Wednesday, July 26, 2006

THE BOARD OF ALL BOARDS

Another legislative session means another round of meddling by the Senate into our semi-autonomous agencies. Obviously, there is no need for an ASPA board, a LBJ board, a board of education, a DBAS board, or an ASTCA board. They only serve a nominal purpose; the Senate has declared upon itself the board of all boards.

Instead of mere oversight, Senator Moliga aims at setting actual policy at ASPA. Through his new tax proposals, the Senator plans redistribute wealth from two sectors of the economy to subsidize another: the solid waste division. All of this is a result of his disagreement with the ASPA board’s decision to use profits to lower the price of other consumer needs. Therefore, the Senator seeks to use his senatorial position to impose his vision on the ASPA board and the rest of us.

And it was the Senate President who said that “overcharging the people for one activity so the cost of other unrelated activities are defrayed is morally and ethically wrong.” Then how is the overcharging of our construction projects and our automobiles with his new taxes to “defray” the costs of the ASPA solid waste division not “morally and ethically wrong” as well?

In Lewis Wolman’s “UTILITY RATE COMPARION”, he shows us how the local governments in Colorado charge for services. You pay for what you receive. If the Senate doesn’t want one activity subsidizing another, then fees for everything from water to sewer should rise to reflect their true costs.

Before the Senate makes charges against other government entities, it needs to clean up its own backyard first. If the ASG needs new revenue sources, then the Senate should first propose taxing their own 100% increase in Fono allowances before demanding that the people give it more of our money. Moreover, how can the Senate criticize how ASPA runs its business when the Fono can’t control its own budget? Look at the out-of-control spending at the Political Status Commission. If the Senate didn’t have the power to tax, its clubhouse would have been out of business a long time ago.

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