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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fiscal calamity slides home

This government is broke! Evidence of budgetary shortfalls overwhelmingly confirms the deepening fiscal calamity at home. There’s no money to pay debts with the Fund, PSS, and CHC, as we stare, a bit dazed, if not shocked, for spending beyond our means. And we keep incurring more of it in what’s known as deficit spending.

Interior’s Tony Babauta is here to coach our fiscally illiterate bunch how to steer clear of using deficit spending to pile up more debts beyond our ability to pay. It would be interesting to see his report on, yes, NMI’s mountain of debts.

As though current debt isn’t enough, the governor signed a power plant deal totaling $2.3 billion over a 25-year period. Appalling that he ignored the significant decline in revenues, a serious indicator that the economy is bleeding viciously from a complete meltdown especially under his watch.

The governor narrowly missed the bullet of impeachment. But the defeat of the resolution automatically approved the $2.3 billion debt that literally sends taxpayers to the slaughterhouse. A perfect recipe robbing our children of their economic freedom! In the process, Republicans seriously pitched into the degradation of democratic principles, specifically our people’s rights to honest governance via a government of laws!

Now Republican minions are peddling approval of casinos and the sale of developed public land to meet $320 million in unfunded liabilities with the Fund. Apparently, they are not done piling more debts against our children.

The irony in all these is in the governor’s inability to use his experience to gather leadership into meaningful and purposeful discussion of significant issues. I’m sure he knows that every single interaction involves influencing and persuading others in order to get what he wants. But he dishes incendiary insults against legislators, then ask for cooperation and collaboration. Respect, sir, is earned! It’s also a two-way street. It never begins and ends with your whimsical and abrasive dictates.

I know that great leaders worth their salt understand that this persuasion is everywhere and that not only do you have to have great work ethic, you also have to have the "ability to have relatable, effective and influential relationships." Thus it requires integrity and respect for others whose role could move your agenda from point A to B. But he’s burned his bridges at every opportunity with arrogance. And he expects cooperation from others?

A hospital in shambles

A lot has gone wrong in paradise including snoozing on the job while pushing fatally punitive and destructive policies against businesses, not to mention trashing good governance.

Reportedly, CHC is in shambles. “Perhaps in an effort to deflect responsibility for CHC’s collapse, the governor’s release did not include the candid language labeled ‘Current Corporate Operational Status’: “The creation of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation in October of 2011 and transition to a stand-alone health care system has not been successful. There was inadequate planning and funding for the transition.

“The system is in danger of failing. It has critical financial, clinical, and operational issues that must be addressed immediately.

“The system lacks experienced leadership in key positions who can direct changes that are needed.”

Appalling how he ignored fiduciary fiscal responsibility to fund the most important government agency dealing with the health and wellbeing of our people. Why the contemptuous disposition where he toys with everyone’s life?

Perhaps it’s a sneaky or stealth calculation, hoping that funding the hospital would disappear into thin air. It never did. It came roaring back like a two-headed corn snake. We say thanks to HealthTech for its candid and timely éxposé of the hospital’s dire conditions. Without its intervention healthcare would also be hurled into the dumpster! Can’t fathom that, with fiscal calamity and economic cataclysm at home, Republicans still want to rule? No mas!

Answer isn’t in quick fixes

Perhaps nobody saw some 32 years ago that we’ve approved a monstrosity known as the Fund that will drive the local treasury steadily into fiscal cliff.

Pile all the filthy politics that did nothing but balloon the obligations of the Fund and you could see why the system is unsustainable.

Borrowing via pension obligation bond isn’t the answer if the intent is to retire the current liability so the Fund begins anew with basically the same debt. Call it running in place. If the planned loan isn’t intended as a corresponding contribution, then it’s a tale that at some point in the near term the Fund would go belly up once more. Do we saddle our children with more debts as to ruin their economic future?

Resolving the future of the Fund requires the ocular and critical review of financial analysts and investment consultants. Rendering quick political solutions only invites more trouble than what we have to endure today. I reiterate, the POB alternative is not the recipe to finding corresponding contribution to ensure the Fund’s sustainability. Investment is the answer, though this involves a process that is itself time consuming.

But this requires realistic and critical resetting of our investment button forthwith. We can’t deal with fiscal calamity if we consistently ignore growing the most productive sector of the economy we call private industries.

If need be, current retirees and members must be asked to take a greater share of paying for their benefits. It’s the only way to ensure sustainability. To leave it to someone else would only pave the way for its eventual demise or total bankruptcy. Think and think about how do we resuscitate it from going belly up.

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Christmas is just around the corner. Have you heard your kids singing, One Little Candle? The song says it’s “better to light one little candle than stumble in the dark.” We’ve been stumbling in the dark, haven’t we? What holiday season this would be where every family juggles pennies, nickels and dimes to see which expense falls under, “nice to have,” “must have” or “can’t have.” Let’s march on for the work of evil geniuses behind corruption shall pass too.

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