Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thanks But No Thanks

Talifaitasi W. Satele

It’s a shame that the Fono is looking to allocate money from the ASG’s $20 million loan to buy each District Governor a vehicle.

With all the fuss over ASG pay raises and fears of a further downturn in the economy, one would think that a sham of this nature would be the last thing on the Fono’s agenda.

Senator Utu Abe Malae said earlier this year that the loans made by the Retirement Fund to the ASG were a “great investment” compared to the stock market. But how are vehicles for our District Governors a “great investment” for the Retirement Fund? Or any of the projects funded by the ASG $20 million loan for that matter?

The stock market may be in a nosedive, but at least stock prices eventually reflect all the bad investments, mismanagement, fraud, waste and abuse made in the marketplace. Is there any stock price by which we can judge whether this “great investment” in the ASG is worth anything to us today, tomorrow, or for the life of this loan?

Taxpayers are continually taken for a ride in American Samoa except that they don’t get their own personal limousine to pick them up.

I hope our District Governors do right by their constituents and say to the Fono when they try to allocate them each a vehicle, “Thanks, but No Thanks”


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