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Commentary: Paine, pain and suffering
Published on September 3, 2012 Email To Friend    Print Version

by David Tapfer

American Thomas Paine was the author of a pamphlet called “Common Sense” published 250 years ago. It argued logic and influenced the lead up to independence in the USA. Independence worked in the USA for one simple reason: America is much larger and was potentially richer than Britain. Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and Paine learned from the British and did them one better creating a classic American constitution with its bill of rights. To this day, Britain does not have a constitutional document only a collection of disconnected laws.

tapfer.jpg
David Tapfer is a retired, US-born engineer and management executive. He is the former chairman of the Middle Caicos Branch of the Peoples Democratic Movement
In the TCI we hear about preparing for independence but in considering this let us use Paine’s logic and employ common sense.

We are now hundreds of millions in debt and, because of health care and the lingering results of mismanagement and greed, we continue to go backwards financially, adding to that debt. The direct rule government has followed in the footsteps of the Progressive National Party by raising taxes on the heads of the people.

Pause and remember. It was the PNP who raised auto registration from $35 to $75. It was PNP who gave us fuel taxes. It was the PNP who raised the cost of business licences for mom and pop stores as well as outside big investors. It was the PNP who gave us the payroll tax to pay for healthcare. A tax obviously not well thought out because in Aruba that tax is 14 percent. Now we tax everything and everyone in an attempt to pay the cost of NHIP. PNP closed down the airport, stranding tourists. Now we suffer fewer arrivals.

Put on your memory caps and think back to the last PNP budget hearing. Floyd Hall told of his looming income and property taxes. We were already on the road to where we are now, and probably worse. Remember the millions of overdue bills hidden in drawers. Only Hall, Royal and Gilly knew they were hidden there.... remember?

Can a country deep in debt and already bankrupt go independent and for what reason?

Yes, British rule has been an extension of PNP policies. However, at the end of the day Britain has the resources eventually to put money in the pot and bail out the TCI economy. The Brits can disqualify NHIP and immediately create a surplus that would pay off the debts and lower taxes. Would Rufus Ewing have the courage to cancel his own unaffordable health program? I think not, but Skip says he will!

When we get rid of NHIP we rid ourselves of the need to pay billions in taxes over the next 20 years... that my friends will truly be the dawning of a new day!

We read and hear some of the spinners say if the PDM wins the election it will extend British interference. That argument makes no common sense. As long as the PNP runs the TCI the Brits will never leave. They have twice learned that lesson. This second time, big time!

We must ask ourselves when did honest development stop and corrupt plus over-leveraged development begin. Answer: August 2003

Sharlene will be watching the CFO-TCI cheque book and Anya's antics closely. Sam will make sure Wesley puts out the right repair specs for our causeway and stops playing “let’s pretend”.

Anything else will not be Thomas Paine’s Common Sense but only more pain and suffering.
 
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