Where are the billions? – letter by “Joey” Jagan

Dear Editor,

In Guyana, when those in charge of our economy talk in monetary terms, they talk in millions and billions of dollars which are spent to run our dear country. The 2011 Budget allocations add up to a whopping $162 Billion Guyana dollars which is really $162,000 Million and let me spell it out in plain terms- one hundred and sixty-two thousand million dollars!!

When one talks about a billion, one has to take this figure into perspective and then realize how politicians like to have the levers of spending our money which we , the citizens work extremely hard for to provide for our families.

Editor, if we take 2011 as the starting point then one billion seconds before would be 1959; one billion minutes before would put us to the year that Jesus Christ was alive; one billion hours before, mankind was living in the Stone Age and lastly, one billion days before 2011, no one walked the Earth on two feet. So, in fact, the concept of a billion is exceptionally a large quantity, under any circumstances.

Editor, let us now turn to our politicians and our budget and great spending; with a budget of $162 Billion , this government is spending approximately $305,000 every minute or $444 Million each and every day!!   And if we assume that there are 800,000 souls (adults and children) in this country, then each and every one of us should be treated to individual attention to the sum of $202,500 per year and that’s from the baby in the crib to the most elderly Guyanese.

So, Editor, where’s the money going because our roads are mostly bad, our elderly get pittances, our children get nothing much, our teachers , policemen and nurses get less than $ 50,000 a month, we pay the highest electric bills in the Caribbean, our water is substandard, our sea defenses are marginal and our irrigation almost worthless, our University is in shambles, our farmers are barely surviving, our sewer systems are beyond repair and the poor are getting poorer as the rich get richer and richer. We have a terrible garbage problem in this city and imagine , the government spends $438 Million a day and would only allocate $200 Million to pay the garbage collectors after weeks of rot, stench and an unhealthy city!!

Editor, where’s all the money going when we’re taxed beyond the breaking point? Where’s the subsidies for our farmers? Where’s the support for our elderly? Where’s the school buses for our children? When will electric bills go down? When will we get clean water?
We need better governance and much more fiscal responsibility and we need to see some of those billions in front of our eyes instead of the politicians crying about the past and as the tears come flowing they live more and more lavish lifestyles, obviously never contemplating the betterment of our citizens.

Yours faithfully,
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  • WALTER  On 08/16/2011 at 2:15 pm

    Cheddi(Joey)Jagan,you are on the right track,I am a guyanese retired International Financial Advisor,with special expertise on USA Taxes,Real Estate,and also a retired government Auditor in two large countries,and it would be difficult to explain where 162,000 US$Million dollars could be found in Guyana.i would suggest that you look in the different overseas banks for accounts with the names of your high government officials.This problem is not restricted to Guyana only but it is the modus operandi of politicians who extract overburden taxpayers and filter the government money through their associate contractors to money launder the proceeds making it difficult legally to trace and prosecute the perpetrators..This is just a concise explanation.it gets most interesting if you pursue this thought.OK?GOD BLESS US ALL.

  • M.O. Okker  On 08/16/2011 at 7:53 pm

    Re-where are the billions by Cheddi Jagan Jr,
    The state plane is called Guyana and is trying to land. The plane is in trouble due to the bad state of maintenance and 3 of the engines have stopped and the 4th. is on fire. The captain gets in touch with ground control and asks for immediate assistance. Please give us your instructions Here is the reply:

    PLEASE REPEAT AFTER US: “Our father which ared in heaven, please give us this day etc. “.

  • M.O. Okker  On 08/16/2011 at 8:10 pm

    Correction on my comment re- where are the billions.

    PLEASE REPEAT AFTER US: “Our Father in Heaven,
    hallowed be your name.
    you kingdom come,
    your will be done etc.

  • George Bowen  On 08/20/2011 at 7:41 pm

    Dear Mr. Jagan,
    As I have mentioned on one of your previous commentary, you’re definitely correct on every point made in your letter. I would really like the powers-that-be in Guyana to answer some of these questions ASAP, or at the very least start giving the Guyanese people a sense of accountability- but this will never happen on the current regime’s time, because as you so eloquently stated; they’re too busy lining their pockets, and running our beautiful country to the pits! Mr. Jagan, the Guyanese people need strong voices such as yours, and I want to assure you sir… I’m listening! Run Joey, Run!

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