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Hanabusa, Djou part ways on how to reduce spending

The candidates disagree on passing a balanced-budget amendment

By Derrick DePledge

LAST UPDATED: 08:03 p.m. HST, Oct 25, 2012

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou have different philosophical approaches to reducing the federal deficit and national debt, with Hanabusa favoring steps already taken by Congress and President Barack Obama and Djou preferring more structural guarantees.

The federal government has been experiencing annual deficits that top $1 trillion, while the national debt is at $16 trillion.

Hanabusa, a Democrat, voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the federal debt limit but also included caps on discretionary spending to federal programs that would cut more than $900 billion over the next decade. Congress and the White House have to agree on another $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction or automatic across-the-board cuts to federal programs go into effect starting in January.

Hanabusa also supports the $4 trillion deficit-reduction target in Obama's budget.

"The deficit is a major issue — but it is also a situation of how and what" to cut, she said, adding that Congress has adopted a pay-as-you-go rule to discourage legislation that expands the deficit.

Djou, Hanabusa's Republican opponent in urban Hono­lulu's 1st Congressional District, wants a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, line-item veto authority for the president, and an extension of a moratorium on earmarks.

"We can't afford this," he said of the deficit and debt. "I think the American economy can sustain a trillion-dollar budget deficit for a year. But we can't do it year after year after year and not expect it to ruin the future of our country."

A majority in the Republican-controlled House voted for a balanced-budget amendment in November 2011, but fell short of the two-thirds' vote necessary for a constitutional amendment. Hanabusa voted against the amendment.

"I believe a balanced-budget amendment is important to bring that level of fiscal discipline that is absolutely needed in our country," Djou said. "Because without it Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals are always going to continue to bicker, and the easiest thing to do is just run up the charge card and send the bill to the next generation."

Hanabusa said she might consider a balanced-budget amendment with safeguards that would enable Congress to respond to disasters or emergencies. But she said she cannot support such an amendment now given how House Republicans have approached the budget, ruling out new taxes while slashing spending to federal programs.

"I don't think you can talk about this in isolation of how the Republicans view the world," she said.

The House voted last February for a modified line-item veto that would allow the president to recommend individual spending cuts in bills approved by Congress. Lawmakers, however, would then have to decide whether to accept the cuts. Hanabusa voted against a line-item veto.

Congress granted President Bill Clinton a line-item veto in 1996, but it was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Clinton v. City of New York in 1998. The court held that a line-item veto effectively gave the president amendment power over bills, weakening the authority Congress holds over legislation.

Hanabusa, a former state Senate president, said she is wary of Congress ceding authority to the president. "To me, when you talk about the appropriations measures, that is the ultimate policy statement that a legislative body does," she said. "And to give that away, or to diminish the Legislature's right in that fashion, I just have a philosophical difficulty in doing that."

Djou said that while a line-item veto and an earmark moratorium would not balance the budget, he thinks they are steps in the right direction. "Too much of our federal budget gets stuffed with these pork projects all around the country," he said. "And while I recognize that a number of these projects benefit Hawaii, when we're running a $16 trillion national debt, a trillion dollars a year plus on our budget deficit, we're mortgaging off our children's future."

Earmarks are a tool that members of Congress have used to obtain federal money for home-state projects. U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has agreed to a moratorium through the session of Congress that ends in January. But Inouye has been a national advocate for earmarks, arguing that lawmakers, and not the president or federal agencies, best know the needs of their home states.

Djou said he does not believe Congress would be yielding too much power to the president and executive branch through a line-item veto or by extending the earmark moratorium. "I think I wouldn't have as much of a problem with earmarks and political pork-barrel projects if we were running a balanced budget," he said. "But it's because we're not running a balanced budget that I support these measures."

Hanabusa would let the earmark moratorium expire. "I don't know how you can represent Hawaii and support an earmark moratorium," she said. "For a state like Hawaii, earmarks have kept us alive."

