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LETTER: What's the answer, Kristi?

For several years, when anybody asks Kristi Noem to cosponsor the Glass-Steagall Act, she says she's still studying it. Wednesday at the DakotaFest Town Meeting in Mitchell, she finally snapped, "I won't be supporting that."

It came about by Tim Luke stating,"The South Dakota Legislature passed a resolution this spring urging you and our other delegates to support Glass-Steagall. Dodd-Frank, with its orderly liquidation authority, opens up the public's bank accounts to be expropriated, as was done in Cyprus."

Tim went on, "How long is Congress going to stand by and allow the American people to be looted by London and Wall Street bankers?"

Noem said she wasn't convinced Glass-Steagall would have prevented the financial crisis. Then she added, "I'm concerned the people who are for Glass-Steagall come to my office and tie Glass-Steagall to a nationwide water damming and agriculture infrastructure project, and we just don't have the money for that."

I showed Kristi a chart on derivatives vs. world-wide assets and asked, "Why are we paying trillions of dollars to these Wall Street banker's derivatives? All the assets in the world will not be able to pay that off. Glass-Steagall puts the bankers' gambling debts off to one side. We don't have to pay that and then we can build the projects these people are talking about. I don't understand your reasoning."

Noem answered with "We need reforms different from that."

I said, "Glass-Steagall worked for over 70 years. Why wouldn't you support Glass-Steagall, HR 129?"

Noem said "We may have to agree to disagree. I don't believe that's the answer."

I then asked her "What is the answer Kristi?"

Noem turned away from me, walked to the other end of the tent and tried to go on to what she thought were safer subjects. I gave the derivatives chart, and a copy of The Daily Republic, which had a column by Northern State University professor of political science Jon Schaff, headlined: "Glass-Steagall Act Should be Reinstated Now" to her staff.

I still want to know: "What is the answer Kristi?"