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Hawaii budget head: Inouye death worse than fed cliff

By Oskar Garcia

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:32 p.m. HST, Jan 03, 2013


The death of longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye has created an economic cliff in Hawaii that’s far worse for the state than the federal fiscal cliff, Hawaii’s finance director said. 

Kalbert Young told a joint committee hearing at the state Capitol that what he calls the “Inouye cliff” is immeasurable and could be seen over several years.

“It’s like trying to figure out which way the wind’s going to blow tomorrow,” Young said in an interview after the hearing before the Senate Ways and Means and House Finance committees. 

Nearly one-fifth of state expenses, $2 billion, are paid for with federal funds. That does not include, Young said, federal money spent on nonprofits, vendors and other non-government entities in Hawaii.

It’s not clear, given a Senate moratorium on earmarks, how much Hawaii stands to lose in future federal funds simply because of Inouye’s absence. He was replaced last week by Brian Schatz, the state’s lieutenant governor. U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono was sworn in today after winning an election in November to replace Daniel Akaka, who retired.

Inouye died Dec. 17 at age 88 after 50 years in the U.S. Senate.

Inouye was known as an economic pillar in his home state, using his influence in Washington to steer federal funds toward projects back to Hawaii. 

Republican state Sen. Sam Slom was one of several lawmakers questioning what the loss of Inouye would mean to Hawaii as it considers its two-year budget.

Slom said the state already has to consider what cuts may be on the table from Congress even after it raised taxes on wealthy Americans this week to avoid wider tax increases for most of the rest of the nation.

“Some of us don’t believe that the fiscal cliff has even been approached. The loss of Sen. Inouye is a tremendous economic blow to this state and will be when some of the economic expenditures ... run out,” Slom said. 

Inouye’s absence and changes because of the federal fiscal cliff negotiations could be felt right away but probably will not be fully felt until fiscal year 2015, Young said.

“We want to prepare and step into it,” Young said. “I wouldn’t propose that we cut off everything immediately.”

The two-year budget proposed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s office anticipates as much as $45 million in federal spending could be lost as Congress considers how to deal with rising debt and costs.

The budget includes $11.8 billion in total spending for fiscal year 2014 and $12.1 billion for fiscal 2015. 







