Saturday, February 18, 2006


When something breaks in my home, I buy the necessary items to fix it. Storeowners do the same for their own establishments as do corporations. Only the Fono can take a bat to hotel and rental car consumers and demand that they fix the government clubhouse.

We shouldn’t even allow the ASG to tax the tourism industry, even if it was a stable market, for something that is clearly the Fono's own fault. A 100% increase in Fono allowances didn’t spend a single dime on repairs. Enacting a tax to fix a Fono mistake is to say that a government blunder is all of our fault.

When I don’t maintain my property, the fault lies with me and no one else. Senators need to take the same responsibility for not prioritizing the money we give them.

Setting priorities is definitely a problem in Fagatogo. Instead of focusing on protecting everyone’s individual rights to life, liberty and property, the Fono wastes time and our money wrangling over issues that the market and the people should handle, like medical and education services. If we took many of these functions out of the ASG hands, then perhaps it can focus on its core obligations (especially its own repairs).

And before the Senate tries to discriminate against tourists as their target of taxation, Senators would do well to find out who these tourists actually are. It seems that those who come down to Manu’a and Tutuila are our own people visiting their family and friends.

Is taxing their room and vehicle accommodations the real nature of our hospitality?


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