Austerity (Mla Mo Ra Uisekeang)

By Santy Asanuma

Believe it or not but the economy is bad and there is no need to convince anyone on this unless they have somehow and miraculously managed to live under a “bechertotel e belochel” (pigeon of prosperity). Here is a summary of my letter to my friend who is running for senator in Guam:

Alii Sarah,

My dear friend I read your statement about not cutting programs but rather look into wastage in government spending. I could not agree more and that is the reason why I am writing. Please offer this as your practical strategy in approaching the issue of maintaining social programs in light of diminishing resources and ever increasing and competing priorities, especially pet projects, being pushed by elected leaders fighting for the same resources/money.

I believe government of the world in general, especially US and of course Palau, have become accustomed to putting in more money into all government undertaking when in fact the amount of money was not the issue in the first place but managerial ability and accountability (ungil el oungerachel a udoud).

This is solely because of two things: 1. People in government positions do not believe in good stewardship (ungil el omerusel ma otutel a klalo ma udoud); in short, they do not care because the money is coming out of other people’s pocket. And 2. They do not want to expose their incompetency (telitur er tir ra ureor); in short, the use of more money is to cover up their cover up their shortcomings (telemellir) as workers or leaders. This in turn has made creating a sensible and manageable annual budget impossible to achieve without having to incur debt for our children’s children so that we can continue our corruptible and insatiable appetite to use more money without clear and productive results for the betterment of the people.

So offer as your aim and solution to cut what I call “cost of inefficiency” (mechoit el udoud le ng telitur ra rechad auchul) hidden in poor operation and management of virtually all offices and agencies of government stemming from the attitude that money will always be available comes next budget year. This culture unfortunately has become part of what we call as government coffers. Cut this waste of money by instituting good management and fiscal policies and redirect the recovered funds to maintain social empowerment (public services and programs) to the people.

To save money for government operation by cutting public services to the people should not be allowed as a thought worthy of being entertained by leaders. This is a paradox (ungil tekoi e ng di ngii el kautok el ua om du el kmo mekelkolt el mekeald) and the most self-serving statement if used by elected leaders to confuse the people. Please continue to champion for the people and do not allow such illogical nonsense get away without being challenged. Good luck on your election.

The OEK must gather enough courage and introduce an austerity plan to save the country from falling further into a hole. US Congress have passed a law to stop the banks from rush foreclosures of home loans. If US Congress did not act, millions of Americans will be homeless. Here is a suggestion that we stand and sacrifice together by adopting a salary reduction of 10% of those who earn more than $12,000 per year. Whatever the solution is but OEK must face the problem better now than later.

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