It isn’t the "nanny state" (welfare) that I find difficulty fathoming as much as the creation of the "administrative state" being peddled by liberal progressives like President Obama. He’s changed the landscape of American life from one ruled by a "government of laws" to a country ruled by "government of regulations."
I find this unsettling, not to mention political power peddling to reward his donors like Solyndra billions of dollars in taxpayers’ money. In Obama’s parade of mess, the most egregious aspect of it is the lack of some safeguard for taxpayers who pay for Solyndra’s and other politically connected beneficiaries who took advantage of it. And the parade of failures of these companies is even more stunning. Would taxpayers ever see their money anytime soon?
Obama, more so than any other president in U.S. history, has issued 106 major regulations with an annual additional cost to the economy of $46 billion, according to research study by Heritage Foundation. "In 2010, economists with the Small Business Administration estimated that the total cost of America's regulatory burden reached $1.75 trillion-more than twice what Americans pay in individual income taxes."
Obamacare alone has triggered an initial deficit of some $831 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation study. The set of rules would push this figure much further as it is implemented over an eight-year period. Even now, there are 82,000 pages of federal regulations compared to 2,000-plus in 1936.
Congress played into the hands of this slow destruction by acquiescing to the emasculation of its authority. Giving up its authority in setting national policy is contrary to the vision of the founders of the U.S. Constitution. It is supposed to be the lawgiver, not an acquiescent escapee of its fiduciary duties.
It’s granted by the Constitution "how to check and balance the predominant legislative power, to channel and contain personal ambition and factional interest, to restrain potentially tyrannical majorities and safeguard the rights of beleaguered minorities, to secure personal liberty and protect the rights of property." But it has pandered to the hands of liberal progressives, thus the towering mess further exacerbated by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obamacare.
We must proactively defend first principles from the abusive rule of regulations. We’d like to ensure that our country isn’t relegated to "administrative regimes" but protect and ensure citizens of their freedom in a democratic republic of limited government. My perplexity rises as I ponder how we would accede or genuflect to lordship from people we’ve never met and will never meet as they enforce rules they would have written that are as powerful as laws. Their decisions aren’t subject to legislative or judicial review either. This is very troubling.
Nah, it isn’t how the federal government would become a "nanny" state. It already is on its march per Obama’s socialistic economic policies! Now, let’s focus our collective effort to slam the brakes by ousting him from office this November. Obama’s European model socialism must be stopped at all cost!
Must revamp various policies
The skyrocketing cost of pension programs and health coverage has forced state governments across the country into declaring bankruptcy.
Recently, five counties in California declared bankruptcy: Stockton, San Diego and San Bernardino while insolvency for others is just a matter of time. The culprit is the unsustainable level of compensation, pension benefits, and retiree health coverage. It did nothing but force fiscal trauma on counties, cities, and state governments.
This week, federal bankruptcy court has allowed counties, cities, and state governments to cut healthcare coverage for its employees, a welcome common-sense decision that allows governments to fix their budgets in the midst of loss or dwindling resources.
Unless major reform is instituted, the $320 million in unfunded liabilities would consistently balloon beyond our ability to pay. It takes strong political resolve to institute appropriate changes by commissioning real expert review of the pension program.
Against the tidal shift of revenue contraction triggered by the exodus of foreign capital from the islands in recent past, coupled by punitive federal and local policies that ruined what’s left of the local economy, it’s time to trump our cards and begin anew.
No one is going to do it for us. While the need for more money spirals upward, revenues decline concurrently. The depth of bankruptcy today leaves nothing but uncertainty and hopelessness. We must step in and change the course of this historic economic doldrums.
The CNMI must brave bringing traditional farming and fishing beyond conventional wisdom into the fold. Indeed, there are a myriad of issues it must address and resolve before it takes a leap of faith to transcending the "what has been" into "what will be." Did you forget that these sectors gave the CNMI and Micronesia an economy before WWII?
It takes strong leadership with foresight to move farming and fishing to the next level. I maintain that this only requires serious organization with a firm sense of purpose. It needs bright and educated folks at the helm to move the issue beyond conventional wisdom. If farmers have survived it all through the years, they certainly could retreat to reassess their destiny for brighter tomorrows.
This should be done proactively given the likelihood of farmers from nearby Asian countries moving in to capitalize on the year-round weather for planting and harvesting fast cash crop. I’ve heard this talk already and only time would tell when they would make their move. In brief, they’ve been studying the potential of the islands for years. They even know our soil, time span out of the year for planting without the bother of inclement weather, among others. Let’s do it, however gradual it may be.
A working relationship should also be established between local farmers and experts from the universities of the Philippines and Hawaii. Farmers should explore what both places have to offer by way of applied technology. It has worked well for their agricultural industry. There are a lot of opportunities but scarce entrepreneurs who are willing to take the proverbial first step. Shall we?
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.