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allie wrote:
Even Dan admitted his ability to get federal funds would be limited as earmarks have been curtailed and the country is broke. It is not just Dan's death that hurts: it is a desperate, broke nation. This is just the start folks. Tighten your seat belts.
on January 3,2013 | 11:54AM
poidragon wrote:
This just means that Slobbercrombie better get his budget in order now and start cutting back on what is not essential or necessary to keep the state solvent! Meaning no more spending what he does not have in the state's coffers; Gov Lingle did a good job of keeping a tight reign on State spending, lets see if he can do as well as she did! Because his job is gonna be on the line come Nov 2014!
on January 3,2013 | 04:02PM
OldDiver wrote:
Lingle left Abercrombie with a $1.2 billion budget deficit. Lingle was an undisciplined spend thrift.
on January 3,2013 | 05:39PM
awahana wrote:
Lingle did a GREAT job.
http://goo.gl/QJo85
BTW I didn't vote Mazie.
Short term memory for the Bush presidents too? Reagan? The Governator? See a pattern?
http://www.americaforpurchase.com/george-w-bush/george-w-bush-worst-fiscal-president-on-record/
I can't even say LOL. Because its not funny what they did to our nation.
on January 3,2013 | 05:47PM
lee1957 wrote:
Allie, Allie, Allie, where's the love? We used to be "hon," now we're just folks.
on January 3,2013 | 05:43PM
SteveToo wrote:
Good the Feds need to spend LESS of the money they DON'T HAVE.
on January 3,2013 | 12:16PM
Bumby wrote:
Are you referring to the Federal Reserve Bank as the Feds. The FRB is not the U.S. gov't. It is the U.S. gov't that needs to curb their spending and balance the budget and pay back the monies owed to the Feds, who charges the U.S. gov't interest which is paid by its citizens.
on January 3,2013 | 02:13PM
Tony96822 wrote:
Double buckle up. Its coming and its worse than you may think you know.
on January 3,2013 | 12:16PM
Steve96785 wrote:
Dan was loved by this state and its people, but in many ways he represents the worst of our Federal political problems, pork barrel budgeting. He brought home huge amounts of money to Hawaii in the form of Military spending and new construction. It is pretty amazing that Hawaii got money from the Interstate Highway System, but there are other examples which are worse. We have a bridge to nowhere in Waianae and many Federal Mandates in our education programs and mandated 55mph top speeds on the freeway because we can not afford to tell the Feds to keep their money. If we were not so addicted to the Federal welfare trough, we might have learned to attract businesses small and large to our state. As a result, we have one of the worst business climates in the nation, and may be doomed to many years of lousy economies while the Feds reorganize their spending priorities. Yes, Dan was a great man, but not everything he did for Hawaii has worked to our long-term benefit.
on January 3,2013 | 12:29PM
allie wrote:
well put
on January 3,2013 | 01:53PM
poidragon wrote:
Well, daddy's gone and Abercrombie is in charge of the almost empty cookie jar and he just sent his cronies to Washington to beg, but who knows how that will work out...........
on January 3,2013 | 04:07PM
lee1957 wrote:
Mandated 55 mph speed limit? You need to get out more.
on January 3,2013 | 05:47PM
Sat wrote:
This is the consequence of a doting father who never taught his children how to feed themselves. Today, the helpless children are in a panic wondering where their next meal would be coming from. As we always learn later, the doting parent is not always the best parent. He may feel good being one during his lifetime, but he leaves a legacy of questionable value.
on January 3,2013 | 12:36PM
EINSTEIN1 wrote:
What was worst is that this doting father spoiled his children with borrowed funds using the federal government's credit card. But some of his children today are fat and happy and could care less about the generation that follows.
on January 3,2013 | 12:40PM
The_Dude_Abides wrote:
Then the granny spent all the money from the credit card which resulted in the children getting fat and lazy. Therefore, the children's children became monks who took strict vows of celibacy...as had their fathers...and their father's fathers....
on January 3,2013 | 03:55PM
Giligan wrote:
Now we got four porkers in congress. They are like pigs in a blanket, among the wolves and bears.
on January 4,2013 | 05:11AM
CriticalReader wrote:
All the "cool" Hawaii GOP noisemakers may now comment on how this will be good for their neighborhoods. Go ahead. Type away. And, while you're at it, thank your lucky stars Hawaii wasn't hit like the NY/NJ/CT tri state area. Think there would have been a vote for us this Friday???????
on January 3,2013 | 12:40PM
desmond6 wrote:
Don't worry, the Governor knew better than Senator Inouye as to whom would be the best person to carry the torch in the U.S. Senate. Let's see your game plan Senator Schatz.
on January 3,2013 | 01:02PM
false wrote:
Yeah, let's see what Flyin Brian got.
on January 3,2013 | 01:54PM
entrkn wrote:
This is why it is vital to Hawaii short term and long term to put Tulsi Gabbard into the US Senate as soon as possible... we need representation that starts out under 40 years old and who is dynamic enough and credible enough to have immediate positive impact as well as the ability to serve for forty to fifty or more years, and Ms Gabbard is that person. I have nothing against Mazie Hirono but Tulsi Gabbard is a far better choice for the Senate for Hawaii's best interests, short term and long term.
