Crippling bankruptcy


When nailed to our cross from a mind numbing issue we dig down deep to resolve it forthwith. We forge ahead amidst crippling financial shortfall families have to endure these days. Life goes on, though quizzically painful the uncertain journey ahead.

How do we deal with the cumulative increase in the cost of living? Well, most fail to see the “cumulative increase” crashing fatally into the reality of our empty family pocketbooks. But feeling its crunching effects is right up front and center in every household.

For retirees, you add the 25-percent cut in pension, 40-percent increase in health insurance plus 20-percent increase in the cost of living and you’re looking at an 85-percent cut in your total income or buying power. The rest must endure cut in income by over 65 percent.

The vicious hardship is ubiquitous—could be seen everywhere—throughout the CNMI. It’s all about lapses in leadership from A-Z. “We the people” are the victims!

The issue drops into two categories: 1.) “Standing complaint” among the multitude about misery forcibly placed upon them by, reiterating, leadership failure. 2.) Turns into breakfast, lunch, and dinner people would bring with them to the polls this November.

No matter the political calisthenics, there’s no doubt people would keep repeating the standing narrative found in pseudonyms like CUC, CHC (health insurance), and other Cs. Apparently, your wagon is dislodged and gone off on its own while the horses have headed elsewhere, too!

With instability in Iraq, oil would skyrocket by as much as $150-$200 per barrel. This increase will soon hit the CNMI. At day’s end, it’s you and I who must pay higher power bills. Moreover, the domino effect definitely would increase shipping cost that translates into another layer of increase in the price of basic commodities. Did someone say alternative energy?

With the inevitable cocktail of increases from power to food, perhaps pro-casino folks should explain how the casino industry would resolve the persistent fiscal and financial crisis at home. Let’s see your arithmetic beyond conjecture and propped-up projections. Hell, it’s your chance demonstrating there’s brighter break of dawn, huh?

Whether we like it or not, our government is bankrupt! It can no longer afford paying for its hefty obligations. Looking at the combined effects of cumulative deficit of some $1.2 billion versus revenue generation going Deep South, it’s all a matter of time before the die is cast! The crippling effect of bankruptcy has descended into every corner of the NMI.

Bubble of isolation
Our men of wisdom have opted to live in isolation in order to insulate themselves from serious questions coming from “we the people” on the whole ball of wax of forced economic misery. They do not wish to listen to complaints about joblessness, hopelessness, and other familial economic maladies originating from their failure.

Have they done anything of substance to reduce a huge deficit? As though this isn’t sufficient, there’s also a plan to take out pension obligation bond that would effectively deny our children their economic freedom. The apathy with which incumbent leadership has treated these issues has forced a shift in slogan from “better times” to maybe “next time.”

Nothing has been done to mitigate new and impending increases. The ineptitude has left wages and salaries stagnant or the same for the last 20 years. This doesn’t offer much help to anyone. The pain is the same in every household. Is there a way out of this filthy swamp of persistent leadership failure?

Indeed, there are ways to ease what families have to endure today if, and only if, leadership buckles down to using its cranium to the hilt. I salivate at the opportunity to turn the mess around and lift our sunken canoe from the harbor of bankruptcy. That our sail is shredded is more the reason to burn the midnight oil to give opportunity another shot so we could rebuild the bridge of hope.

When you slip into history then you know your career has sailed permanently into the sunset. It’s beyond the reef where you could relish living in bubbly isolation!

Kick the bums out!
Many of us have gone to hell and back, trying to understand where things may have gone wrong in the persistently deepening fiscal and financial crisis at home.

The more critically you probe it, the more it shows that it’s in the poor caliber of leadership on the hill or lapses in leadership. Obviously, the culprit is no rocket science stuff either. Thus, the dearth of meaningful economic policies has been soundly relegated to irrelevancy.

Having contributed to the deepening mess as “Do-Nothings,” they’ve learned to insulate themselves with our tax dollars to the tune of $60,000-$90,000 each. No wonder! What work only evil geniuses could concoct on self-serving basis! Kick the bums out!

Historic amnesia
A Clinton staff quip, “It’s the economy, stupid,” remains the most relevant reminder here today. It should have been the mantra of every politician worth his salt! It isn’t!

There’s the historic amnesia trashing the will of the people on casino. It’s a fertile year too for non-economic policies confirming complete misperception of the people’s issues.

Are we supposed to be forgiving of policymakers who’ve simply failed the multitude donning the cap of abecedarians?

Instead of fully thought-out economic policies, we see laws prohibiting panty hanging in Garapan. Does it mean you’d be paying for their utility bills too?

Then there’s the cockfight measure. Is cockfighting the economic engine on the islands? This is provincial stuff, fittingly the purview of municipal councils. Or is this the depth of your perception of the crippling economic mess at home?

That there’s literally nothing undertaken to ease familial economic hardship is more the reason to “kick the bums out.” It’s time to begin insisting, via our ballots, for a more academically and professionally competent group of policymakers. No more amnesiac leadership. No mas!

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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