Dwyer Astaphan says Former PM Timothy Harris’ claims of no deficit argument makes no sense

Dwyer Astaphan says Former PM Timothy Harris' claims of no deficit argument makes no sense
Dwyer Astaphan says Former PM Timothy Harris' claims of no deficit argument makes no sense

Recognized Lawyer, Dwyer Astaphan has taken a dig at former Prime Minister Timothy Harris, and his statements regarding surplus and no deficit in the national treasury.

The full statement of Dwyer Astaphan:

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The fireworks have begun.

Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Michael Drew stated on radio recently that the country is running in the red; in other words, Government is spending more money than it is bringing in.

The opposite of a deficit is a surplus, which means that you are collecting more than you are spending.

Dr.Timothy Harris, our immediate past Prime Minister, who has boasted about having surpluses for all of his seven years  as PM, didn’t like that, so he tried to rubbish Dr. Drew’s comment by saying that he had left $688 million in the Treasury.

In other words, he perhaps wanted you to believe that because he had left $688 million in the Treasury, there could be no deficit.

But Dr. Harris’ argument makes no sense. And let me show you why.

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Suppose you have $100,000 in the bank. And suppose you are running a business and that business is losing money, in other words, your business has a deficit. You might take some of that $100,000 to cover your deficit. And that $100,000 could be reduced to $75,000. But you still have $75,000 and you are still operating at a deficit.`

You can have the same experience running your home.  You have money in the bank or credit union or in treasury bills or company shares,etc. But you are going through a period in which you are spending more than budgeted. So you have money but you are operating in a deficit.

That is easy to understand.

Dr. Harris is a highly educated man, and he understands. He knows better, but his motive was mischievous. His intention was to mislead and deceive you.

When I first heard Dr. Harris’ comment that he had left $688 million in the Government, Dr. Denzil Douglas came to mind. When Dr. Douglas demitted the office of PM in 2015, he claimed that he had left nearly $900 million in the Treasury.

Now if Dr.Douglas had left nearly $900 million, then why did Dr.Harris leave only $688 million which is over $200 million less than what Dr.Douglas left. What happened to the other $200 million plus? Dr. Harris has always claimed to be an efficient and transparent  manager of the people’s money and their affairs generally.

Plus Dr. Harris has claimed to have a surplus in every of his seven years as PM, which means that he should have left plenty more than what Dr. Douglass left. But the truth is that he left a lot less.

In other words, if Dr. Harris was telling the truth about those surpluses every year, then wouldn’t it be logical to expect that over the years, the $900 million left by Dr. Douglas, when Dr.Harris’ annual surpluses are added to it, would swell it up to more, and indeed much more than $900 million? If Dr. Harris truly left a surplus each year, of, say, $50 million, then over seven years that would up to $350 million, and this together with the $900 million left by Dr.Douglas would add up to $1.25 billion.

And using those numbers, that is the amount that Dr. Harris should have left in the Government accounts.

But he said that he left $688. So in an effort to score a point against Dr. Drew, he opened his mouth and put his foot in it.

And he now has to explain why he left back only $688 million.

But not even that number is correct. A local news outlet, SKN Online, under the voice of Glen Bart, did a story on the matter, and revealed that IMF and ECCB data indicated that the Government is indeed operating in the red, as Dr. Drew has stated, and that in January of this year the Government actually had $715 million but that by August (which is when Dr. Harris was voted out of office), that figure had fallen to $646 million, and not the $688 million as is claimed by Dr. Harris… which puts Dr. Harris other foot in his mouth, because he now has to explain why he said $688 million, and why the actual figure was $646 as stated by the ECCB. So between January and August  of this year, he cut into the $715 million by $69 million.  Was that money used towards the deficit? Was it or any of it used in his bid for re-election?

In cricket, we are taught at a very early age that we must not offer a stroke to every ball delivered outside the off stump. If Dr. Harris had had boy days and played cricket, he probably would know that it would’ve been better for him to leave Dr. Drew’s comment alone. But Dr. Harris played at it, and it caught the edge.

