BLOATED BUREAUCRACY DEPENDENT ON ITSELF
Hawai'i is one of the worst nanny states in the nation. Instead of stressing self-reliance and a strong private sector under a lean government, legislators have created a bloated bureaucracy to care and feed a growing class of people dependent on the government for their very existence. All of this is at the expense of the productive segments of society.
Now in tough economic times with a state budget shortfall, legislators lack the courage to tighten their collective belt. Instead, they perpetuate the nanny state and sink their teeth even deeper into the hand that feeds them by increasing taxes.
This is precisely the wrong approach. Dependence on the government must be reduced. And, while counter-intuitive, history has repeatedly shown that recessions are shortened and tax revenues increase when tax rates are lowered.
Let's remember our higher taxes and the resulting prolonged recession in upcoming elections and vote more fiscally prudent people into office.
Geoff Boehm | Waikíkí
CHANGE CONGRESS TO CHANGE AMERICA
It's Bush's fault; it's Obama's fault; it's the Republicans' fault; it's the Democrats' fault; it's the unions' fault; it's Wall Street's fault, etc., etc., etc.
To find the real culprit, ask yourself two questions. One. Did I vote for an incumbent in 2008? Two. Will I vote for an incumbent in 2010?
If you answered yes to both questions, proceed to the nearest mirror. There you will find the problem and the solution. Only you can change Congress. A vote for an incumbent is a vote for the status quo in Washington.
Joseph Cersosimo | Honolulu
POWER OF THE PENNY
INCREASE IN GET WOULD BE WORTH IT
The Legislature is considering raising the general excise tax from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent temporarily.
This represents a change from 4.5 cents to 5.5 cents on the dollar. That's a whole penny.
A one-cent increase can end furloughs and reopen schools; it can ensure continued access to welfare and food stamp offices; it can maintain continued vital services for the elderly and at-risk children and families.
This one-cent increase is a small price to pay to rescue our economy. If this isn't done, economists (from Paul Brewbaker to Bill Boyd of University of Hawai'i) warn that continued deep cuts would cause the greatest harm to our economy — leading to more layoffs, more business closures and an even longer recession.
Let's hope our legislators understand that a one penny increase is preferable to no school on Fridays and closing welfare offices and health and safety programs.
Lyn Pyle | Honolulu
ACT LIKE A TOURIST AND YOU'LL GET ALOHA
To the homeless in Waikíkí:
I understand you can no longer have shopping carts.
I have a solution. Go to Goodwill and get a suitcase on wheels.
Put on shorts, a hat that says "I love Hawai'i" and pretend you are a tourist.
Immediately you'll have respect and aloha from the mayor and tourists alike.
Shirley Cannell | Waipahu
INTERVIEW REPLAY: RUSH SAYS HE'LL LEAVE
Richard Pohle's letter ("Limbaugh cartoon was factually wrong," March 18) claims that an editorial cartoon of Rush Limbaugh in The Honolulu Advertiser was "factually wrong, disgusting and untrue." Mr. Pohle's letter is itself very "factually wrong, disgusting and untrue."
Mr. Pohle, because of modern audio and print technology, it has become nearly impossible to rewrite history, and especially very recent history.
The following is from a telephone interview on Rush Limbaugh's radio show:
Caller: "If the health care bill passes, where would you go for health care yourself"?
Rush Limbaugh: "I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica."
It seems as if Rush Limbaugh did in fact say that he was leaving the country "if this passes" (the health care bill).
Mr. Pohle, there should be some truth in the letters that you write to editor, and you should be ashamed of this one.
Michael J. Laucki | Austin, Texas
EX-CONGRESSMAN NOT ANTI-MILITARY
Jimmy Kuroiwa claims Neil Abercrombie is anti-military and points to what he calls Neil participating in anti-war demonstrations here in 1968 during the height of the Vietnam War (Letters, March 14).
Abercrombie was in Europe that year, so that's a false statement.
But more to the point: Neil Abercrombie has been fearless in challenging the establishment that led us into conflicts such as Vietnam. While in Congress, Neil fought powerful and influential voices and rerouted money out of high-tech weapons programs to meet the needs of men and women serving in combat.
If he is so anti-military, as his critics claim, how does one explain the National Guard Association of the United States awarding Abercrombie the Harry S. Truman Award, the highest recognition conferred by the 45,000 member organization?
The citation reads: "Neil Abercrombie's commitment to doing all he can for military personnel and their families — active duty, reserve and National Guard — is based on the belief that when the country asks much of people and they give much, the country owes them a debt of gratitude."
Neil is independent and challenges authority. Critics like Mr. Kuroiwa can continue to label him anti-military, but veterans like myself know that's not the case.
COL. (ret.) RAYMOND JARDINE JR. | Honolulu
CHANGE CURRENT LAW TO PREVENT FATALITIES
Truck passengers should be banned immediately. Being struck by another vehicle, driving over bumps, sudden turns or stops and speed will result in a person being ejected, regardless of age.
Numerous seat-belt fines were issued in the past while riding inside a vehicle while at the same time riding in a the back of a truck seems appropriate.
How many more fatalities is it going to take to change the current law?
Truck beds are made to haul cargo, not human beings. And cargo is usually tied down and secured.
AL melchor | Kane'ohe
DUI WEB SITE
ONLINE EXPOSURE WAS STRONG DETERRENT
I have spoken to a few bartenders and they said there were quite a few people that had designated drivers with them. When asked they said the Honolulu Police Department DUI Web site was the primary reason for being more responsible; second was not embarrassing themselves or their families.
They even added that others they knew in the liquor industry supported the Web site even though there may have been legal or political pressure to bring it down. Everyone I polled was sad to see it go whether they supported it or not. Saved a life? I bet my life it did.
Russ Maeshiro | Honolulu