Heartbreaking: The billions we secured were squandered; and now GovGuam is too broke to help the people

The following opinion was written by former Congressman Michael San Nicolas. Kandit took his write up from his Facebook page, and publishes it here:

By Michael San Nicolas
[Facebook sent this memory with this picture from] seven years ago…recruited and supported several new candidates for senator that year, hoping to bring change in numbers after getting dragged through the mud repealing pay raises and overcoming the current to borrow money we didn’t have.
This too was short lived. In six months, although we reformed the Legislature to become more efficient, and the Legislative process to be open, fair, transparent, rules based, compliant with the law, and operating at 20 percent less cost…power politics and greed made our position untenable.
That experience taught us we needed to make change HAPPEN ourselves if we wanted our people’s lives to get better, that political games will always get in the way whether the politicians are new or old, and that it would be a difficult, lonely, and politically attacked road…
We took that road again anyway, and so we ran for Congress. We knew it would be a position we could make the most change possible the fastest, because Guam politicians and their appointees always used the excuse that there was “no money” to fix education, our hospital and healthcare system, or to make our community safer or more economically vibrant.
We went in and took all the “no money” excuses away, pumping billions into our island before during and after the pandemic direct into peoples pockets and into government agencies (hundreds of millions to DOE alone), and backfilling our general government budget with over a hundred million dollars a year in EITC, Medicaid, Cofa Medicaid, road construction money, small business development grants, co-op funding for fishermen and ranchers, hundreds of millions to come in new grant opportunities, and so much more…while still keeping military spending growing.
And yet, even after taking all the “no money” excuses off the table, we still didn’t see any outcomes change in education, health, public safety, or the vibrancy of our economy.
All we had was a rush to spend so politicians can say “see I gave you that, you owe me,” rather than a deliberate effort to lift us out of the rut that actually makes and keeps our people that desperate.
And so we ran for Governor, because after fixing the “no money” excuse it became clear that the next problem to fix was actual execution, deploying resources begotten to make the real changes happen. Get in there and support the effective employees, managers, and believers that we CAN do it if we just cut the politics and make the outcomes real.
But this time, we lost.
And now apparently our government is saying it’s broke again…too broke to provide $500 bucks in typhoon relief.
Only this time schools are 20 years older than the last typhoon. The hospital too. Everything government managed is…and there’s no money to fix it. No borrowing available because interest rates are too high and bonds are too expensive for us to float.
It’s been such a saga, this journey of public service – from inception to out. I thought bringing in new candidate energy would help, but it didn’t last. I thought bringing in new money would help, but it didn’t last either. I thought we would get a chance, after all that we did, to finally make it happen, but that also didn’t last.
So much promise and possibility, coming so far and getting so close, only to keep having low-form politics get in the way.
It’s hard. I’m having a hard time with it. Hardest of all when I see the people suffer, and the prospects for the children just grow dim.
And after having tried everything it’s starting to feel like this is just the way things are supposed to be.
And I can’t accept that, but don’t know what to do.
Love you Guam. ❤️
Michael San Nicolas is a former banker and investor, Guam senator, and delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a resident of Dededo, and originally from Talofofo.


  • David Quichocho

      06/07/2023 at 2:46 PM

    Dungkulu na si Yuós mååsé for your fact-based report of the current administration’s total self serving policies, while the powerless remain at their mercy!

  • The corrupt politicians and the government of Guam at the highest levels of government, in my view is nothing more than an organized crime syndicate that the local attorney generals, federal government, DOJ and FBI should be prosecuting under the RICO STATUTE! But with the Duram investigation/ report we all know that it will be swept under the rug! If your suffering, you have nobody to blame but yourselves because of your silence! If your children are suffering, you have no one to blame but yourselves because of your silence! As long as you don’t demand accountability from these elected PUBLIC SERVANTS !!!

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