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GET is best way to raise revenue

Candidate Neil Abercrombie’s rosy promises regarding solutions to Hawaii’s fiscal woes wilted quickly in the hard light of reality. Now Gov. Neil Abercrombie routinely complains about how bad things really are.

Was Candidate Abercrombie merely ignorant of the facts? Or was he intentionally misleading us? Neither option is comforting.

Candidate Abercrombie promised to slash the state’s costs, partly by cutting public payrolls by 5 percent. So far, has Gov. Abercrombie done this? Nope, instead he’s increased costs.

Candidate Abercrombie also promised no increase in the general excise tax. This was yet another facile promise. The fact is, like it or not, increasing the GET is the best option if more state revenues are really needed. This is because and most non-politicized economists would agree increasing a broad-based tax on consumption would have the least deleterious effect on Hawaii’s tax base compared with self-defeating schemes such as taxing retirees.

Michael P. Rethman

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The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

 Ethics bill is but lipstick on a pig

Great! With all the challenges facing our state, legislators have been trying to pass a bill to legalize their unethical behavior.

What an enticement for more people to run for office. Simply change whatever doesn’t serve elected officials’ personal interests, and use their office for personal benefit while wearing the mask of official business free trips to any country, free admission to any event.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. It’s shameful, and it seems the supporters believe their own spin on this conduct.

Devika Follosco
Aina Haina


Locals paid for visitor attractions

The visitor from Ohio hit the nail on the head with her comment on endless taxes here ("Hawaii needs to work on its aloha spirit," Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 27).

The general excise tax is a tax on top of taxes. What starts out at 4.5 percent ends up costing the consumer about 16 percent.

Our fuel tax is one of the highest anywhere.

The vehicle registration tax that was just raised does not all go toward fixing our terrible roads.

And what we residents call the paradise tax is the extra cost tagged onto everything that must be shipped here, which is everything we use. We don’t even grow enough food to feed ourselves because they build houses on our farmland, and collect sales taxes and property taxes on them.

As for the "visitors only" entrance fees you mentioned, give us a break. We are too busy working to use these facilities very often. I apologize for our receiving the occasional freebie, but believe me, we paid for it.

Nelson Greer


True fundraisers give in return

Every weekend there seems to be a proliferation of various sports teams and youth organizations whose members are out in force with their catch nets on the sides of the roads and in the median strips begging us to send them on a trip to the nationals or some other competition.

Obviously they have borrowed this tactic from the Foodbank and other worthy organizations who do much to help the communities in which they live and serve.

The young people I see begging with their catch nets serve only themselves and are doing nothing to learn that in order to get something you should be willing to give something like putting on a bake sale, car wash, or some other act of giving back to make it a legitimate fundraiser.

Michel Grotstein


Make better use of geothermal

With the recent rise in oil prices, articles in the media have pushed expensive intermittent wind and solar energy sources. However, they rarely mention geothermal, a local, low-cost, proven source that runs 24/7.

Why does Hawaii continue to neglect its practically unlimited magma heat resources, which could make Hawaii energy-independent at extremely low prices?

Why did Hawaii Electric Light Co. recently build an expensive new diesel electric generating plant in Kona instead of using Puna Geo-thermal, which has surplus capacity? Why has the Public Utilities Commission tied our electric bills to the ever-increasing cost of oil? Are the powers that be influenced by oil companies?

Allan Dougherty


State should ban shark boat tours

The editorial, "Stop shark tour boat violence," strongly condemns the burning of Shark Adventures’ boats (Star-Advertiser, Our View, March 29). You agree with Shark Adventures owner Joe Pavsek that what occurred was an act of "domestic terrorism."

Really? Do you equate these acts with 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing? And why don’t you comment on the rights of our shark population, whose habitat is routinely invaded in the course of Pavsek’s profit-making venture?

Your editorial implores the local community "to step up vigilance to catch the criminals." But in a tight-knit community like the North Shore, if no one has come forward with evidence, it is probably because people are more in sympathy with the arsonists than with Shark Adventures.

Yes, let’s end the violence and let’s legally ban operations like Shark Adventures.

Noel Kent


Sandbar parties a public nuisance

I was very disturbed to read the description of Ahu O Laka, aka "The Sandbar," listed in Haiya Sarwar’s spring break guide ("The Big Break," Star-Advertiser, March 21).

It is parties likes the ones he describes with "uninhibited craziness" that have stirred some to lobby for the Sandbar to be strictly controlled by the state.

Those of us who go to the Sandbar regularly, go for quiet fishing, swimming or snorkeling.

Wally Story

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