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MalamaKaAina wrote:
Anybody but Hanabusa!
on October 25,2012 | 02:17AM
Giligan wrote:
Anybody but Hanabusa. She is another Nancy Pelosi, no concept of how to pay for their spending. Djou is truly concerned for his childrens future.
on October 25,2012 | 05:03AM
Spikette wrote:
It's hard to embrace Djou candidacy because of his personality, where he tends to talk down and belittle people who voiced opposite views when testifying before committees that he served on. He should break that bad habit and at lease appear to respect everyone beliefs and views in public even when it's contrary to his to be a better candidate and person.
on October 25,2012 | 06:15AM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 25,2012 | 10:04AM
Spikette wrote:
Djou is well educated and has excellent command of the English language but does not discriminate in talking down and belittling people holding opposing views whether they are higher educated, command the language just as well or better than him or those with local dialect, etc.
on October 25,2012 | 10:56AM
walaau808 wrote:
I agree, that's why I won't vote for him. He isn't very tactful at all. With his nose turned upwards, it's a miracle he doesn't drown when it rains. Every time he speaks it's like he's lecturing! I can't see that method of communication working well with the crowd in D.C.
on October 25,2012 | 02:41PM
aomohoa wrote:
Djou, like Berg, are sick of politics as usual. He has my vote.
on October 25,2012 | 04:09PM
mitt_grund wrote:
When he was a councilmember, he would fail to show up at neighborhood board meetings, because he was fully involved in his campaign for the interim Congressional seat. We never saw him and calls and emails to him were answered by his office staff. Another Mufi, but with a prissier voice.
on October 25,2012 | 05:57PM
DAGR81 wrote:
What about obama our absentee president?
on October 25,2012 | 09:51PM
wiliki wrote:
I think that he actually believes these Republican talking points. He has mush for brains.
on October 25,2012 | 07:26PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Wait. Are we talking about obama?
on October 25,2012 | 09:48PM
walaau808 wrote:
It's not because he speaks well - it's the condescending tone in his voice. His style is confrontational and I feel it doesn't give him any wiggle room for compromise. My way or the highway sort of demeanor.
on October 25,2012 | 02:43PM
Grimbold wrote:
.. and here from the bible. Jesus said who is not for me is against me.
on October 25,2012 | 04:44PM
Grimbold wrote:
When I grew up I had to talk dumb to the dunb peers, or else they would be hostile.
on October 25,2012 | 04:42PM
Grimbold wrote:
Gilligan you are so right. To believe Hanabusa will reduce spending is like believing in Santa Claus. She is a dyed in the wool tax and spend liberal.
on October 25,2012 | 04:41PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Earmarks are just one of a thousand reasons why the nation is so far in debt. Earmarks also are corrupt. Congressional leaders have used them for years to buy votes of wavering members of congress, which is bribery, and some Representatives and Senators have demanded earmarks in exchange for their votes, which is extortion. Unfortunately, congress has made these forms of bribery and extortion legal. Do it elsewhere and you end up in jail. The moratorium on earmarks should not be extended; they should be banned entirely.
on October 25,2012 | 02:56AM
Spikette wrote:
Earmarks have assisted this State in natural disaster recovery, transportation, highways, medical, housing, etc. Hawaii is fortunate to have senior members in influential positions to bring federal dollars back to this state. Without them and earmarks the federal dollars would flow to the bigger states like California, Texas, New York where the have more members representing them in congress and Hawaii would be left with the crumbs. In the real political world whether in the county, state, or national level "horse trading" or compromise with other members is how real world operates.
on October 25,2012 | 05:11AM
Kalli wrote:
The important thing to remember is that if something is important enough to be financed by the feds then it should go through the entire process. Inouye uses earmarks as his personal piggy bank for projects that have nothing to do with the federal government. For instance he get $200,000 to support the polynesian voyaging society because he thinks it's good for the hawaiian kids, how is that a federal project?
on October 25,2012 | 05:54AM
serious wrote:
Look at the $25,000,000 that went to his favorite bank. But all senior members do that and it's tough to beat the incumbents for that reason. They get the right committees and the lobbist's $$$$. But you are right, if the projects on their own merit should be in the budget and not added onto a bill endorsing motherhood or apple pie.
on October 25,2012 | 10:28AM
kahaluu96744 wrote:
