Maybe Obama can sav...
 
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Maybe Obama can save the VI sinking ship of fate?

 
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Here is the latest bit of bad news. Everything is now intertwined

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2012/01/12/economic-woes-hurting-gers-pocketbook

The VI situation is getting worse by the day. The basic facts as I understand them are:

- The hospitals owe the VI Gov.t about $90M
- The VI Gov.t owes the VI taxpayers about $30M in tax refunds from 2010
- The VI Gov.t owes WAPA about $30M
- WAPA owes about $30M to Hovensa for past fuel purchases and NO money for plant modernization
- Gov.t Employees Retirement Fund predicts a $10M short fall due to Gov.t employee layoffs
- The USVI Gov.t has a 2012 budget with $67.5M unfunded and is "forced" to layoff 1,000 employees (predicted)

Did I miss anything?

In any case, VI is monitored / supervised by the US Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs and here is their web page that provides a summary on the USVI, including its general finances and OIA contacts that "manage" the USVI. One is located in the USVI the other is in DC. NOTE --> their email addresses and phone numbers are listed.

http://www.doi.gov/oia/Islandpages/vipage.htm

I've also copied below the web pages from the US Code, Title 14, Chapter 12 that governs VI operations, so please refer to Sub-chapter 1, Page 1544.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/48/usc_sec_48_00001544----000-.html

One key part of this page reads:

".....the President is authorized to place all matters pertaining to the government of the Virgin Islands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior, except ..."

Based on the fact that 16% of the USVI budget is paid for by US tax monies (see first web page regarding VI revenue from Federal Grant monies) and the rest by the USVI, as long as you are a USA citizen (live in the VI or not), we all have a vested interest in the efficient running of the USVI Gov.t. And the President of the United States could facilitate "change" by executive order ... or maybe that isn't even needed.

I know that change can come at the ballot box, BUT I think time has run out. Even if the VI officials did get the wake-up call, maybe some emails to the White House and the OIA are in order, since the VI Gov.t just can't seem to fix itself. In any case, they will be the ones to take over anyway when the VI goes bankrupt.

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Topic starter Posted : January 13, 2012 2:59 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The financial woes of the GERS are nothing new and have been thus for several years now. It's a long and complicated story but there's no doubt at all that they bit off rather more than they could chew where several "investments" were concerned.

I would guess President Obama has rather more important issues on his mind right now ...

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Posted : January 13, 2012 3:24 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

That looks like every state in the country for the most part. I doubt Obama has the Virgin Islands on his "to fix" list, otherwise, maybe he wouldn't have gone to Hawaii last week.

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Posted : January 13, 2012 3:32 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

The financial woes of the GERS are nothing new and have been thus for several years now. It's a long and complicated story but there's no doubt at all that they bit off rather more than they could chew where several "investments" were concerned.

I would guess President Obama has rather more important issues on his mind right now ...

GERS is not the issue ... but it is a symptom and just one more nail in the coffin. The President would not look into this Whole Kettle of Rotten Fish directly but he has a responsibility (and authority) to direct those in charge of DOI-OIA to have a look and to facilitate. His involvement (or that of one of his staff) would be a phone call. That is what a "real manager' should do. And maybe the President's more important issue ... is to get re-elected? We can either sit back and 'hope for change" or make some noise (... that squeaky wheel thing). We've been hoping way too long.

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Topic starter Posted : January 13, 2012 4:14 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Lucy,
I agree with everything you say! However we don't vote for the President of the US because of our status. There is an election year on the horizon and I can make this statement ( don't care about the USVI now, maybe if I'm reelected).:S

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Posted : January 13, 2012 4:20 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Lucy,
I agree with everything you say! However we don't vote for the President of the US because of our status. There is an election year on the horizon and I can make this statement ( don't care about the USVI now, maybe if I'm reelected).:S

Happy,

The refernce to the President's responsibility is just that. The VI is ultimately governed by the USA, whether or not we vote for the President. Emails to those under him that are delegated that responisiblity at the DOI-OIA (with the White House on copy) might (....and I say might) help and get some notice. What else can we do ??? One thing a lot of people will be doing if the VI goes bankrupt, will be rioting in the streets. No different than Greece. Once it goes upside down ... it won't be pretty. But maybe that's what it takes and so be it.

