The Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year of 2018/2019 for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is really revealing how the financing of the sector is and how the state is involved with the manner. Also, how low-key the main factors are and lacking transparency is hitting the Energy Sector of Uganda. Not that is surprising, since the agreements, the licenses and the tenders are usually kept behind closed doors.
However, the main part of the Framework Paper is evident of the issues at hand:
“The indicative budget ceilings for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have been rationalised in line with the sector priorities and national priorities as communicated in the Budget Call Circular and in the Presidential Directives. The ceilings for Vote 017 for the FY 2018/19 are as follows: Wage Recurrent is UGX 4.23Bn; Non-Wage Recurrent is UGX 74,04Bn; GoU Development is UGX 307,84Bn and the Development Partner contribution is UGX 1,608.41Bn. Under Vote 123 ceiling is UGX 81.98Bn is for the GoU Domestic Development and UGX594.00Bn is from external financing” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).
The building of vital infrastructure, the refinery, the pipelines and energy production facilities are all dependent on funding from abroad. If it is grants, loans or paid-in-full agreements done in secrecy. Because, there are more than the shadows of this budget framework paper. It is saying a lot and the votes for the future is showing the future too. That the Ugandan economy is prospering, as the budget are needing all funding from afar to be able to build needed infrastructure. Also, needs the grants for the Rural Electrification, the ones who the state has even borrowed to do.
Therefore, this Budget Framework Paper is showing the troubles ahead. This isn’t voting for better economy, know this is dependency and also proving how much the donors and partners are involved in making sure the economy gets addicted to it.
When it comes to the refinery, the details are clearly still in the wind: “The process of selecting of the Lead Investor is still progressing and the negotiations are ongoing between Government and the selected investor. The process is expected to be completed in FY 2017/2018. There after FEED and ESIA for refinery development will be undertaken with the Lead Investor on board” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018). So the selecting of it is not finalized, well, for some thought Russians had secured agreement and the reason for Museveni to visit Moscow. Clearly, that ship has sailed, we can wonder if Total or any other company would do this. As Total has the biggest chairs of licenses in the Lake Albertine Basin. Time will tell, but another proof of lack of transparency, when the Ministry has to write this.
“Procurement Bottlenecks including lengthy bidding processes that require no-objections from the external financiers at each stage of execution. There is need for PPDA to revise guidelines for procurements relating to flagship projects. In addition, the following measures need to be considered: financing agreements are signed, project is almost ready to kick off. PPDA should reduce the administrative review timelines that sometimes stall progress” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).
This here is initially following the guidelines of the First Amendment of the 1995 Constitution of 2017, the Land Amendment that the National Resistance Movement put forward before the Age Limit. That would fit the narrative of the Ministry and their wishes. It is like reading the same idea, to give more power to the state and able to land issues quickly.
What we can learn, also and which is important, these developments, these infrastructures projects couldn’t have been built if it wasn’t for external loans, externals grants or direct aid, if not on the license fees and the parts that is taxed. However, the grand amount and the majority of the projects needs the external funding.
This is not surprising, it is to be expected because Museveni doesn’t want to use his money. He want to spend other people’s money and also the money of the future. To benefit him today, that is why the deals are done in the secrecy…. We don’t know the reasons and the value of the licenses, the ones who is to build the refinery, even the grand agreement between the Corporations who will build the Pipeline. We know that certain companies has failed to build the dams and used bad material, but that is because of the Chinese Contractors has saved money, while being paid-in-full.
President Museveni blessed that deal and got scraps back. Time will tell, but this isn’t a good look. Not because I want it to be bad, but because the money says so. Peace.
The United States of America is now without a captain, a head honcho and without clear steering leadership. President Donald J. Trump is clearly not stable or a capable person who can hold thought longer, than he holds his thirst for a Diet Coke. So it is old-fashion way that, when the weekend started and during the weekend. Either the White House or the Republican Party has assaulted the Democratic Party for not doing their patriotic duty. However, they are not the majority in the House of Representatives, they are not the majority in the Senate and they do not have the Presidency.
