Tamuning –The Camacho-Ada campaign has adopted as the centerpiece of its economic agenda, three planks:
- Driving the Government of Guam’s general fund into a structural deficit by giving a $60 million tax cut exclusively to big businesses on Guam;
- Repairing the inadequate Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) facility instead of building a new hospital; and
- Blowing through the remaining balance of federal funds to benefit big business instead of using the money toward the public hospital.
The Progressive Democrats of Guam strongly oppose each of these plans. Opening a deficit of tens of millions annually is fiscally unsustainable. Undermining the Government of Guam’s finances in this way would lead back to the late payment of tax refunds, late payments to government contractors, threats of layoffs, payless paydays, and furloughs that were faced under the Camacho administration. These are large costs to bear for our community and are not made up for by the proposed tax cuts that would only provide savings to the highest revenue businesses on Guam. Over 85% of businesses currently pay only 3%, the lowest BPT tax rate they have faced in decades. In addition, we know from the experience of the early 2000s that cutting BPT did not reduce consumer prices at all. Most of the current national inflation is attributable to profit-gouging by large corporations. Cutting taxes on the biggest companies on Guam would only reward Guam’s large businesses for profiteering.
Both Lou and Josh and the Camacho-Ada campaign agree that GMH is nearing the end of its useful life and will need to either be extensively repaired or a new hospital will need to be built. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ assessment of GMH, it had 5 years of useful life in the existing facility and would take roughly $800 million to either extensively repair or built a new hospital facility. The Progressive Democrats of Guam support building a new hospital that adequately addresses the needs of the people of Guam. However, the Camacho-Ada campaign wants to renovate the hospital, leaving an inadequate facility for the current and future needs of our island.
The Progressive Democrats of Guam believe that the Lou and Josh administration correctly decided to set aside funding from the American Rescue Plan to relieve future generations of hundreds of millions in debt service. The Camacho-Ada campaign intend to lavish huge sums on big businesses, through extending subsidies that are no longer necessary and give large tax cuts exclusively to big, highly profitable businesses many of which have engaged in profiteering at the expense of the working class of Guam. The result of such a policy would be to hold future generations hostage to wealthy creditors on Wall Street by hundreds of millions in additional unnecessary debt service.
We believe there is a better way, by building a high quality new public hospital in addition to providing universal health insurance, enacting unemployment insurance, beginning to move toward a living wage for Guam’s workers, investing in expanding public transit’s fleet to include 100 electric buses, and providing free public college at GCC and UOG.