s Address:
“Hi, I’m Jack Dalrymple, Governor of North Dakota.
“Where I live, we run government with common sense. We don’t spend more money than we collect in revenue each year. We don’t have General Obligation debt, and we only borrow when we have identified a revenue source to pay it back.
“These are big reasons why North Dakota is doing so well compared to the rest of the nation. We have the lowest unemployment rate of all 50 states at 3.2% and our prudent fiscal management has allowed us to lower taxes each of the last three legislative sessions. We’ve lowered substantially our real estate taxes, our individual income taxes, and even corporate income taxes. Our growing budget surpluses allow us to make large investments in infrastructure and job growth. Just think of the wise investments our country could be making right now if the Federal budget was managed as carefully.
“As a nation, what progress has been made to balance our annual budget deficit? Have any real spending reductions been proposed by the Democratic majority in the Senate? Has President Obama made any real attempts to reduce spending? All we see are budgeting games. The American people are growing tired of the constant pleas for tax increases from this Administration, long before any real proposals appear for spending reductions.
“But keeping government’s house in order is only part of the equation. The other part is focusing on creating good paying jobs. North Dakota has been ranked #1 in the nation in job creation for each of the last three years by a Gallup poll study. We have created a friendly business climate in North Dakota, where taxes and insurance rates are low, the regulatory environment is very reasonable, and we have the most responsive state government anywhere. Companies want to expand in North Dakota because of the ease of doing business and because of our well educated, well trained workforce. Why do Fortune 500 companies like Caterpillar, Amazon.com, and John Deere choose to expand in North Dakota when they could go anywhere in the world? They do it because they know that North Dakotans are friendly toward business and will work hard to help their employers be successful.
“Our economic success is broad-based. We have thousands of job openings in North Dakota today, but almost every day the national media asks me if it isn’t all due to the oil boom in Northwestern North Dakota. I enjoy telling them the county with the most job openings is not among western oil counties but is the county surrounding Fargo, our largest city and on the opposite side of the state. Our technology parks around our research universities create great jobs by the thousands. Advanced manufacturing adds jobs in North Dakota while most of the nation has lost manufacturing jobs. Over the last 10 years North Dakota has been #1 in the nation in income and job growth, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Why is our national economic policy on the wrong track?
“There are two main reasons. First, the Federal government is unnecessarily adding to the cost of living and the cost of doing business in America. Just one example is our cost of energy. The price of gasoline is rising rapidly because we continue to depend on foreign oil. It is now within our reach to become energy independent in North America if we simply develop the resources we already have available in places like the Gulf of Mexico, non-sensitive public lands across America, and in our friendly bordering countries.
“The second reason we are on the wrong track is that the Federal government is killing energy development with overly burdensome regulations. The best example of this is the Keystone XL pipeline which the Obama Administration will not allow to be built. The State of North Dakota is currently experiencing an oil boom in the Bakken formation. We have doubled our oil production in the last four years and are about to become the second largest oil producing state behind only Texas. But we cannot effectively market our crude oil domestically without a large North-South pipeline. North Dakota oil producers were scheduled to feed the Keystone pipeline with 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Now we will not be able to supply the choice American markets because President Obama says he needs more time to study Keystone. The fact is he has had over three years to study this issue. Congress should step in and pass Senator Hoeven’s measure which would authorize the Keystone project. It’s the common sense thing to do
“The other key to North American energy independence is the rapid development of natural gas production from shale. The EPA is threatening to regulate this production out of existence by forcing rules that end hydraulic fracturing. In our part of the country, hydraulic fracturing takes place two miles below the surface of the earth and nowhere near any water supplies. It is time for this Administration to stop using phony excuses.
“America needs to return to a government based on common sense. Three Presidential candidates have visited North Dakota, and I have told them all the same thing: Build America back on the same blueprint that North Dakota has adopted and our country will surely be rewarded with the same great economy our state is enjoying.
“Thank you for listening.”