State deserves more for its gold

Who owns the gold that underlies the Black Hills? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself lately. If I read the 1872 Mining Act correctly — the federal mining law that still applies in the U.S. — gold on public land belongs to the people of the United States until an individual, a group, or a corporation files a claim with the intention of mining it and receives a permit from the appropriate state.

Canadian company Mineral Mountain Resources has been approved by the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources for exploratory drilling for gold in the Rochford area. Some of the exploration would be on national forest land, some on private land. If the ore they drill is of sufficient quality and the price stays high, the company will request permission to mine that gold.

To get that approval, the company must agree to pay the state a severance tax, which is currently $8 an ounce. On Jan. 30, the spot price of gold was $1,342.80 per ounce. Seems to me that if the state is going to sell gold that belongs to the people, we ought to be getting a better price.

Shirley Frederick

Rapid City

Career politicians are a big problem

The whole Congress is messed up; no budget for nine years, no solution toward our growing national debt (which by the way is $20 trillion and growing). A budget extension is not a solution, raising the debt ceiling is not a solution. The government needs to “trim the fat” out of the budget.

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What the news isn’t telling you is everything that was attached to the bill for government funding — 800,000 non-essential employees in the federal government is a waste of money. That money is our money. Calling Social Security an entitlement is a lie. Everyone that has worked since Social Security was created has paid into the fund. It was designed to save our money for our retirement, not for the government to use and not pay back. It’s not a party-line issue, it’s a corruption issue.

The American people need to wake up and realize that it’s not Democrats nor Republicans; rather it’s the career politician that has caused this. The solution is us; our voice is the only thing that can fix this mess.

Wayne Piper

Edgemont

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