Thematic words

With revenue generation heading south, the ring of two thematic words “short” and “cut” seem to have stormed up stunning discordant notes. Perhaps this may have been prompted by a drop of $30 million in revenue per the administration’s recent budget submission to the Legislature.

Its echo portends serious fiscal crisis ahead. Or am I being overly alarmed at the implications of revenue shifting south? Reimbursement to private clinics would also be discontinued beginning June 1. Are there backup plans how to navigate serious revenue cuts?

Interesting the preliminary circling of the proverbial wagons dredging up pathetic excuses how to dispose cuts in resources while staring at huge obligations that continue to pile up. The lights are on, is anybody home?

But isn’t the casino industry the savior of our financial inadequacies? Or is IPI also in trouble with its investment portfolio?

If revenue drop persists, it means reduction in public services or number of government employees or both. Hope we don’t have to resort to the second option. It’s hard for adversely hit families now struggling to make ends meet sharing whatever is available with extended family.

Behind the revenue shortfall are debts owed CUC, e.g. PSS, $6,133,067, CHC, $27,412,615 and CPA, $17,662,237 for a total of $33,545,652. It has forced agency-wide cuts, keeping fingers crossed that revenue takes steady stream or resurges. How do we navigate our single mini-tourism industry sliding south? The only reasonable alternative is in private industry expansion that is stagnant at this point. Bad tidings all around!

Shine: This is where we see the credentials of policymakers come into full view and how the elected elite uses its “depth of vision” to resolve fast receding revenue generation. The concept focuses on your ability to see, sense and dispose of obligations in forthright fashion.

It includes fulfilling your fiduciary duty on Da Hills of Saipan. Let’s see economic plans to revive revenue generation or any plan for that matter.

As you may know, economic contraction is one of the devastating effects of major investments exiting the NMI preceded by devastation from superstorms.

Any realistic answer how to neutralize or recoup the loss in the billions of dollars? Did you say “not yet, already?”

Appalling how you’ve misperceived investment exit as business as usual. Is it when the loss is in the billions of dollars? How do you recoup more than $14 billion?

It’s a real challenge when there’s no other economic component that could cushion the mini-tourism indus-try sliding southward. Depth of vision or “not yet, already” boggles the mind whether this is your grand excuse polishing fiduciary failure!

Focus: It’s hard cutting the budget for an already under-funded healthcare system. In fact, it probably is in the ICU of one too many cuts already! Nor is there room to sacrifice the education of over 10,000 students. How do you work up the gall to sacrifice one or the other?

It’s obvious several agencies are already doing their mea culpa with fund shortage trying to figure out what is north. This brings forth the obvious: a lot of what’s done in government requires a lot more focus than meets the eye.

An issue that I find troubling is the over emphasis on the ethnic term “indigenous”. It is treated as if the indigenous people have long suffered years of neglect in their development. Special attention turns them into special citizens above all others. Nah! The rights of citizens are equally the same for one and all!

Music: I started humming a familiar sentimental childhood melody while pondering golden years alone in thought and prayers at dawn.

It included nursery rhyme songs we learned in grammar school. But one song stood out that mom used to sing daily. It’s a beautiful melody from Tahiti called Lovely Flowers. I still hum it to this day!

I enjoy listening to local songs of yesteryears. Interesting the meaningful lyrics in each tune. It’s riddled with simple life’s lessons only found in old tunes.

Moreover, I enjoy standard songs for their melodies and lyrics. They are beautiful tunes some with difficult notes that make it a challenge playing on a guitar. It’s tough second-guessing it unless you know your instrument.

My acoustic guitar sits next to my laptop I’d pull and toy with when a melody hits. Love jazz and swing, a few country, folk songs, old ballads or standard, and traditional local tunes. I was an active musician for about 25 years.

Thus music has been, still is and will forever be a part of my daily life I now use for pace shifting. It’s a good option for breaking the daily routine.

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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