Broken Promises by the Legislature
From the Territorial Government to the present, politicians elected to serve their communities have consistently overspent. This forces them to come up with “creative” ideas to supplement their shortfalls when the economy eventually sours.
They wouldn’t have to look far if they simply managed ceded (Native Hawaiian) lands properly. For example, politicians have leased ceded lands to their friends for as little as a dollar a year. Thousands of acres of land have been leased out by the state to businesses with these kinds of insider deals. And they wonder why these lands aren’t generating revenues.
A previous Governor suspended landing fees at the airport, which sits on ceded lands, for two years because he said it would allow airlines to bring in more tourists. We all know that didn’t happen. It was just another sweetheart deal. Can you imagine the revenue that the state lost in those two years?
What we need are people in government who can be responsible leaders and balance budgets. That way, they wouldn’t have to raise taxes, look to gambling casinos or sell ceded lands. We should be looking to agriculture to grow more of our own produce instead of importing 95 percent of what we eat. We’ll never replace tourism, but our current economy shows how it can let us down.
This election year, let’s elect responsible leaders who will make the tough decisions needed to get our economy out of the toilet. We do not need more politicians to think of more creative ways to tax us or squander our resources.
Office of Hawaiian Affairs