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Sunday, November 15, 2009
November 15, 2009 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:00 PM :: 4558 Views

Public housing still needs a state advocate

But "recede" shouldn't translate as "disappear." Some of the officials steering the Hawai'i Public Housing Authority are contemplating a future in which the HPHA closes up shop altogether.

First of all: The surface has barely been scratched on the agency's Job One, which is the reduction in the backlog of repairs to the facility. The progress that has been made — water boilers replaced to restore hot water service and fire alarm installations that are nearly complete — falls far short of where it should be. The upgrade was supposed to be accelerated and still it drags on.  (we've got contractors to enrich and they must be chosen by government)

So the tone of the document, a draft of the authority's goals and objections, seems positively utopian, let alone realistic. It starts with a "vision": "Self-sufficient families living in units they own that were previously public housing. HPHA no longer in existence because the state no longer serves as a public housing landlord."  (And you know we can't do that because if we allow these people to become independent, they won't vote Democrat.)

(Every line a new red herring as the socialists gather their excuses for the next legislative session.)

Finally, the state should not consider abandoning its role as monitor of subsidized housing programs. Things do go awry under private as well as public supervision.  (And since we in the public sector know all about "awry" we want to be there to make sure the private sector does a good job hires the "right" contractors.)  Government must remain there as an advocate for its needy citizens contractors when the reality proves to be less utopian than the vision.

(Imagine that! Socialists calling home ownership "utopian".  They'll say anything.)

RELATED: Defeating the "homelessness industry" before it gets a grip on Hawaii

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Health care reform won't have much effect on Hawaii coverage (well...except for part-timers, and small business)

Opponents have bemoaned the legislation, noting it carries a trillion-dollar bill and saying it will saddle employers with additional burdens while raising costs.

"Instead of making health insurance more accessible and affordable for small business, H.R. 3962 imposes more costs through its expensive employer mandates, punitive payroll taxes and a new government-run program," said Melissa Pavlicek, Hawai'i state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

"All of which will only result in more money coming out of small-business owners' pockets."

The National Federation of Independent Business is one of several business groups that have been critical of the bill, saying it fails to address unsustainable costs, includes new reporting provisions that will increase business costs, and features a poorly structured and too small tax credit.

Moreover, private insurers will not be able to compete fairly with the public option insurance called for in the bill. This threatens to undo the current marketplace, limiting choices and driving up costs.

"The misnamed Affordable Health Care for America Act doesn't do that," NFIB's Pavlicek said in a press statement. "All it does is increase costs, limit choices and kill competition."

The bill also requires everyone to have health insurance or else pay a fee equal to the lower of 2.5 percent of adjusted income (though some low-income people will be exempted) or the average premium on the insurance exchange.

Moreover, some of the funding for the reforms is coming from a 5.4 percent tax surcharge on individuals making an adjusted gross income of $500,000 or couples making $1 million annually. Boyd said this would apply to about 3,000 individuals and couples in Hawai'i.

(Oh, and with the profit incentive gone for developers of drugs and medical equipment, kiss medical innovation and the worldwide life expectancy growth which they make possible goodbye--if this passes the Senate.)

RELATED: Obamacare opponents: "Narrowness of the House vote (shows) momentum is on our side"

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SB sees a threat: Protect Hawaii health care (Hirono vs Inouye)

Three years after Hawaii's Prepaid Health Care Act was enacted in 1974, Standard Oil won a court ruling that invalidated the act as a violation of the federal Employment Retirement Income Security Act. Hawaii's congressional delegation saved the day by securing an exemption from ERISA through legislation.

However, the ERISA exemption would evaporate if any changes were made in the Hawaii health care law. The state law includes a provision that the law would "terminate ... upon the effective date of federal legislation that provides for mandatory prepaid health care for the people of Hawaii."

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‘Conformance’ impossible for some under current law

But conformance has been taken by the Department of Public Works to mean that an applicant must have designations that conform to the same category in all the levels of government review. These include state land use classification, county general plan designation, county community plan designation and county zoning.

For example, consider an owner who wants to build a school. He has state urban, public/quasi-public community plan designation and county R-1 residential zoning.

All three allow for schools, but since R-1 is not P/Q-P (the zoning set up for schools), the application is not in conformance all the way through, and subdivision will not be allowed. (If the owner doesn't need to subdivide, he can go ahead and build.)

(So if activists can change any of the different levels, they can carry out a 'taking' of your property and you won't know it until it is too late.  Since many of these "levels" exist solely to keep activist busy, this interpretation could mean that many properties are not buildable for the zoning they hold ...  for instance Ag10, Ag5, Ag3, Ag1, etc may not be legally subdividable to the minimum acre sizes) 

And here's an example: W. Maui plan in limbo over unclear rules

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ADV: 92% in Hawaii give to charity even in toughest of times

This chart shows that malfeasance on the part of the charity is a cause for 43% of decisions to stop giving.  This means that a charity watchdog group could shift money away from Hawaii non-profits which exist solely or largely as sinecures for otherwise unemployable Democrats or as vehicles for their policy agenda.

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Obama boosts dashes hopes for free trade

But he said the pact must have broad-based membership and "the high standards worthy of a 21st century trade agreement." He also sounded a sterner note, cautioning that Asia's export-led growth must give way to more balanced strategies.

(Translation: I will demand the same environmental regulations and labor regulations which have strangled western economies and have been used as an attack on NAFTA.  In other words, exactly the opposite of the headline.)

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$100M budget shortfall: Hawaii County departments asked to see which positions can be cut

The expected $100 million shortfall for the two-year period ending June 30, 2011, is based upon economic forecasts and the state's indication that it won't share tourist accommodation tax revenues with counties as it has in the past.

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