Earmarks are nice when your state has enough seniority to get them. In the mid-1990s when both Oregon senators retired or resigned, that state lost tremendous seniority and access to federal money. Senator Inouye has great seniority now, but with the retirement of Senator Akaka, when Senator Inouye is no longer in the picture, Hawaii will be in the same boat that Oregon was then. Would earmarks be a good then?
on October 25,2012 | 07:03AM
wiliki wrote:
Nope.... It is difficult to get any funding without earmarks. Republicans criticize it but Paul Ryan was demanding his state's share of the stimulus monies.
on October 25,2012 | 07:30PM
DAGR81 wrote:
So Ed Case was right to challenge akaka 6 years ago.
on October 25,2012 | 10:03PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Analyze things more deeply...think bigger...look at the big picture.
on October 25,2012 | 09:56PM
mokebla wrote:
Ruling out new taxes, Hanabusa says. So here it is Hawai'i streight of of the horse's mouth, more taxes for all. That's hanabata for you.
on October 25,2012 | 06:01AM
allie wrote:
she has been a shibai artist for years
on October 25,2012 | 07:53AM
nonpolitic wrote:
And you know this because??? By the way, how long have you actually lived/voted in this this state?
on October 25,2012 | 08:22AM
allie wrote:
I aM NOT A RESIDENT HERE...I do not vote. I comment.
on October 25,2012 | 10:34AM
silvangold wrote:
but my goodness.............you SOUND OFF like you are local..............so restrain yourself on getting ....really getting into OUR business.....comments also, cuz you are NOT a resident!
on October 25,2012 | 11:08AM
allie wrote:
I study at UH and students here are very active and interested in things. We have a right to comment.
on October 25,2012 | 12:37PM
nonpolitic wrote:
Interesting, so your opinion on such matters would carry as much weight as mine would if I opined on how the Sultan of Brunei was a shibai artist for many years and that he has a dark and seedy past, althougn I have never resided in Brunei, met the Sultan, or actually done any qualitative research on what type of person he is. You are correct that you may comment, but it's uninformed commentary like yours that detract from any thoughtful and meaningful discussion that may potentially occur in this media form. Maybe rather than reading the newspaper on your laptop so that you can spout whatever comes to mind in order to feel like your opinion matters when it comes to political discourse (and by the way, it doesn't because you don't even take the time to vote), why don't you actually pay attention in class to what your professor is saying. You may actually learn something.
on October 25,2012 | 02:17PM
walaau808 wrote:
well said, nonpolitic!
on October 25,2012 | 02:46PM
allie wrote:
Poorly said. I do my reading and research. I am a speed reader with a high IQ. I know that irritates some men who are not used to women speaking boldly and clearly.
on October 25,2012 | 02:50PM
aomohoa wrote:
Are you ever going to graduate?? Don't speak for other students. They can speak for themselves. HON, go home as soon as your done with your free ride!
on October 25,2012 | 04:12PM
turbolink wrote:
I know I join many in surprise regarding your IQ, which many of us don't know for ourselves. However, there is often no correlation between a high IQ and common sense. You seem to epitomize that.
on October 25,2012 | 04:35PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Oh...online student huh.I love your know it all opinions you post daily, not surprising that you don't actually attend classes. Save your money, you're gonna need it.
on October 25,2012 | 07:14PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Please go comment in your own community and leave ours alone.
on October 25,2012 | 07:10PM
nonpolitic wrote:
I believe she's on record stating on numerous occasions that she does not want taxes to go up for the middle class. Funny though, I remember Djou saying that he wouldn't raise taxes under any circumstances, but over the past couple of weeks, he's been saying that he wouldn't rule it out. Talk about a waffler.
on October 25,2012 | 08:40AM
boshio wrote:
It really doesn't matter what he or Hanabusa says. They both will be just a small pea in the pot and be pressured to only vote along party lines, with no say. It is clear that congress is broken, and until it is fixed we don't have a choice but to vote Democract. Stop listening to the constant lies from the Republicans candidates.
on October 25,2012 | 09:53AM
allie wrote:
on October 25,2012 | 12:38PM
akuman808 wrote:
Mr. Djou what is your position on Romney's $2 trillion dollar defense budget increase? How can you and your party advocate for a balanced budget amendment when you continue to present trillion dollar programs you have no plan to pay for. The Iraq war that you served (Mahalo) was not paid for is an example. Now when the earmarks (which itself was very small portion of the federal budet) was shelved, your speaker of the House had no leverage against the extreme members of your party. You have been naive about the earmarks as the big boogie man but it's always been about defense spending. Come on Charles, learn how politics works in Washington DC and stop being part of your radical elements of your party that caused gridlock in both chambers.
