Where were you, Zaldy?

The editor of the Marianas Variety wrote a critical piece in the Pacific Island Times about the Arnold Palacios administration and the new government that came to power with him throughout Capitol Hill. I agree with some of what Zaldy Dandan published five days ago. I’m just wondering what took him seven years to say what should have been said the entire time Ralph Torres was creating the conditions Mr. Dandan is bitching about now.

In his article, “Run on a platform of ‘change’; blame your predecessor; rinse, repeat,” Mr. Dandan took aim at Mr. Palacios and democrat-independent legislative coalition proposals to raise taxes while continuing to spend on a so-called bloated government.

But that simply isn’t true. Ralph Torres in the last two fiscal years is estimated to have spent more than $1 billion in public funds. Arnold Palacios is operating a government at a level slightly north of $100 million this fiscal year. Severe cuts have been forced upon the government, not simply by a Palacios commitment to austerity, but more so because Torres left Palacios little choice.

Then-Gov. Ralph Torres and Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero enjoy the view of a Marianas Southern Airways plane on the tarmac of the Guam International Airport after Torres landed on Guam on MSA’s inaugural flight to the southern island.

And the legislators in the new coalition that took over from the republicans who were in power forever? They’re spending a fraction of their predecessors’ budget. And I’m not saying there isn’t waste in the new government, because there does appear to be a whole lot for junkets and pay raises that should have been better timed.

The overspending happened in the last administration, the one Ralph Torres ran. The one that paid off almost everyone who had a responsibility to speak up. Austerity is what is happening in the current administration. And Arnold Palacios is taking the heat for it.

Governor Palacios never promised he was going to fix the multi-billion dollar mess in which Ralph Torres and his minions left the Commonwealth. In fact, he said the path ahead requires sacrifice.

A big portion of that sacrifice is being made by government employees. Are they supposed to take it up the ass while serving the wealthy and elite on the silver platters they’re used to?

Mr. Dandan makes a strong case against certain taxes, I’ll give him that. But what is Mr. Palacios supposed to do in order to save the government his predecessor broke while the media not only closed its eyes to, but benefited from contracts during the Torres era? He can’t, as the saying goes, squeeze blood out of a rock.

I do agree with Mr. Dandan that some of those taxes Mr. Palacios and company want levied will hurt more than help. As our beloved columnist Mabel Doge Luhan has written about, the pugua tax is regressive. It hurts the poor, who are the ones who need help the most in this economy.

The legislature needs to tax the people who have lots of money. They likely are the ones who profited the most from the Torres era and all those federal pandemic dollars. They absolutely have the means to help stabilize the government’s finances.

It really is something to see businessmen who profited so lavishly from the plunder of the Torres administration now crying about the woeful financial situation they find themselves in and the possibility they will have to pay more in taxes to fix a government their gayu broke. Go cry to Ralph Torres.

The hard questions needed to be asked when Mr. Torres was spending the Commonwealth into disaster. Who was asking those tough questions then?


    • Imelda Tanapino

        12/18/2023 at 7:39 PM

      Your reply smells/stinks like more corrupt china/[EDITED: Philippines] corruption. What did you do before you got into the fake news scam troll game?

      Are you aware your finances are subject to examination?

      Are you aware you are not protected by the corrupt Chinese, nor the corrupt Filipino governments?

      Are you aware that most people dislike dishonest, corrupt, greedy, scum bag, feces eating, “persons” like your nasty self?

      Are you aware when/if your next bribe will actually be paid?

      Hint: don’t count your Filipino pesos or Chinese renminbi until you are in a country with no extradition treaty from whichever Godforsaken plot of earth you sprung from to trouble the rest of us decent, honest people.

      ie: Go to hell!

  • Imelda Tanapino

      12/18/2023 at 7:11 PM

    The Bible says:
    Isaiah 3:9

    “They declare their sin as Sodom (that’s speaking of [censored] and ethnic [censored] CORRUPT GovGuam Lt. Governors). The show of their countenance bears witness against them.”

    Isaiah 3:9

    You have a photo of several ugly corrupt ethnic [censored] here. Which ethnic [censored] is the most corrupt and which ethnic [censored] has the ugliest countenance?

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