All of that should come into consideration as the Budget negotiations has been going on. There been counter measured to secure payments for soldiers and people in combat. While that has been silenced by the same Republican Party, that are blaming the Democrats. Its the whole way of discussing the deal and agreement with the minority leader, has proven to failing. That President Trump can get into one state of mind and then hours later a call from Chief of Staff John Kelly. Can sway in another direction. Then again can another call from Trump to Democratic leader Chuch Schumer being about another piece, that was not agreed upon.
Its this constant changes and not stability. Its the constant use of military and health care for the needy, while the same majority party has dismantled a lot of that in the tax-cut bill in late part 2017. So the Democrats knows how the Republican party operates, not for the people need, but for the needs of their donors. They don’t care about the CHIP Program and neither care about DREAMERS. That is evident by their way of reasoning and their way of negotiations. Trump clearly doesn’t care about these, he promises left and right, but just wants tax-cuts for him and another party at Mar-A-Lago in Florida.
That the Democrats has been in the trenches trying to fix something is evident. While Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have no heart. We knew they operated that out some time ago and its left behind in the closet of one of their main donors. Since, they are using the speeches of the past, but they are the ones that filibustered the crap out of the House and Senate during the Obama Years. Now that they cannot get 60 votes in the Senate. They are sending assaults to Schumer and the Democrats. It is insane!
When they are throwing out bi-partisan deals, by the time spent to forge a deal that both parties can work on and secure funding. Also for popular programs like CHIP and DACA. Clearly, the Republican party doesn’t see that, because they are lost in the InfoWars, Breitbart and Fox News news-cycle, where if they go outside of that paradigm. They will lose popularity in the needed midst of 20% – 30% electorate, which they need in the midterms 2018. Clearly, the Republican Party is afraid to look weak and not following promises made during the 2016 election.
While that is happening, the cost of this a government shutdown. That means many will not during next payout of salaries and government programs will cease until the shutdown is stopped. The natural funding and the in-activity will mean that many ordinary non-life danger programs will stop. This because the President and his party cannot be in balanced and stable in negotiations. They are their worst enemy, but playing the blame-game on Democrats. Who can support this government, but has no incentive to do, when they are shot down and has no reason to give way over nothing.
What the Republicans should do, which they won’t, is to look into themselves and their blackmailing of the other party. Nothing else has happen. That is why the speeches of McConnell and Ryan has been like they are. They know about the changes and calls between them and Democrats. Still, they are blaming them.
They are easily the opposite of Robin Hood, giving more to wealthy and less to the poor. They are struggling to govern, because their enemy is gone in the White House. The Republicans we’re good as long as the Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party Activist could block progressive and liberal ideas from the White House. But now that they have the man in the office and the Capitol Hill for themselves. They cannot explain or be able to agree themselves on what is key or important. Therefore, they have to make enemies out of the Democrats. Secondly, they expect to get away with that.
Not so strange, the blackmailing is their thing, it is the thing of Trump. That is why he has record of lawsuits during his corporate career, why he has not paid workers on his buildings and properties and then sued the contractors for negligence and whatnot. Trump has done that all his life and therefore, tries the same trick as President. However, this isn’t mob business or contractors who needs his money. This is people who has constituents and future votes to be in their favor. Democrats doesn’t need Trump. They don’t need him or his presidency. That is the truth. Trump, thinks everyone needs him and wants him. He is the center of the Universe. However, for the democrats, he is a necessary evil. A devil you work with, in need, but buries hopefully in the future.
So the Republican Party has gone wrongly about it all, they are the ones that need the Democrats. Not the other way around. They have the majority and is supposed to govern. It seems easy on West Wing and Yes Prime Minister. Therefore, they should feel the pinch and their guilt. Even as they deflect and even Kellyann Conway are on TV, still spreading the news of the deal-maker Trump is. Well, it is proven he is jello. It is proven that his shifting and short-term memory, also lack of focus is destroying the importance of the budget negotiations and their deadlines. Combined with the neglect of leadership from his side. Trump cannot whip his party into one focus and one line. If Fox & Friends or Breitbart excel a bad story. He will twist his mind and change way. That is not the way of making significant changes in law.
I think the Republican’s has to jump from the wall and find a middle-ground. If they are serious about governing and not just creating headlines. If the Republicans care about their government and the service it provides, other than giving tax-relief to the wealthy. Time is to open their minds and mouths, talk with the Democratic Party and see where they can go. Peace.
