The Performeter Report

It is known as the “Performeter Report” done by Crawford and Associates who reviewed our assets versus debts. It says that for every dollar that we make we owe two dollars. It means we have problems with debts or deficit over the long haul in spite of the elected elite’s declaration of a “surplus.” What does it mean?

This is especially alarming for our young people who recently graduated from high school and look forward to starting life fresh in search of their dreams. But your future is strapped by debts owed by the NMI today and up ahead.

The addictive loose spending behavior of the elected elite isn’t going to help you any as you work regular jobs. Your taxes are instantly earmarked to pay for more government debts. What about the future of your children’s health and education? Would there be funds for essential public services?

It may also mean that the only way to make it is to leave the islands and head elsewhere between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland where you could find a community that offers meaningful opportunities for you and your children. It may sound dizzying but it’s the only way out of doing due diligence to help your children prepare for the future.

Unless there’s major paradigm-shift in spending behavior, our financial future is doomed where the legacy we leave behind is piles of debts for our children!

Performance: We have to find a device to sniff out rotten tilapia in the Capital Hill swamp between now and 2018. “A chance to select people of substance!” Hmmm! Sounds good but good luck! Why preach to the choir?

Raffy is singing “Traveling Man,” flying off to places beyond exotic venues every other week. The boys in both chambers are rehearsing which way is the back door in the event they had to pack their stuff for that final journey into the sunset.

Around town we hear the word “culture” mangled in the misinterpretation of who qualifies as “indigenous” or NMD. We’re down to that contentious genealogy issue!

Then there’s the proposal to work on traditional art of healing, as though it’s new material. But it’s under Section 1 of the NMI Constitution for almost 40 years now. Must be the year of robust redundancy for failing to review basic documents!

With more than half of the workforce earning poverty income level, the voice of supposed reason on the hill that is completely mute on this score is deafening. Someone suggested they are doing due diligence and should be out soon. Sure! They’ve given themselves an 80-percent salary increase, trashing 5 percent on the faces of civil servants. Woe!

This raises the relevant query: what would incumbents offer beyond waving their “do-nothing” trophy? More outdated black-and-white television or something that parallels the in-thing wrought by the digital age?

Surplus? When NMI owes millions in cumulative debts, millions in obligations plus $44 million for CUC and $2 million for overtime pay at DPS, where does the word “surplus” fit? Do we even know the financial posture of the NMI?

We now have an unusual spending behavior bordering on a strange form of science. We’ve redefined surplus to mean ignore debts and keep spending and let the world go by. This attitudinal deficiency derails making informed public policy decisions difficult, if not impossible.

It prompts the query: Isn’t this malfeasance or misfeasance in office or both and isn’t it impeachable?

Washington: It’s good to see Delegate Kilili pin the staff of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife pertaining to the marine monument in the Northern Islands. A report was due since 2011. Apparently, it was never completed.

But the island was taken and we’re here second-guessing what they have up their sleeves. Thanks Kilili for insisting for a copy of the report. The shift in staffing across the sea must have contributed to the non-completion of the report. It remains incomplete!

The working relationship need not be contentious but one of partnership or shared responsibility. It’s one way to foster timely disposition of issues.

Better way: Most families here live paycheck to paycheck. Most have also no option but to spend the next paycheck in advance. By payday Friday, there’s nothing in the family pocketbook!

This is because more than half of the workforce is earning what the feds have defined as “poverty income level” and below.

Poverty income level is a family of two making $24,000 while a family of four some $27,000 per year. But as is the case here, it begins with a family of four making far less than meets the eye. The culture of communal sharing hides this from full view. Thus, it always seems that families are making it. Not!

Isn’t thrift a cultural imperative? Why would the evil geniuses on the hill fast-track abject poverty among the villagers by boasting off their “do-nothing” trophy?

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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