Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, September 04, 2011
Kalapa: Taxpayers suffer as ACT 221 Scammers laugh all the way to the bank
By Lowell L Kalapa @ 12:28 PM :: 3969 Views :: Energy, Environment

Securing Hawaii’s Economic Future

by Lowell L. Kalapa, Tax Foundation of Hawaii

In the past few weeks we have looked at the financial and economic crisis facing the nation and what can and should be done to pull the country out of recession and put the government back on sturdy financial footing. The answer is quite simple but seemingly difficult for our political leaders to accept and implement, that is, to rein in government spending and to allow the free-market economy to grow unbiased by onerous government regulations.

Here in Hawaii the same lesson applies. State and county governments need to tighten their collective belts and pull back on promising constituents everything they request. Government in Hawaii must also realize that the world has moved into the 21st Century where technology now allows us to use machines instead of manpower to do a lot of the repetitive work. This means that the public work force can shrink without impairing the delivery of the services we need or redirecting the workforce to do other tasks as the population to be served grows.

An example of the use of technology which maintained workforce numbers but served even more consumers is Honolulu’s automated trash collection service. In the old days it took a minimum of three persons to collect the City’s trash - one truck driver and two to actually pick up the garbage cans and toss the garbage in the back of the truck. Today each collection vehicle needs only one person, the driver, who with technology and automation can now pick up the garbage cans and drive the truck at the same time.

So it is not like government will come to an end or that the public union membership rolls will shrink. But reining in spending can also mean spending what tax dollars are given to government wisely and that less dollars does not automatically translate into less services. What it does mean is that there will be a lesser demand to raise taxes because how those services are being delivered is more efficient. It means not saying “no” to change. It means doing things differently.

And, yes, much as we like to joke about it, the culture in the public sector is maintaining the status quo. But believe it or not, it is more common than not to find resistance to change in state and county government across the islands. Okay, there will be those that deny that they are unwilling to change, but just the other day there was an administrator dressed in jeans cleaning out vacant offices because her employees refused to acknowledge that their division was going to be forever downsized.

While the public employee unions may resist the shrinking of the public workforce because it spells less membership dues, their leaders should be just as aware that taxpayers have reached the boiling point and will not tolerate more increases in the tax burden just so public employees can maintain the status quo. With fewer employees to share what limited resources there will be in the future, the likelihood of better wages becomes more realistic.

On the other side of the ledger, taxpayers have to keep a close eye on policymakers who think they have the magic bullet to shaping Hawaii’s economic future. As taxpayers have seen, policymakers have literally given away the store by providing all kinds of tax incentives in the belief that they had the magic bullet that would “create high paying jobs” and bring Hawaii’s “brightest and best minds” back home. Unfortunately, all those bright ideas to provide tax incentives did was to shift the burden of taxes to others, or as was the case in the past two years, to raise those taxes even higher as the drain of those tax incentives took their toll on tax collections and in many cases on businesses and jobs.

Those who were not so fortunate to take advantage of many of these tax incentives can tip their hats to those who did take advantage of the tax credits and other tax breaks as they laughed all the way to the bank. Until those incentives were adopted, Hawaii’s tax system was a well-balanced and productive tax system. Had those incentives not been adopted, taxes probably would not have suffered as they did.

Hawaii went through similar economic downturns in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and the 1990’s and was able to survive all dislocations without a major tax increase like those that were adopted in the last two years. Thus, taxpayers need to keep vigilant to insure that policymakers don’t continue to manipulate the tax system in the name of insuring Hawaii’s economic future.

- 30 -

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT