Persistence at its best


Entitlement programs are real help for needy families. The more you probe it, the more it shows the failure of the local government to provide opportunities for its people. Though not an advocate, I’ve shoved aside my personal view to see the human side of the issue.

Familial hardship is ditched further by the lack of economic prosperity that lifts all boats.

I’ve listened intently to the expressions of recipients of housing vouchers, food stamps, Medicaid and others. For most, the amount in federal benefits is beyond their reach even with both parents working fulltime jobs.

Let’s say a certain family receives about $800-900 for housing voucher, $400 in food stamps, Medicaid assistance, and WIC, among others. It’s well above a thousand dollars per month that doesn’t cover family transportation or disposable income for school supplies and other needs. It’s way above the family income.

It’ a struggle families deal with daily knowing subconsciously there’s something better than handouts. Their goal to shutter a candle at the entrance of a deep cave has gotten better. Both parents turn to education and training to upgrade skills and ultimately their income. When one or both make it successfully securing their undergraduate degrees, the door for brighter days ahead swings wide open.

I know of couples caught in the squeeze but never gave up their focus on education and training. Faith, persistence, and determination have all paid off wiping out that painful chapter in their journey of recent past. It’s a rare case of rags to something better than handouts. Happy of the couple’s accomplishment!

One of them said, chuckling, “Lucky I U.S. citizen!”

Beyond their successful determination to outgrow handouts are the well-earned trophies in their educational attainment as they guide their kids forward. Congratulations!

Lucky Uncle Sam’s here!

For whatever reasons our people have sought various federal assistance, I admire how they’ve used them as initial support to get ahead slowly untangling the rut of handouts. I understand the dictates of necessity that doesn’t leave much room for fancy maneuvering.

We have the reality of joblessness triggered by the failure of local government to provide economic opportunities for folks via meaningful employment. This is the primary reason for our people’s slide into abject poverty. And the gods on imperial Capital Hill are clueless of this reality! Or are they wary though woefully ill equipped to make a dent for the better?

Imagine what these folks would have to deal with without federal help. People would have to weather hunger, homelessness and serious health issues on their own.

This while legislators padded their wallets with $5,000 monthly expenses on top of their salaries of $39,500 for a grand total of $99,500 per year. Wow! No wonder the apathy and indifference!

Then you have Raffy constantly junketing looking for power generators while Biktot sharpens knives for his roosters. The duo is clueless of the magnitude of disposing fiduciary duty on issues that matter. And this is manifested in their adolescent attitude of total insensitivity in the persistent downward spiral in the quality of life for families everywhere.

Well, this is when Magoo proudly declares, “Lucky I U.S. citizen!” Not for this super senior citizen still doing search and rescue for the “solutions driven” whose once bubbly balloon must have been punctured by reality check and lack of leadership. Hmmm! Heard a rumor that the captain of our sinking boat is reviewing his astrological sign or horrorscope!

Humiliating revelation

Often ponder why the lack of perception and mindfulness among the elected elite to understand the hardship among villagers who literally struggle daily to make ends meet.

Are they blind, deaf or mute thus the obvious lack in the ability to put things into perspective? Are they incapable doing due diligence to craft policy issues to alleviate the sinking quality of life in the villages? This strange collective blindness is appalling!

But then take a closer look at their salaries and the convenience padding their wallets at the expense of taxpayers. Legislators recently gave themselves some $5,000 per month to cover sessions in addition to their annual salaries of $39,500 for a whopping $99,500 per year. This doesn’t include another $5,000 from a rich donor allegedly paid to some legislators for serving as lapdogs or lobbyists! No wonder the blind acceptance to seek re-election. Humiliating! Nah! While they hit grand slams, we had to contend with balks!

You delve critically into their background—education and experience—and therein you see true revelation why most miss their bus rides on current issues while standing at the bus station. And so this is a tale that most aren’t even sure what policymaking entails that requires at least two years of college education! So reading deficiency is a problem thus missing the bus because most can’t read if it’s bus number “one” or “two!” We double down asking if it’s the group we voted for so embarrassingly clueless!

Taxpayer lawsuit

The taxpayer’s lawsuit I’ve filed against the MV Luta $400K misappropriation is still ongoing and should be heard soon by the Superior Court here. I have no plans surrendering until this issue is resolved with finality.

Two issues are involved in this case: 1). Constitutional mandate how public funds are appropriated. 2). Protecting taxpayers from the abuse of their contributions by alleged corrupt public officials. If you will, public funds are appropriated and earmarked for a “public” purpose via legislation per Local Act of 1983, not “private” interest via a delegation resolution.

I’m still at the Open Government Act level. I can’t wait to get to both criminal and civil levels of the lawsuit to permanently shut the door for any and all future corruption. Should be an interesting case when I get to the criminal level. I will get to see how the $400K was disposed. It’s your money as taxpayers and each penny must be returned hopefully upon court adjudicated disposition.

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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