video clip on NY in 1975
This video had me wondering if the VI is going down this road. Its a bit crazy and scary now.
Yes, but then again, we are a Territory with a less than favorable financial track record....
Let's explore the Default scenario first. Shall we? I DO NOT relish any of these percieved events- they frighten me as much as anyone;
The biggest lynchpin is WAPA. The current utility rates are wrecking our island financially. Right now the discount that WAPA receives about a $15 a barrel discount from the extension agreement. The going rate is around $147, we're paying around $135 delivered. WAPA
STILL has not (up until this evening) obtained an alternative fuel supplier- the tap runs dry on June 30th. Most term and spot contracts run 90 days behind- so that means that they better have a contract by 03/20.
Now we'll have to pay $147 plus the ocean freight shipping rates on Worldscale (that's the frieght rate convention for oil by ocean otherwise known as WS), plus tankage fees- plus the base rate fuel charge (there's always about 25000 bbls left in those tanks) so figure on $155 a barrel- that's a 15% rise right off the top- will raise the kwh rate to .50 a kwh. BUT- I say that WAPA can't find a decent low paying, low interest contract to save their butt- so I am banking on $160 a barrel and .55 a kwh. Would you give credit to a dead beat vastly unregulated semi-autonomous monopolistic frankenstein which still owes their last supplier 30 million?
WAPA will be the first hole in the dyke which hemmorages our territorial financial lifeblood. The first chink in the armor.
4/20 will hit first- the first bunch of the 2000 odd people will be unemployed. By 7/1, many of these families, I estimate 1000 or more, will vacate our premises. The immediate loss of tax revenue will be staggering- plus all of the cessation of spending ant resultant other tax spending. Everyone will feel the effects- gas stations, auto repair, K-Mart, grocery stores, bars, resturants, clothing stores, not to mention the luxury items- POOF! gone.
This will bring about one of two things- "the Captain must think quick when more water is coming in then you can pump out" the ship will start to sink- the first thing that happens? Large VIG Lay Offs. Massive spending cuts. Taxes will be raised. Remember that the Legislature can hit all of us with an excise tax up to 14% with the wave of a pen- they'll do it in a heart beat to maintain "fiscal order"- what do they care- they're mostly as good as gone in November anyway- they know it and so do we. Why do you think the last letter was "leaked out" they know damn well what's coming- so next month they'll institute these austerity measure- too little too late.. Subterfuge I say.
Or, they get smart and start the progression toward defaulting WAPA and Federalization of WAPA by the Dept of the Interior- administrated by the Dept of Energy. They MUST keep the lights on- WAPA has done little or nothing to relive the burden on the rate payer- it's too late now- The power to be will stop at nothing to prevent eventual Federalization- then ALL of the books will get opened....But this stalling for time will only hasten our fiscal demise- start negotiating with the Feds now, the terms will be better for us.
The final financial down turn will really hit home next- Remember that the revaluation of out property taxes was just another route by which to increase the territory's bonding and credit ability- this will evaporate when the Hovensa resultant tax revenue loss is calculated at $100-120 million lost each year- then the property value will drop, bonds will become scarce- VIG will even more stop paying WAPA and the snowball effect begins. There's already 215 Condo's on the market- up from 197 when this all started- how many next week- or after 7/1?That's when the caca really starts hitting the fan- more people going broke, WAPA Bills get paid late, then just partially- the Pols enact legislation that anyone who pays more than 50% of their bill can;t get shut off- this will come right before November- guess who will sponsor that beauty?
May Please, Praise God, that we find fiscal salvation early- Yes, find the institutions now, who will bail us out- hopefully the Feds will recognize that we need help now and send a bailout our way- but it must come with conditions- such as WAPA ceasing to exist the way we now know- they are one of the biggest causes of this mess...
This whole thing sickens me really, to think that my family and I have worked so hard and so long to call St Croix our home- to own a small piece of this dynamic culture- only to see large butt type spending and piss poor planning ruin our way of life and that of our brothers and sisters-
YES WE NEED A FINANCIAL BAILOUT NOW!
DaChief is absolutely bang on...an economic tsunami of stunning proportions is about to wash over us but despite its size, many have stuck thier heads in the sand. Beyond my own fears and trepidation, I am more saddened and worried about my friends, neighbors and co-workers who are not as fortunate as I might be. To think we weathered the US recession only to come out at the end of tunnel to see not light...but the darkness of a black hole as deep as space. Scary times ahead indeed.