on October 25,2012 | 06:34AM
Hanalei13 wrote:
Well said!
on October 25,2012 | 08:32AM
5xcalibir2 wrote:
hmm..D'jou military man..hmm...you think he wouldn't support a romney defense budget increase? even though his superiors (joint chiefs of staff) are saying they don't need it?
on October 25,2012 | 09:06AM
boshio wrote:
This is typical Republican ideology. Maybe next time Djou.
on October 25,2012 | 09:55AM
SandBar wrote:
CivilBeat.com reports that Djou voted against military funding in while he was in Congress in 2010. Not all politicians vote according to party line.
on October 25,2012 | 12:03PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
You sound like Hirono, Djou is not Romney, he doesn't want to increase anyones budget, quite the opposite.
on October 25,2012 | 07:17PM
MANDA wrote:
Djou has been employed by the government for most of his adult life. i guess he doesn't think "fiscal discipline" extends to cutting his positions from the government payroll.
on October 25,2012 | 07:15AM
hawaiikone wrote:
You've got to do a lot better than that.
on October 25,2012 | 01:25PM
McCully wrote:
Don't believe one word Hanabusa says. She is an union attorney and will spend your hard earned money which ever way the union bosses tell her.
on October 25,2012 | 07:17AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
That's right... They are the ones who put her where she is, she owes everything to the unions.
on October 25,2012 | 07:19PM
allie wrote:
Hanabooboo has a very dark past. Djou is a decent and able person. Vote Djou
on October 25,2012 | 07:52AM
Descartes22 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 25,2012 | 09:01AM
allie wrote:
you may have a point there
on October 25,2012 | 10:34AM
hawaiikone wrote:
As opposed to the absurd ideology of the democrats?
on October 25,2012 | 01:26PM
nonpolitic wrote:
Again, do you have any research to support your claims for either candidate? Please don't provide campaign literature or hearsay as your references either.
on October 25,2012 | 09:07AM
5xcalibir2 wrote:
oh yeah....passed him on the sidewalk sign waving...his trademark wave, shaka, point...you pointing at me?...like I'm da man? yeah i'm da man that didn't vote for you.
on October 25,2012 | 09:10AM
walaau808 wrote:
Hahahahaha, that wave, shaka, point thing kills me everytime I see it!!!!!!! He don't know me, but he points in my general direction so that I might think I'm somebody to him? Besides, for a "local" guy that shaka is way, way, way too tight!
on October 25,2012 | 02:50PM
silvangold wrote:
as I said...........you are NOT from here. How do YOU know Dijou is a decent and able man? YOU DONT>
on October 25,2012 | 11:12AM
Anonymous wrote:
so no posting? W H Y ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
on October 25,2012 | 11:15AM
walaau808 wrote:
And this coming from the temporary resident of our beautiful islands...WHO DOESN'T EVEN VOTE! Hippopatamus, I mean hypocrite!
on October 25,2012 | 02:52PM
aomohoa wrote:
And you know about her dark past. LOL!
on October 25,2012 | 04:15PM
Kuokoa wrote:
Hanabusa, really? There is no way the $16 trillion debt could ever be paid off. A balanced budget would only begin to do that. Do the math, Hanabusa!
on October 25,2012 | 08:55AM
nonpolitic wrote:
$16 trillion? I think you need to do the math. We don't currently have a $16 trillion deficit.
on October 25,2012 | 09:06AM
HD36 wrote:
True, the last time I checked, (3 min ago) the US National Debt was $16,204,151,409,998 from the US Debt Clock. The debt per tax payer is $141,400 That's sixteen trillion, two hundred four billion, one hundred fifty one million, and the rest changes by the minute.
on October 25,2012 | 09:32AM
allie wrote:
16.3 trillion dollar debt hon
on October 25,2012 | 02:51PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Too bad Djou is running against such a strong opponent. In my opinion, he's the most honest person in politics. Charles, run for Mayor, please.
on October 25,2012 | 10:03AM
allie wrote:
Djou is a really decent man. Good Punahou grad
on October 25,2012 | 10:35AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I won't hold that against him, coming from Punahou! :)
on October 25,2012 | 10:42AM
walaau808 wrote:
But I would ;)
on October 25,2012 | 02:53PM
Bdpapa wrote:
I like it! :)
on October 25,2012 | 03:46PM
aomohoa wrote:
He's a good guy, but Punahou sure isn't Iolani HON! I still like him:)
on October 25,2012 | 04:20PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Hanabusa is not a strong opponent. The strong opponent is the entrenched Democrat Party machine.
on October 25,2012 | 02:48PM
Tora wrote:
Hanbusa has been going down hill in respect and integrity ever since the Margery Bronster vs Bishop Estate scandal.
on October 25,2012 | 10:04AM
allie wrote:
She has some really dark connections in organized crime Ia m told..beware
on October 25,2012 | 10:35AM
walaau808 wrote:
Here you go, relying on unnamed sources again...
on October 25,2012 | 02:54PM
turbolink wrote:
And they've hacked the SA comment database and know who you are! Check six!
