Arising out of the rhetoric, sound bites and otherwise well wishes coming from the debate of how to manage the V.I. government fiscal crises comes one question: Do we really know what the core problem is? Until this is defined, budget cuts, independent financial boards and other remedies cannot effectively be placed into action.
I fail to see a consensus on the diagnosis of the plague that has placed the government and the territory in their current position — only that the patient is ill and let's do something, in a hurry and now. It is clear that a multitude of events has caused the current environment and a comprehensive plan will be needed to resolve it. But what is it??? I put forth the following for consideration.
Are the books and records accurate? What were the fiscal officers and the governor using to determine that the coffers were full enough to provide the additional funding for pay increases and other projects, only to find in a matter of weeks they were short $152 million? I would allege that there is no authoritative source to rely upon to make an accurate determination as to the level of the deficit or if one exists. We only know that there are no readily available funds in the bank to meet current obligations. Let us define, in no uncertain terms, what are the resources and what are the obligations. This should not be a difficult or time-consuming task that should be performed by an independent party.
Once the proper financial information is available, a determination of the core problem can be identified through analysis of the data. Solutions can be formulated to start the healing process.
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to email@example.com.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.