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Monday, July 22, 2024
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POLL RESULTS DISTURBING

Let us state from the outset that we do not believe the results of the poll on economic attitudes taken for the St Croix Chamber of Commerce are accurate. We talk to a lot of people from all walks of life, and we do not believe a majority of Virgin Islands residents favors a federal takeover to solve our economic crisis.
If, however, those poll results are accurate, it shows a shocking lack of understanding of what a federal takeover would mean and a distressing lack of confidence in our ability to solve our own problems.
We do not share that sentiment. We believe the Virgin Islands has the brains, the guts and the wherewithal to solve our own problems. We do not need to turn over our hard-won rights to govern our own affairs to the feds or anyone else. We can do it ourselves — if we can muster the political will to do it, and if we can understand that it is going to be painful along the way.
It will be painful no matter who is calling the shots. The days of throwing money at a problem to fix it are over. We also hope the days of borrowing mega-millions of dollars, and leaving our children and grandchildren to pay the bills, are over. The day of reckoning is here — and postponing it by a few months while simultaneously adding to our enormous debt hardly seems in our best long-term interest.
Understand this: The feds don’t want to take on the responsibility of bailing us out of the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. They want us to do it ourselves. But if a federal control board does come in to run our affairs, it will be far more hard-nosed and insensitive to local needs and nuances than our own officials would be.
We do not need a federal control board. We need to bring everyone to the table — government, labor, business — to reach consensus now on short-term and long-range solutions to cut government spending and promote private-sector growth.
It might be inviting to some to have someone else make those decisions for us — that way we can pin the blame on, and direct our anger at, those "outsiders." But that is not the way to go.
It’s our mess. We created it. We can clean it up.

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