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Yesterday, something rare happen, the United Nations addressed big issues within the United States and their ways of governing. Clearly, this is starch message. If this was a poorer and weaker state. The United States Special Rapporteur Phillip Alston would have condemn their actions. Instead, he is describing it and addressing it. Which is a fresh look from the United Nations, that is worried about the growing poverty in the US. It is special that it happens in this period and time. When the ruling party and majority in both chambers of the Congress. Is working on a bill to give tax relief to the wealthiest, the corporations and growing deficit on the federal budget. Clearly, the value of the middle-class and the poorest doesn’t matter in this calculation. Since, the taxes will grow for the ordinary and the poor, while the richest get more cash.
Therefore, what the UN Special Rapporteur is writing is damning. It is demeaning. This isn’t a fairy-tale or a Disney adventure. This isn’t the dream of gaining fortunes at Silicon Valley. This is the real deal, the issues, the ghetto’s, the slums and the ones living on food-stamps all around the US. The way the United States is governed, might be also a reason for the rampant poverty. Since the Federal State is so far away and the limitations on the States. Barres the State governments from actually delivering necessary welfare and provisions to help their poorest citizens. It could be in their DNA, as everyone is supposed to be self-made and can become millionaires. Even if it is just a tiny group of people who is able to go from the slums and ghetto’s and become vastly wealthy. They are more rare, than the norm. The Rapporteur really paints a story of an American Nightmare and not the American Dream. Alston is describing a bleak picture and shows, that the United States got a lot of work to do. If their citizens are supposed to have equal rights and equal opportunities, because the contrasts and the different spectrum’s of wealth should worry the politicians. Clearly, it doesn’t when we know how the Tax-Plan is and who will benefit in the coming years.
“The reality that I have seen, however, is very different. It is a fact that many of the wealthiest citizens do not pay taxes at the rates that others do, hoard much of their wealth off-shore, and often make their profits purely from speculation rather than contributing to the overall wealth of the American community. Who then are the poor? Racist stereotypes are usually not far beneath the surface. The poor are overwhelmingly assumed to be people of color, whether African Americans or Hispanic ‘immigrants’. The reality is that there are 8 million more poor Whites than there are Blacks. Similarly, large numbers of welfare recipients are assumed to be living high on the hog. Some politicians and political appointees with whom I spoke were completely sold on the narrative of such scammers sitting on comfortable sofas, watching color TVs, while surfing on their smart phones, all paid for by welfare. I wonder how many of these politicians have ever visited poor areas, let alone spoken to those who dwell there. There are anecdotes aplenty, but evidence is nowhere to be seen. In every society, there are those who abuse the system, as much in the upper income levels, as in the lower. But the poor people I met from among the 40 million living in poverty were overwhelmingly either persons who had been born into poverty, or those who had been thrust there by circumstances largely beyond their control such as physical or mental disabilities, divorce, family breakdown, illness, old age, unlivable wages, or discrimination in the job market” (…) “There is no magic recipe for eliminating extreme poverty, and each level of government must make its own good faith decisions. But at the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the USA, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. With political will, it could readily be eliminated” (…) “Reflecting on these developments, leading poverty experts have concluded that: Because of this rising joblessness, the U.S. poverty population is becoming a more deprived and destitute class, one that’s disconnected from the economy and unable to meet basic needs. … 40 percent of the 1999 poverty population was in deep poverty … [compared to 46 percent of the 2015 poverty population … . Likewise, rates of extreme poverty (i.e., living on less than $2 per day per person) are also increasing, again because of declining employment as well as growing “disconnection” from the safety net” (Alston, 2017).
This words are striking, these words are address big problems within the American society. That cannot be taken easy. There isn’t proper institutions, programs or even state provisions to help out the ones need. The growing poverty and extreme poverty is weird when you consider the vast amount of wealth residing the same nation. It is like it was rigged to be this way and they are playing demographics and also politics must really be damaging. Since, there aren’t any clear indication that these issues are addressed or significantly cared about by the federal state or the states themselves. The ignorance of the needs of their own, should shatter anyone caring about fellow human beings. That they accept the dire poverty, while the riches families can own estates bigger than some European Kingdoms.
