For Wednesday, January 5, 2011
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 5, 2011
Why is it that when our elected officials face a revenue shortfall, they always say they have to make the "tough choice" and raise taxes?
Raising taxes and user fees are the easy choices. The tough choice is to live within your budget by streamlining programs, making pay cuts, laying off workers, etc.
When we citizens have insufficient funds in our budgets, we can't order our employer to give us more money. A business can't demand that its customers buy more. It should be the same for our government.
Our elected officials should realize that the reason they don't have enough revenue is because the private sector isn't doing great and the last thing they need is to pay more taxes.
Let's hope our elected officials can really make tough choices.
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With giant smiles, Nestor Garcia and the City Council seem so proud and act like they have come up with something new: Raise user fees.
Wow, where have we seen that before? Oh yeah, former Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
Haven't we been overtaxed enough? Sewer fees, car registration fees, parking meter fees, bottle fees; it seems every year the government wants a bigger piece of me. Enough is enough. Come on, people. Stand up and speak up.
Shame on the Environmental Working Group for starting an unnecessary panic about hexavalent chromium in Hawaii's drinking water.
First, the group tests a single spoonful (1.2 ml) of water and infers that it is representative a system that produces 90 million gallons of water a day. Much worse, it ignores the fact that trace amounts of hexavalent chromium occur naturally everywhere in the environment, including water.
The trace level in the Honolulu sample of 2.0 ug/L is within the very conservative range of acceptable tapwater goals proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (0.43 to 4.3 ug/L; California's range is 0.2 to 2.0 ug/L).
In contrast, levels of hexavalent chromium in the PG&E "Erin Brockovich" case were thousands of times higher and clearly related to industrial pollution.
Such irresponsibility by the Environmental Working Group puts the public at great risk of unnecessary medical tests and procedures and distracts people who are suffering from an illness from finding the true cause and hopefully a cure.
With the state Senate and House of Representatives about to go into session in a non-election year, this is an appropriate time to caution our legislators not to attempt to balance the budget on the backs of the kupuna. We seniors are registered, we vote, we have memories like elephants and we will hold against them in the next election attempts to tax our earned retirements and benefits.
Are you kidding me?
It is an honor for American Girl to pick a Hawaiian doll to represent for the year 2011. ("Doll insults Hawaii," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 2).
The American Girl looks like most of our beautiful children on the islands -- hapa haole. Here in Hawaii, we are such a wonderful melting pot, all of our children with brown, hazel, blue and green eyes and blond and brunette hair.
The representation of this obviously well-embraced doll is in no way offensive to the Hawaiian culture. The outfits are cute -- if not perfectly accurate -- but this is what the mainland identifies with and cherishes.
Why pick on a free gift of advertisement for our tourism? We have so many more important problems to endure.
I am so angry regarding the article "Alternative therapies could harm kids," (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 23).
Who is really behind these articles? I hope in all fairness you also print how many patients die from prescription drugs each year, whether by overdosing, the wrong combination of drugs or too many different drugs taken each day. Once patients get on this merry-go-round, they are on it for life.
Who is the winner here? That's obvious. I'm sure conventional medicine is called for in some cases, but they are grossly overprescribed, in my opinion. I'll take alternative, if I have a choice.
Of course San Francisco and Los Angeles have symphony orchestras -- the West Coast power centers can afford it.
But Oakland has a symphony orchestra. So does San Jose.
Honolulu is a power center. It is a scandal and a disgrace that powerful people haven't supported our symphony, and just stood by and let it whimper and die.
There seems to be no one who cares enough to buttonhole some of the super rich and tell them that they are going to have to fork over another million toward the restoration of the symphony.
Pride of place demands it, or else we will appear to be just another state with no particular coterie of people who care about fine music, don't see the value of it for our children and haven't cultivated the sheer brass needed to raise the needed cash.
If Hawaii can't produce the necessary hustle to improve our cultural milieu, we will forever be begging for others to come visit us, have a wonderful time, and please spend.
Sometimes manners and humility can be overdone, to one's detriment.
I would love to see Honolulu stand up on its feet, to be the nail that is higher than the others, and demonstrate how an island so blessed can assimilate and teach all of the masterpieces of the world.