I am another former St. Croix resident who keeps up with the goings on in the V.I. through the Source.
In every issue there is yet another tale of woe related to the fiscal problems of the islands. The islands' infrastructure is in a shambles, Teachers arent getting paid, HOVNESA is owed, Vitelco is owed. Hell, just about every vendor and contractor in this hemisphere is owed money.
I have one question to ask: where IS the money going?
I have no doubt that there are indeed tens, if not hundreds, of millions of
dollars coming into the government coffers via taxes, fees, fines and whatever. The federal government pours in another tens of millions every year with little to no accountability to where it goes.
Yet, administration after administration cant seem to get a handle on the finances of the V.I. Are they that incompetent? I really dont think the people running these islands are lazy, stupid or incompetent.
Quite the opposite. Stupid, lazy people could not consistently pull the wool over the eyes of 120,000 people and get away with it.
So if the problem isn't stupidity, laziness or incompetence what is it?
Catherine Lockhart Mills hit the problem squarely on the head in her excellent editorial. Ms. Mills, to answer your question, unfortunately graft is indeed a fact of life in the Virgin Islands.
Our elected officials must think their election is a mandate to rape the economy and line their pockets, their families pockets and their friends pockets at the expense of the local people and businesses.
I really dont think they give a damn. They stall and make a lot of noise that they are trying to fix the problem but it is all smoke and mirrors. Real solutions
are out there but nothing is ever actually done.
A few years go by and they all stash a pile of money "somewhere" and then we kick them out and bring in the next batch of future millionaires.
There is no quick and easy fix. John Hess, Tim Duncan, Jeff Prosser and gambling casinos (God help us) are not going to bail us out. I never thought Id say this, as I am not a fan of big government, but I almost wish the feds would roll in as they have been threatening — and do what needs to be done to get things right.
It might be painful in the short term but wouldn't that be preferable to this endless crisis situation that only continues to get worse year after year?
The federal government and many, if not most, of the states are running surpluses. Whats wrong with this picture?
MONEY ROLLS INTO GOV’T, BUT WHERE DOES IT GO?
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