Kristi Noem, the new representative from South Dakota, gave a well-received speech at CPAC, speaking on behalf of a freshman class of Republican representatives who “did not come to Washington to be defined by one vote,” but instead feel their mission is to “change the way business is done in D.C.”
Noem said the first step in that process was accomplished when “we took that gavel back from Nancy Pelosi,” but sees much work ahead. She’s especially concerned with the burden government places upon small business, and the waste of potential America’s children suffer at the hands of our broken public education system.
She recounted her youth growing up on a ranch in South Dakota, and how her father’s tragic death in an accident left her in charge of the family business… and face-to-face with the death tax. Her family had to choose between selling off land from the ranch, or taking out a loan, to pay the estate taxes after her father passed away. Understanding the irreplaceable value of their property, they chose to take out loans, which required ten years to repay. Class warfare liberals portray the estate tax as the seizure of ill-gotten loot from treasure vaults buried beneath alabaster mansions, but Kristi Noem has a different story to tell, one more representative of the way our tax system grinds “normal, everyday people” within its gears.
She said she never dreamed she would be in Congress, but now that she’s arrived, she is determined to bring “money back to those who earned it,” and liberty to those who would pursue the welfare of their families instead of obeying a centralized agenda. She dismisses establishment criticism of her energetic band of upstart freshmen with a smile: “We don’t know a lot about how Washington, D.C. operates, and frankly, we don’t really care.” She came to Capitol Hill to change it, not be assimilated by it.
Noem mourns the fate of young people beneath a collapsing system of inept public education, grieving for “the first generation that won’t receive as good an education as its parents.” “Your worst fears have been realized,” she said to young people in the audience. “Your parents are smarter than you.”
She praised the new wave of conservative “citizen legislators” as the fulfillment of our Founders’ vision, encouraging them to “fight against the growth of government, end excessive spending and endless borrowing, and stop passing the bill along to our children.” Instead of burdening the young with debt from our agenda, she suggested, “maybe we should make sacrifices for them.”
“With hard work, we can make a better tomorrow,” Noem concluded, recalling the optimism she admired in Ronald Reagan. Her speech was a benediction for those who are eager to see every American have their chance at following her path, and finding destinies they never dreamed of.