If that isn’t a signal of something in need of change, while so many are struggling to survive and to pay the next rent. That there are a lack of understanding of the generation after generation of struggling individuals in the ghetto’s and slums. These are not looked after or tried to fix, but with small patches and civil society based organization who try to do charity. However, they cannot make them prosper or change the evil circle of lack of jobs and no safety net from the state.
This is political choice and by political will, by the ones that actually are in power. They have to show their concern. Give their legislation and make sure that these people are addressed and have a future. Since they can leave the groundwork and framework so they can live life beyond the hand-to-mouth. But actually own a home and live decent. Instead of struggling with every single penny. Worrying about if either you or any other person in the family ending up in the hospital. If so, they have to collect more debt and struggle more because of lack of coverage and funds to be able to pay for health-insurance. That could be typical issue for Americans on the poverty line. The forgotten by all powers and shown these days by the tax-plan as well, who will make Medicaid and other programs get grave cut. While the corporations are getting tax-holidays.
There is something really wrong these days in America. The riches are really poor. They cannot afford to pay tax or even contribute to the society they are earning their fortunes in. They are so poor, they cannot stomach paying points on the dollars, so the poorest and their workers can get some social benefits. So they can be more healthy and work better for them. Instead, their greed and their draconian ways, will make the extreme poverty even worse and grow numbers of people in dire needs. With time, the corporations will also have fewer costumers. Since they cannot afford to buy their products. So it won’t gain growth, when making more people poor, while a minority will get even wealthier. Peace.
Alston, Phillip – ‘Statement on Visit to the USA, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights*’ (15.12.2017)
The Republican Party and their representatives and Senators have now shown their loyalty to the donors like Koch and corporations who are supporting their campaigns. The Campaign funding and party is the reason for all of this. That the Corporate America get a say in Congress and pay-off their debt to the donors. This sort of activity shows that the voters and citizens now is second fiddle. The most important piece of legislation is that it grows the deficit, that the Democratic Party and Barrack Obama had to be wise about. While the Republicans themselves can risk the economy, because the legislation benefits their donors. While the citizens will pay more tax with time.
The CBO themselves said this mid-November about the Tax Cut and Jobs Act: “The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation determined that provisions in the Chairman’s Mark would increase deficits over the 2018-2027 period by $1.5 trillion (not including any macroeconomic effects). By CBO’s estimate, additional debt service would boost the 10-year increase in deficits to $1.7 trillion. As a result of those higher deficits, debt held by the public would increase from the 91.2 percent of gross domestic product in CBO’s June 2017 baseline to 97.3 percent” (CBO, 13.11.2017).
So the representatives and senators who voted for this yesterday are not only giving the corporation a giant tax-break and making for changes that are for the benefit of the wealthy. But at the same time the estimates are that they are breaking the state reserves and the gross domestic product. They are making the state bankrupt for the benefit of the wealthy. While they are cutting needed services and adding taxes on the middle-class and the poor. Draconian law if there ever was one. This is the opposite of Robin Hood. This is midieval and bourgeois of them. The Republican Party have no given all freedoms and liberties to the top 1 percent of the population. While the rest have to stagger themselves and with time pay more and more for basic needs. The only Republican Senator who voted against was Robert Phillips Corker of Tennessee. The rest was democrats who voted against it too!
Here is later in the month estimate by CBO, which is also damning to the results of this legislation:
“According to JCT’s estimates, the largest revenue reductions would result from the provision that would modify income tax rates and brackets: Revenues would fall by $1,165 billion and outlays for refundable tax credits would increase by $9 billion over the 2018-2027 period. The increase in the standard deduction would reduce revenues by $654 billion and increase outlays for refundable tax credits by $83 billion over the same period, JCT estimates. Repealing the individual AMT would reduce revenues by $769 billion from 2018 to 2027” (…) “Repealing the Individual Mandate. The bill’s most significant effects on outlays would occur as a result of the elimination, beginning in 2019, of the penalties associated with the individual mandate” (…) “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027” (CBO, 2017).
