Budget Still Bigger, Even with 'Trim'

Honolulu Star - Advertiser, April 27, 2017 | Go to article overview

Budget Still Bigger, Even with 'Trim'


Next year's state budget will increase by more than $1 billion, but you wouldn't know it by reading the local newspapers.

Journalists write about legislators trimming the budget ("Legislators greenlight $28 billion budget for operations," Star-Advertiser, April 25), but the real story is that budget spending is growing by record amounts.

The article mentions that the Legislature voted to "trim the overall budget somewhat from what Gov. David Ige originally proposed." But the "trim" is really just a reduction in proposed spending increases -- like a dress that was marked up 100 percent and is selling for only 10 percent off. It's still an increase.

Here's the real story: State lawmakers are opening the floodgates to more spending, and at the same time, planning to soak Hawaii taxpayers.

Joe Kent

Vice president of research, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

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Trump hypocritical about Syrian victims

In justifying his decision to launch a retaliatory attack against the Syrian government for poisoning its own people, including babies and children, with chemical gas, President Donald Trump said, "No child of God should ever suffer such horror."

It's hard to believe that those tears-provoking words of compassion are coming from a man who has repeatedly expressed his disdain for immigrants and refugees. In fact, he made anti- immigrants, anti-diversity and anti-refugees a centerpiece of his political agenda, which have drawn cheers of approval from his white political base.

Trump's penchant for deceptive rhetoric makes it difficult to discern the genuineness of what he's saying. If his gesture of empathy for the dead Syrian babies and children signifies a true change of heart, he needs to prove it.

Rescinding his ill-advised travel ban order would be a good starting point. Otherwise, his words of empathy for the Syrian children are just empty words wrapped with cruel hypocrisy.

Rod B. Catiggay

Mililani

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GET surcharge should be increased

When the general excise tax surcharge for rail first went into effect, I did not know it was in effect. I did not see any difference when I went shopping. I said it should be made permanent.

I still feel the same way. It should be made permanent and should go one step further. Add another 1/2 percent and make it to 1 percent.

Put the excess into the general fund. It will help the city maintain the rail, the bus system, emergency services, city workers' pay raises and housing the homeless.

We are all going to pay it sooner or later.

Herbert Ishida

Mililani

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Politicians hide true cost of rail

There is nothing more disgusting than the discussions by our city politicians on which tax to use to fund our rail system, the general excise tax or the property tax. All they are trying to do is hide what rail is really costing you.

Here is all you really need to know:

>> Roughly 15 percent of each of these taxes is paid for with tourist dollars. …

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