on January 3,2013 | 01:05PM
allie wrote:
that assumes she would automatically be re-elected year after year. She won't be. Dan's era is over. Hawaii is no longer a political plantation. Voters are wising up.
on January 3,2013 | 01:54PM
turbolink wrote:
You certainly use the plantation reference for people of Hawaii quite often. That is apparently in contrast to your own reservation perspective.
on January 3,2013 | 04:08PM
honopic wrote:
Kinipopo, brah.
on January 3,2013 | 05:56PM
lee1957 wrote:
You left out one qualification, competency. I voted for Tulsi because I loathe Mufi, but I didn't find her inspiring. Nonethess, I don't need a cheerleader or a dynamic speaker, just competency.
on January 3,2013 | 05:50PM
false wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 3,2013 | 01:07PM
false wrote:
Many don't even believe that they can even bring home spam.
on January 3,2013 | 01:54PM
entrkn wrote:
Not nearly nearly as much or as long as Brian, Tulsi, Colleen and Mufi...
on January 3,2013 | 06:43PM
Wazdat wrote:
GET USED TO IT and CUT THE SPENDING...pretty simple
on January 3,2013 | 01:22PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Yes sir, I'm with you
on January 3,2013 | 02:48PM
false wrote:
Young should be more specific before we can really believe him what the impact will be. Everyone says that the State will take a hit but many of us don't know where. Some very may be some of his pork programs that he got money for year after year. Young is just repeating something everyone has been saying.
on January 3,2013 | 01:52PM
itmatters wrote:
Time for us to stand on our own feet at last.
on January 3,2013 | 02:38PM
stevelaudig wrote:
Another way to look at it is that things are now returning to where they should have been all along but for the [unhealthy and unsustainable I suggest] presence of a large pig at the front of the line to feed at the federal trough. All balloons fall to earth eventually and the seniority is merely a balloon in that sense. There won't be so many environmentally devastating military activities. Perhaps.
on January 3,2013 | 03:02PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Plan for the worse and hope for the best?
on January 3,2013 | 03:34PM
HD36 wrote:
All the money from the Fiscal Cliff deal, taxing the "rich", will be used to bail out NJ from Hurricane Sandy, in one day.
on January 3,2013 | 04:04PM
HD36 wrote:
This event was certainly foreseeable given that Inouye was in his late 80's. A prudent government would have planned for this event with tighter spending controls.
on January 3,2013 | 04:07PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Meanwhile, Ed Case is saying "I told you guys". If you had listened to me we'd have 6 years of seniority already and the pork flow would be more secure. But nooooooo...you guys had to elect Mazie who spent 6 years accomplishing exactly nothing.
on January 3,2013 | 04:07PM
Giligan wrote:
Case was the only one with the foresight and courage, Hawaii loses out again.
on January 4,2013 | 05:15AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Dan did not leave a plan to have his legacy continue, plain and simple. I think he simply was continuing in office for the record of longest ever serving Senator. In private industry, who would trust an 88 year old at the helm? Even Bill Gates of Microsoft stepped down lol before he was barely into his 50s. Your fault Dan, not ours.
on January 3,2013 | 05:57PM
Wazdat wrote:
Yup
on January 3,2013 | 06:19PM
CriticalReader wrote:
UARC
on January 3,2013 | 07:01PM
Giligan wrote:
50 years of pork is better than our situation now, no leverage at all, except for our srategic location.
on January 4,2013 | 05:19AM
localguy wrote:
While sorry to see Dan pass, it was about time Hawaii got off the government dole. For too long we have become fat and lazy with government dollars. Now with the looming cutbacks we can start reducing the excessive government overhead/feather bedding and get leaner and meaner. More efficient government, more efficient spending. Overhaul all state retirement programs, move all new employees to the Roth 401k, saving taxpayers tens of millions and start teaching people in the Nei to live beneath their means. Cut back on the bling and wasteful spending. NOT!! Nothing will change, bureaucrats will continue to take more from taxpayers until the state has to declare bankruptcy, eliminating all state debt. This is what we do.
on January 3,2013 | 07:54PM
HD36 wrote:
Hawaii already has the highest cost of living because we live on an island. Then you got the Sell Out Fiscal Cliff Deal that actually makes the deficit bigger, and you got the death of the man who brought home the bacon, and you end up with the perfect storm. When they raise the debt ceiling, which they will, the dollar will fall some more, and interest rates will rise more. With all the above factors, and with the highest percentage of government workers in the nation, things are going to get ugly.
on January 3,2013 | 08:51PM
Giligan wrote:
At least we got PRP, LOL.
on January 4,2013 | 05:21AM
ROBT wrote:
Dan should have let Akaka get replaced 6 years ago and we would have someone in there with some seniority. But Dan went ahead and blackballed Case and now our state will pay the price and this is how I will remember Dan Inouye!!!
on January 3,2013 | 11:48PM
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