As the crowd takes its seat at the Economic Meltdown Coliseum in the skies, there were whispers of superhuman beings wearing expensive ties entering the venue quietly. There’s also the pensive look on their faces for inadvertently showing up at the Ring of Fire.
Though the whispers were inaudible, the issues snap in intense heat from spouts of a huge crowd who could no longer tolerate nursing life at the brink of abject poverty. They’re fixated on the query: What have superhuman beings (elected elite) done in recent past to revive the local economy that would in turn improve their livelihood?
The MC took a glance at the crowd, explaining the purpose of the evening affair. Said he: "We’re here to ask legislators to account for every penny of their extra $5,000 monthly stipend so it is made available for public scrutiny before the midterm election. This is a must in that it came directly from taxes we’ve paid annually. Please include car leases, cost per month, and gasoline expenses.
"For the governor and lieutenant governor, we would like an ocular review of your monthly utility bills, cost of security services and drivers hailing from the Department of Public Safety. Please include all costs related to breakfast, luncheon, and dinner for state guests and loyalists. Taxpayers deserve to know the actual cost of freebies you receive while they struggle to save a good portion of the family income to catch up with highly prohibitive utility bills. It’s disturbing your collective sense of immunity from the hardship at the village level."
"Legislators, taxpayers also wish to know whether you’re still accruing 3 percent per year that goes into increasing your future pension paycheck. If so, why wasn’t this privilege extended equally to other employees throughout the government? Explain why you approved a very lucrative 3-percent increase for your retirement while all others are denied the same. Isn’t this grossly unfair and can you explain yourself please?" fumed the MC. Eh, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.
The MC pointed out: "You’ve become a broken record, procrastinating on reducing the size of the Legislature. Why hasn’t the two chambers settled on an initiative so this is placed before the voters this midterm election or in a special plebiscite? How much longer must you use lame and redundant rhetoric, only to see day’s end with a lot more said than done? How do you explain that to taxpayers who are struggling to survive while you splurge at their expense?
There was a half-hour break to allow the crowd to organize their questions. When the MC resumed the meeting, the bleachers where fancy Sears Roebuck and JC Penny ties were dangling was empty. Politicians have found another escape hatch from having to face the truth. It’s despicable the amount of annual expenses in salaries and unearned perks only to see them slink away from their fiduciary duties while amassing a loot paid for by taxpayers. What do we get in return? A` Saina!
Crisis in policymaking
Policymaking is a difficult task. It never begins with tightening your Sears Roebuck or JC Penny ties nor does it end there. It focuses on lawmaking that would benefit some 80 percent of the general public. To brave it without a decent perception and comprehension of the monumental task at hand makes you the servile darling or the admirably misguided comic in town. Your lame courage is admirable though the taxpayers despise getting the perfect screw for two or four long years.
Strangely appalling the plethora of ad hoc policies approved in recent past, most of which are either shamefully shallow or completely irrelevant when viewed against the deepening economic meltdown at home. There were policies on panty display in Garapan and bicycling regulations.
The authors, Raphael Demapan and Joseph Palacios, must panty-up or bicycle-up to relevant policy legislation relating to the deepening economic meltdown paralyzing basic public services. Or are you clueless on the real issue that is right below your nose, daily? Hello? Are you even at home, by any chance? Or do you need us to shield and rescue you from your purposeful and embarrassing ignorance? It’s amazingly appalling!
The imposition of punitive fees and taxes right smack in the middle of a woefully poor business climate is demonstrative of their shallow perception of the laws of unintended consequences. It’s another indication of the lack of clarity of understanding of the educated paradigms the CNMI needs to revive a traumatically paralyzed local economy. Believe it or not, it transcends donning newly arrived Sears Roebuck and JC Penny ties, more taxpayer-paid steak and lobsters, and laws on panty displays and bicycle regulations.
And if we don’t do something concrete to change the sleepy heads on the hill, we would only be entrenching life of hardship in perpetuity.
Buddy Magoo related he thinks he’s contracted magasitis-an imperious mental disorder of arrogance by indigenous folks picked for powerful positions-that only happens in these Taga Stone isles. I related my disagreement. In other words, I am a struggling retiree under water while he’s a farmer. He and I both suffer from arthritis, not magasitis. (Laughter).
Jay Leno: Jobless claims rose again by 35,000 recently. Not good. But it does show that if you're unsuccessful in this country, you didn't do it on your own. You had help. Thank you, President Obama.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee the economic recovery is weakening. But the good news is most Americans will not be affected because they had no idea there was a recovery.
Delrosario is a regular contributor to the Saipan Tribune's Opinion Section.