SAMOA NEWS EDITORIAL: GONG SHOW 4
The last two weeks remind me of an old Kenny Roger’s song I liked back in the heydays of my youth — “I just dropped in to find out what condition my condition was in” —and… people, ‘conditions’ are not doing well.
While I like the idea of a balanced government budget because it basically means their expenses didn’t exceed the money they collected in revenues, I have to ask: Do you actually, as a local taxpayer, believe that?
According to the two top money people for ASG — Mr. Treasurer and Ms. Budget Director — the reprogramming of monies from agencies and departments that didn’t overspend their budget will be redirected to those that did. Keep in mind these ‘under spent’ monies are based on estimates they’ve made.
Further, certain expenses, such as the court judgement on the Laufou Shopping Center will be deferred — meaning they still owe it— they just ain’t paying it right now—and I wonder what the interest payment will be on that?
I happened to read a 1991 GAO report based on an audit the feds did on the local government about ASG’s deficit at the time. Does anyone remember that the first time we ever had a deficit was in the 1980s — and the feds bailed us out then, with assurances from us that we would enact certain measures to make sure we no longer had a deficit and would never incur one in the future?
Guess what: Flash Forward — 2013 — we’re still there, not using the people’s money wisely — both Legislative and Administrative Branches of the government. NONG! I mean GONG! (I got a little confused there for a minute.)
I agree with the Fono — the governor shouldn’t have adjusted the figure in the Materials and Supplies category of the FY 2014 budget. He should have just ‘zeroed’ it out.
As the President of the Senate said, he’s aware it’s the budget item where their office allowances are funded.
So let’s do the ‘fire dance’ — see who can walk on hot coals the longest without burning the ‘souls’ off their feet.
As Mr. Senate President noted, “Let’s Walk the Talk and Talk the Walk” … that’s Fiscal responsibility from both sides — GONG!
I like the idea of giving the Fono their own budget to run. One lump sum — given over into a bank account — and let them have at it. There is one caveat:
If they overspend their budget, they don’t get to come back and ask for more, or for a bail out from the Executive Branch.
Can you picture the fundraisers? Because let’s face it — the Fono living within their means… hehehe…
How about that car wash in front of the fale Fono? “For $1,000 — come have your car window washed by the President of the Senate or for $500, the Speaker of the House will shine one of your tires.”
Or how about a Fono Golf Tournament? “Come and help us travel!” Or better yet, “We need to come into the light — help pay our ASPA bill.”
And, maybe, just maybe, if they repeat it often enough: “We are your fathers! Respect Us!” — we will happily pay their bills — GONG!
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