sign of a maturing democracy is not in a society’s buildings, roads,
infrastructure, industry or even its technology. It’s in the ability of its
participants to be graceful in the acceptance of criticism and in their courage
to stand up for their principles, whether liberal, conservative, libertarian or
any other philosophy.
fuss the better, because another sign of a strong democracy is the belief that
citizens have the capacity to judge for themselves what arguments stand on the
merits and those that do not.
In this respect, I give a hesitant “thumbs up”
to the Governor for signaling an openness to debate on his budget proposal.
Hopefully, he means what he says.
really seeks transparency during this debate, then he can post his budget
proposal online. The US Congress, under Republican leadership, makes it
mandatory for all legislation to be viewed online by the public in a 72 hour
serve the interests of all American Samoans by giving everybody the opportunity
to chime in with their own two cents.
On top of
accountability and determining what our priorities should be, a budget debate is
also about what system we mainly expect to achieve our recovery, whether the
private sector or government.
economists have likened the economy to an engine. What engine (the private
sector or government) is more likely to produce a higher speed of recovery the
more we put money and resources into it?
the line the Governor’s tax increases draw in the sand. Do we want to send more
of our limited resources into the engine of government or do we entrust our
entrepreneurs and consumers with more of their own money to drive the recovery
debate always worth having when the budget of our government is being proposed.
Posting the budget online will further advance that cause in a “spirit of
transparency” by the Governor.