His response to Dr. Drew’s comment was a response by a man in the throes of desperation, and words and deeds uttered and performed out of desperation all too often self damaging.

Now there are more questions for him to answer, one of which is why did he try to mislead you, the people of this country, by suggesting to you that having cash  means that you cannot have a deficit in your current account. He also has to explain where all of those alleged surpluses went, and why, instead of there being $1.25 billion in the account, he left back only about half of that, which is $646 million.

Where have the other $600 million or so gone?

Meanwhile, his spinners have been busy trying to distract and mislead people with other things.

For example, recently an item appeared on social media claiming that Dr. Joyelle Clarke had booked the Presidential Suite in a hotel in Egypt to attend the Climate Change meeting.

My information is that a regular room was booked for her and the others, and that their expenses were not paid for by the taxpayers of SKN.

They were also complaining about the delegation that went to Taiwan. First, as had happened when Dr.Harris was the PM, Taiwan paid for the trip. But there is a difference. Whereas Dr.Harris took family and friends for a joy ride, every member of Dr.Drew’s delegation can claim justifiable  reason to be there.

And I’d be willing to bet that on the trip Dr. Drew didn’t beg anybody for a pair of shoes or a watch or anything of the sort. By all accounts, in every aspect of the trip, and the other trips that he has taken, he has conducted himself with dignity and respect.

We are also hearing the talk about the Government travelling around in private jets. I am told that some travel within the region has been done using private chartered planes, and this has been because the scheduling of meetings in the region sometimes does not allow the ministers and other officials to travel commercial, given the difficulty getting around in LIAT.

These things are not well researched by the perpetrators of this propaganda. In fact, they have no interest in the truth. They just want, in their Trumpian way, to spread deceive and manipulate people through dishonesty.

Now I blame the Government for this to a large extent because their information dissemination apparatus, their messaging people, should be ensuring that the information, and correct information,  gets out there and the people of this country know exactly what is happening. So we expect an improvement in this regard.

But, as I said at the beginning of this commentary. The fireworks have now begun.

The hush puppy matter is now at lest going to be off the AG’s desk, after a year plus sitting there in limbo, and we will find out why Hushpuppy got a SKN passport, why he got it in 19 days, and why did the US Court report state that Hushpuppy paid US$50,000 to get a SKN passport when the Government fee for Citizenship by Marriage is only EC$1,000, which is less than  US$400.

The process is underway for us to find out why and how the PLP gentleman got a contract to supervise a certain building contract. The process is underway to let us in on the facts as to all that happened at Development Bank. We will find out everything on the story as to why the company got a $26 plus million contract as construction management of the BHS where there has been no construction whatsoever. We will find out about the security contracts, the cruise pier contracts, the road and other infrastructure contracts, and the rapid rags to riches stories of people on the public payroll. Also we will find out about those security contracts. We will find out who got duty free concessions just before the elections, some of them being Bible toting gangsters .Etc, etc.

And you know something interesting that is now going to be revealed? You see those street lights that were put up? At the cost of what, $5 million? You see how close some of them were to each other? Not that we might not need street lights in certain locations, but not the way it was done under the leadership of Dr. Timothy Harris.

And you now know that effective yesterday, the no left turn while coming out of the eastern side of Port Zante no longer applies. The police realize the foolishness of it as does the present Administration. And the rest of us now understand that that project was more of a money maker than a way to improve the traffic flow and make it safer.

It’s going to be pace like fire during the shortly upcoming Budget Debate. It has to be. And it will also be pace like fire during the debates on the IPL Amendment and Anti-corruption bills that are soon to reach Parliament.

The process of cleansing is under way, and as that happens, the cleansers have to report to us,  and let justice be served.

I just want to remind you all that when Singapore got serious about good governance in 1965, and passed the required laws and regulations, the first person to get a jail was a big shot in the government. And from that moment onwards, everybody got the message.

So bring on the fireworks.

Until Next Time and at all times, remember that this is our country, and our future.

God bless.