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General News
''President'' Dan Lartey''s First Budget To Hit $814 Bn 9/6/2007
The Founder and Leader of the Great Consolidated Popular Party, Daniel Augustus Lartey has disclosed that his first budget, if he wins the presidency in the 2008 elections, will hit a jaw dropping $814 billion, in what is perhaps the most audacious pronouncement yet of political pronouncements on ways to take the country into the top flight of development. The octogenarian politician is vague on details though, insisting that "the monies are all here and must be harnessed," while emphasising that the banks and the insurance companies for instance are in the best position to generate the necessary local funds to finance his budget.

According to Dan Lartey, he wants to make it "big" and to do that, he needs "to pull the bull by the horn" by pooling together the required resources to run the economy. "You can''t run a country and say I don''t have money."

Dan Lartey made this disclosure earlier this week on "I Want To Be President," a current affairs programme which creates the platform for presidential hopefuls to interact with the media, soon to be aired on TV Africa.

According to the veteran politician and one-time economic adviser to the Nkrumah Government, Ghana has all that it takes to develop itself without necessarily going out to ask for donor funding, saying it is only his government that will have the necessary know-how to harness the ''hidden’ wealth in the country to liberate Ghanaians from their economic woes.

How realistic is Mr Lartey’s assertion though? Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product is pegged at $60 billion, according to the latest figures (2006), with an estimated growth rate of 6.2%.

Unless there is a miracle greater than the biblical parting of the Red Sea or Jesus Christ’s feeding thousands with two loaves of bread and two pieces of fish, Mr Lartey’s assertion needs to be taken with a dose of salt bigger than the whole Ada township.

But he had more up his sleeve. Mr Lartey said he would invest all of the state’s money into the energy sector to ensure there is uninterrupted energy supply irrespective of the needs of other sectors of the economy. "The soul and life of a nation is energy. If there is no energy there is no nation."

Mr Lartey also revealed that he will create a Second Chamber in Parliament and phase out the Council of State. According to him, the Second Chamber will help check "bad laws" passed by law makers mostly dominated by the party in government.

He held that the current system where the president appoints members of the Council of State was flawed, since the appointees feel more obligated to the President than the citizenry. A second chamber would take care of this ‘problem,’ he insists.

The GCPP Leader also maintained that his "Domestication" Policy was still as relevant today as it was the day he launched it. He mentioned that he will be using local resources to generate wealth to create jobs for the youth, adding, "I want Ghanaians to be "real."

To curb corruption in the system, Mr Dan Lartey stated that he will increase wages and salaries by 400% to put more money in the pockets of Ghanaians which will in a way make corruption unattractive. According to him, "salaries will be adjusted to the cost of living."

The GCPP, he said, is solidly on the ground and on course to win a landslide victory in the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections. This is due to the strategic plans he and his team have draw up he told the audience. Dan Lartey has contested in all elections since 1996, winning less than 1% of the vote each time.

Every time I read such bunkum from so-called political leaders, I want to vomit!!! What kind of land are we living in when people who aspire to the highest office of the land do not only dream up such nonsense but have the courage to spew them out and loudly, because they know all we do is to swallow it up and not ask any questions.

The first thing any journalist should do is to ask Grandpa where he is going to raise that money. A budget is not about the sums involved but how does the proponents intend to raise the sums involved. Taxes? Donors?

Its time the nonsense to stop. There are many people who should not even attempt at going for that high office. Unfortunately, because the stomach now rules in Ghana and not the brains, we continue to live with all of these things.

I plead with all journalists to probe further and require leaders to back statements with fact. Lets Think Ghana and stop the mess that we have enveloped ourselves in. Ghanaians are not cheap and we ought to halt this crazy descent into a system where one could be the dumbest person around but so long as there is money to spread around, he just mouths whatever comes to mind and you still get front page coverage.

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