Temas Especiales

12 de Aug de 2020

Nacional

Time to end the blame game

PANAMA. The sins and omission’s of the previous administration have been filling the airwaves and headlines since the new broom governm...

PANAMA. The sins and omission’s of the previous administration have been filling the airwaves and headlines since the new broom government took over, but there comes a time when the blame game calls for time out. Time to pursue the laudable objectives and fulfill some of the promises of President Martinelli and his cabinet. But delivering promises costs money, and a wise politician knows that sooner or later, if there are budget shortfalls, someone is going to point the finger at the people who introduced the expenditures.

Governing costs money, and often the distribution of finite resources means transferring funds from one pocket to another. The choices can be tough. Underfund A and B, or leave B with little or no funds and make sure A is well cared for? Whichever route rulers take, there are sure to be howls from the shortchanged group. The decisions are particularly hard when it come to allocating resources for health care. Doctors want the best available treatment for patients, but when funds are limited some heart rendering choices have to be made.

So, in the meantime let the new government get on with making those tough decisions, keep up their quest to make non contributors to the national cause pay up, and stop playing the blame game. The Torrijos years are already smirched with corruption, cronyism and mal-administration, but the election is over.

Two cases in point. On another page the Minister of Economy and Finance, Alberto Vallarino and Comptroller Carlos Vallarino , pointing to budget shortfalls , cite pay increases for doctors and workers in Social Security as a contributing factor. Remember the strikes, road blocks and cessation of services to those most in need? A problem for any government. Money had to be found to meet at least some of the demands.

SHOES OF THE PEOPLE

The $189 million for the Cinta Costera has also been listed. Right or wrong, the Coastal Strip is there to stay, and is already providing benefits for thousands of “voting” citizens. So concentrate on getting the Fishing and Yachting Club to pay it’s share for its enhanced facilities and get legislators to set an example by taking a daily health walk, help reduce obesity, and health costs and follow the shoes of the people.

They might meet former First Lady Vivian Torrijos , who may be staying trim for a run in the next presidential election.

< BOOMERS

The Baby Boomers are now retired, or close to it. Many belonging to another group of Boomers, Panama’s realtors who thrived in the glory days of the real estate bubble, are also moving into quieter pastures.

Are we surprised to hear that they are the target of a government investigation into tax dodging, including assigning unreal values to some properties and sub dividing property documents to avoid multiple payments?

This of course did not filter down to purchasers in a seller market. Prices rocketed above the increased cost of materials, and many a well crafted tale was spun to over eager and greedy investors in the local property market. Meanwhile multiple commissions floated around helping to inflate prices far beyond the means of Panama’s middle class.