Home Commentary Editorial SELF-SUFFICIENCY IS A VIRTUE



We find it embarrassing every time we hear a community leader looking for a handout from the federal government – especially after ignoring on every level the memorandum of understanding between the V.I. government and the federal government.
We heard one senator echoing the governor's near-demand for 100 percent recovery money from the feds for relatively minimal storm damage from Lenny.
All along we've been told the Interior Department has been totally up front with its mandate to cut payroll costs. Have we made one move in that direction? Not that we know of. Instead, we continue with business as usual – adding more political appointees to the already bloated government payroll.
And then we heard the echoes of our leaders in the voices of the people calling talk shows after the storm asking when aid would be forthcoming.
We even heard that the Public Works commissioner has asked for federal highway money to fix a few potholes.
Wouldn't this be a good time to demonstrate our self-reliance, a good time to show some pride in our community's ability to rise above our circumstances and help each other instead of always looking for the great Uncle Sam to save us?
Does anybody realize that we don't pay one dime to the federal government in taxes or anything else? We get to keep all of the taxes collected in the territory for use by the territory. But we still have not learned to live within our means.
We seem to think of the coffers as bottomless. We hear people defending the very politicians and leaders who have ripped them off with a continual cycle of greed, nepotism and corruption. And so, we have the nerve to suggest that the federal government should go outside of its normal boundaries and give us 100 percent relief.
It isn't going to happen. Not ever. And especially after our behavior in thwarting the memorandum and passing a budget that not only is $18 million in excess of what the memorandum mandates, but also does not balance. Once again we had the chance to demonstrate self-sufficiency, and once again we looked for a handout.


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