The Guam Chamber of Commerce, through its board chairman Joe Arnett, reiterated and underscored the Chamber’s support for the military buildup and the financial benefits GovGuam receives from the federal government.
During its general membership meeting on Wednesday, the Chamber also reiterated its support for the mission of the Department of Defense on Guam.
Among the benefits that Guam receives from the federal government are the annual Section 30 appropriations.
According to Arnett, while Guam receives around $77 million in Sec 30 funds, that number is expected to go up with the military buildup and the impending relocation of Marines to Guam.
In addition to Section 30 money, Arnett said GovGuam also receives more than $300 million worth of federal aid and grants per year. These federal allocations benefit programs and services implemented by local agencies such as the Guam Department of Education, Department of Homeland Security, and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency.
“The question I was asked was – is the federal government good for Guam? Well, you asked a financial person. And the financial answer is — thank you very much. We are glad you are here. We wouldn’t have this much — federal government support. That doesn’t mean we don’t do a lot ourselves. We do a great deal ourselves. The government, legislation, business community contribute to the success of this society because we like it here. We like it here,” Arnett said.
He added: “We can’t underestimate the extent to which the federal government supports us on an annual basis. And this is not our money, we are Americans. They are Americans, but this is not our money. The American taxpayers own this money. I think as a financial person, it is a good thing. Everybody has their views and standpoints. I am sure these are some of the numbers that you see.”