So while the Federal Reserves are getting less taxes in, the same state also repeals parts of Medicaid and ObamaCare offerings to the impoverished part of the population. Therefore, this tax-bill is also hurting the public who needs substantial coverage and also medical support to able to afford healthcare. This bill is really showing the riches eating more and paying less to big-society, while the poor will suffer even more. Because the Republican Party only has the interest of their donors and their corporations who are lobbying and paying their campaigns. That is now evident with this votes and this legislation. As they have kept the whole piece in the dark and amended in the last minute. Even rewriting directly on the legislation with handwriting. Not having time to check the consequences or having reports on the possible deficits or even damage it does to the citizens.
That the Republicans are doing this with majority in the House and Senate. Shows who they obey, who they trust and who they serve. The Republicans don’t serve the public, they serve the donors and the corporations. They don’t represent the people best interests, but the Multi-National and Big-Business. They are corporate stooges who are making sure the ones who are donating to them are getting some well deserved tax-breaks later. The deficits and the loss of tax revenue combined with the added taxes later on the public. Doesn’t seem to mind the Republican representatives and senators. They are just following orders of the ones who are paying for their PACs and their SUPER PACs. They are just listening and following the guidelines given by the corporations donating to them.
Its hard not to see it differently, since this isn’t to make the American republic any better. This legislation doesn’t make any other sense. Than the Corporations are walking inside the State Reserves and getting their money back. Instead of paying something for their rights to do business in the United States. Soon the people are paying the corporations not only for their services, but also for their benefits of actually doing business there. They are getting both by the hook and by the crook. This is not a good look. It is a billionaires dream and not for the working-class, neither the lower middle-class. They are put into the shadow and used as pawns by the Republican party.
This bill is Koch Industry and Koch supported in many ways, but also other conservative donors wet-dream. They are so having a hard-on by this bill. Because of this mess, they are ready to nasty and nitty-gritty with the public. Finally they are having their pay-day and their pay-off for years of supporting and donating funds to these politicians. The Senate and House is now bought off and their ethical backbone isn’t there. These Senators and these Representatives aren’t free-thinking individuals, but they are only a useful tool for the corporations and lobbyist to get their will.
In the same effect written by Public Citizen recently:
““The alliance between the Kochs and the Trump administration on the Republican tax bill has become so strong that lines between Koch brothers and Trump administration efforts have blurred. That was the case in July, when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a panel discussion on tax issues with Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips and the White House’s Marc Short. At this event and others, the Koch groups claimed that their desire was to “unrig the economy” by enacting tax cuts for giant corporations” (Public Citizen, P: 14, 2017). “The presence of so many Koch-affiliated political operatives in the Trump administration underscores how Trump has betrayed his supporters and contradicted his pledges to stand up for forgotten Americans against powerful interests. In an administration that lacks a clear policy agenda or expertise, Koch aides have been happy to fill the void with specific ideas to enrich corporate interests and harm the public as a whole. This agenda betrays the central idea of Trump’s campaign: that an outsider was needed to stand up for the little guy against the powerful” (Public Citizen, P: 34, 2017).
With this knowledge and going back in time, just a few months, you can see that the one of the biggest donors has been swaying the White House to change tax-policy in their favor. The irony is that all of this is betraying his promises. But all of the representatives and senators are following suit. Yesterday, is a proof of the control the donors and corporations have over the political elite within the Republican Party. They might have the same over the Democrats, but they didn’t vote this legislation in, the Republicans did!
It is their legacy and their decisions are now making sure the republic and the state will suffer. So that the state can give tax-breaks and tax-relief to the wealthy and businesses over the citizens. If you don’t believe it. Check the numbers, check the public oversight of who pays the PACs and SUPER PACs. Check who pays for campaigns and then check who gets less taxes from 1st January 2018. That is easily quid-pro-quo. Nothing else, this isn’t a masterpiece, this is vomit and disgusting misuse of power and authority for the interests of the rich. They not shielding the weak and poor, but securing their demise. Peace.
CBO – ‘ Reconciliation Recommendations of the Senate Committee on Finance – As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Finance on November 16, 2017’ (26.11.2017) link: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/reconciliationrecommendationssfc.pdf
Public Citizen – ‘The Koch Government – HOW THE KOCH BROTHERS’ AGENDA HAS INFILTRATED THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’ (30.11.2017)