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Topic starter Posted : January 13, 2012 4:49 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

GERS is not the issue ... but it is a symptom and just one more nail in the coffin.

I mentioned the GERS issue since the Source article you cited was about the latest woes its facing. I thought it might be helpful to point out that the GERS issues are not a new phenomenon since I don't believe you've lived here long enough to know its history. That was all.

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Posted : January 13, 2012 5:12 pm
WGAF
 WGAF
(@WGAF)
Advanced Member

The financial woes of the GERS are nothing new and have been thus for several years now. It's a long and complicated story but there's no doubt at all that they bit off rather more than they could chew where several "investments" were concerned.

I would guess President Obama has rather more important issues on his mind right now ...

Yeah. The N.B.A.;)

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Posted : January 13, 2012 8:34 pm
JohnnyWishbone
(@JohnnyWishbone)
Active Member

Lucy,
I agree with everything you say! However we don't vote for the President of the US because of our status. There is an election year on the horizon and I can make this statement ( don't care about the USVI now, maybe if I'm reelected).:S

Happy,

The refernce to the President's responsibility is just that. The VI is ultimately governed by the USA, whether or not we vote for the President. Emails to those under him that are delegated that responisiblity at the DOI-OIA (with the White House on copy) might (....and I say might) help and get some notice. What else can we do ??? One thing a lot of people will be doing if the VI goes bankrupt, will be rioting in the streets. No different than Greece. Once it goes upside down ... it won't be pretty. But maybe that's what it takes and so be it.

Gee. I'm confused. Some one on that other thread stated the V.I. had nothing to do with the feds.:S

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Posted : January 13, 2012 9:21 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Lucy: The president is busy learning how to run up the deficit in Big America. Maybe he has taken notes from the territorial government. 😉

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Posted : January 13, 2012 9:22 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

A ice cube in hell would stand a better chance than obama caring about the USVI during an election year. Sadly the same could be said of most any other president or candidate .

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Posted : January 14, 2012 12:02 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Lucy: The president is busy learning how to run up the deficit in Big America. Maybe he has taken notes from the territorial government. 😉

You might be right. We're DOOMED and it just hasn't sunk in and everyone passively looks on for hope and change. Maybe the Obama campaign got that slogan from the VI.

Terry - you are probably correct. But it is his responsibility thru his delegates at the Dept. of Interrior. Another example of turning a blind eye.

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Topic starter Posted : January 14, 2012 3:09 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Why would the Feds want to bail-out 110,000 people half a billion dollars to solve a problem of their own making? It's not like we're GM.

We're more likely to get Federal money for infrastructure, retraining programs, and economic initiatives.

In addition:

Create an independent CFO.
Phase out government bureaucracies in such a way as to give people time to adjust.
Raise property taxes.
Solve the energy problem..
Raise the age of retirement.
Reform labor laws and practices to allow the firing of deadbeats.
And as I've often posted, figure out a clever way to pay young women to stay in school and not have children.

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Posted : January 15, 2012 12:26 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Neil. You have it right on. Note, I would never propose a bailout from the Feds. What I would want to see is some independent eyes taking charge and making the tough decisions to right size and convert the VI gov.t and semi-gov.t operstions - without bias.

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Topic starter Posted : January 15, 2012 2:39 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

A lot of times I see posted on here theVI problems as being a result of poverty. I have a completely different view. I see a lot of similarities of how "The VI" in general act, both the government as a whole, and the people as individuals, nearly identical to a spoiled rich kid with Daddy's credit card and no one "parenting". The VI has had pretty much of a free ride and free rein for a century, and has squandered nearly all of the opportunities, and made use of very few of the advantages afforded it. "The People" have, for the most part, have lost their gut strength and self reliance and ability to knuckle down and problem solve. They have thrown away several generations of passing on of knowledge, or have rejected for generations the wisdom of the forefathers, in favor of heaviliy subsidized, pencil pushing jobs, or jobs driving around doing a little of this, a litte of that, very perk-heavy, but not producing much. The hammer is coming down, and the cream WILL rise to the top. The most able, creative, intuitive, industrious people will form new leadership. People who do nothing and contrubute nothing will wither off. I don't see anything wrong with that.

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Posted : January 15, 2012 3:59 pm
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