Saturday, January 30, 2010

How Do You Run A Country When You Can't Balance A Budget?

With Paula Cox touted as the most likely successor to Premier Ewart Brown come October it is not without good reason that I am worried that she seems either unable to control the spending of the Bermuda Government, which is exactly what Bermuda needs.

Under her watch we have seen:
  • Heavy spending in the good times leading to the accumulation of massive debt in the bad
  • Multiple projects running over budget
  • Qualified Audits 2 years in a row
  • $800 million going missing from the Consolidated fund

We have seen a finance minister who again and again has shown she has the backbone of a jellyfish. Unable (or Unwilling) to stand up to Dr. Brown and her cabinet colleagues she has appeared, and even claimed to be, politically neutered. Is that what we want in a future premier?

We have seen a Finance Minister who's best response to 20% yearly budget overspending is to pass the blame and play the part of the politically (or perhaps financially) neutered victim:

"I can indicate support or objection. However the sponsoring Minister(s) knows that I cannot overrule their request unless I have others who join with me to support and uphold my position."

We have seen a Finance Minister who has attempted to mislead the public using Bermuda's strangely large GDP (thanks to International Business) to mask the fact that our debt really is going through the roof (around 50% per year increase over the past 3 years).

We have seen a Finance Minister who can't even release the budget on time. Sure, according to law it's within their right but, one does not break with parliamentary tradition unless something is wrong. Maneuverability is a pathetic excuse.

Is it wrong of me to expect better from our probable future Premier? I guess in today's Bermuda it is.

The public's silence is deafening.

Expecting better would simply be...

Wishful Thinking

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