on October 25,2012 | 04:39PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Ohhh.... Mafia affiliations huh. Go take your meds Allie.
on October 25,2012 | 07:22PM
Bdpapa wrote:
She, is actually a very good attorney. I don't know why she went into politics. She would be one of the top attorneys in the state.
on October 25,2012 | 10:44AM
silvangold wrote:
in response to allie: you keep saying Hanabusa has a dark past and that Dijou is a decent man. How do you know this? You don't even know either of them personally. You are NOT a resident...
on October 25,2012 | 11:14AM
Bdpapa wrote:
She/he is there just to irritate us! She/he is doing a pretty good job.
on October 25,2012 | 11:29AM
Imagen wrote:
Hey silvangold: ever heard of free speech? You and I may not necessarily agree with what allie or anyone else posts here, but this is a public forum and anyone can post anything that the gestapo SA would allow...haha. Do what I do; if you don't like what allie writes, then scan over her blogs - just ignore them. Albeit, there are some posts that she makes that are fairly spot on. I for one love the exchange of posts and are entertained by some brain-dead ones...This is America and we all have the freedom of speech against even our own President; something that is unheard of in most other countries. YOU, have a great day and rest of week...
on October 25,2012 | 11:36AM
allie wrote:
Imagen is a wise person. Thanks. One does not need to be a resident to have a view to share. I am not afraid to speak the truth. My professors encourage us to speak out and take part in the life of the state!
on October 25,2012 | 12:41PM
hawaiikone wrote:
"I am not afraid to speak the truth". Truth differs greatly from simple opinion, which is actually what you speak.
on October 25,2012 | 01:30PM
allie wrote:
I speak the truth in hopes that it will make a difference out here
on October 25,2012 | 02:52PM
aomohoa wrote:
Have you learned the difference between truth and opinion in school?
on October 25,2012 | 04:23PM
walaau808 wrote:
Now that's the truth!
on October 25,2012 | 02:55PM
allie wrote:
I am reporting what some Wainae admirers of me tell me on FB. I don't know Djou personally but I have heard him speak and researched his background. I like him.
on October 25,2012 | 12:40PM
aomohoa wrote:
What, you consider the people of Waianae, which you can't spell, as trash! Why would you listen to their opinion?
on October 25,2012 | 04:27PM
aomohoa wrote:
Don't forget Lingle has shady dealing in Israel. LOL!
on October 25,2012 | 04:21PM
AndrewWalden wrote:
on October 25,2012 | 12:20PM
allie wrote:
good read and documents my concerns and those of many others
on October 25,2012 | 02:53PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Hanabusa said she would move into the 1st District if she was elected. Well, she was elected two years ago, so where does she live now? She rented an apartment in downtown Honolulu where she can spend the night the few times she is in town and working late at her office in the Federal Building, which is seldom, but that should not count as moving into the 1st District. So, has she really moved to the 1st District as she promised she would do or does she still live with her husband, Jeff Stone, at Ko Olina in the 2nd District? If the latter, she is a liar.
on October 25,2012 | 02:44PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Hanabusa said she would move into the 1st District if she was elected. Well, she was elected two years ago, so where does she live now? She rented an apartment in downtown Honolulu where she can spend the night the few times she is in town and working late at her office in the Federal Building, which is seldom, but that should not count as moving into the 1st District. So, has she really moved to the 1st District as she promised she would do or does she still live with her husband, Jeff Stone, at Ko Olina in the 2nd District? If the latter, she is truthful.
on October 25,2012 | 02:45PM
niimi wrote:
I'm tired of getting HanABUSED.
on October 25,2012 | 04:34PM
mitt_grund wrote:
I wonder whether Djou volunteered for a short stint primarily to get Afghan war credentials. Per his website, it appears that he got a JAG position assignment in Afghanistan, but he was a bit perturbed when it turned out that he would be out in the battleground areas doing investigations on incidents. Doesn't take away from his being there and serving his time. But if it was a political ploy just to say he's been there. wow!!!. In the case of Tulsi Gabbard, her unit was called up, so she went. Just a thought.
on October 25,2012 | 05:52PM
hawaiikone wrote:
You're really stretching now...
on October 25,2012 | 06:09PM
wiliki wrote:
Hanabusa is right. You wonder how sane is Djou....
on October 25,2012 | 07:23PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Hanabusa? Consider the source...
on October 25,2012 | 07:56PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Djou joined the reserves after 9/11. Its Gabbard that joined recently for the war credit.
on October 25,2012 | 07:27PM
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