by Willes K. Lee, Chairman, Hawaii Republican Party
“It’s the Economy, Stupid!” is a saying that remains timeless. This year our new year’s resolutions must all have “a better economy” as their primary goal.
1. Economic Stabilization & Revitalization
This is a goal that the Lingle-Aiona administration addressed with their 5-point plan, (http://hawaii.gov/gov/economy) including immediately putting $1.9 billion of already approved and allocated public spending to work to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
The resolution is to execute this stimulus as soon as possible with full cooperation between the state and the counties, while continuing to make it easier to do business in Hawai`i with lower taxes, fees, and regulations.
2. Energy Independence
Achieving 70% of our energy from clean, renewable sources by 2030 is a goal the administration announced last year and excellent progress has already been made from wind farms to electric vehicles, as well as an historic agreement with Hawaiian Electric Company last October.
In 2009, we must resolve to keep the momentum by enacting new legislation and rules that will make the goals of the Hawai`i Clean Energy Initiative possible.
This is one of the most important resolutions we can make to improve our economy in the long term as well as our environment. Depending on the price of a barrel of oil, we send between $3 billion to $7 billion out of state for foreign oil every year. We need to keep that money at home.
3. Education Focused on STEM
Another long term goal is creating an Innovation Economy where we reduce the importance of land development and focus on the development of our people and increasing their capacity to innovate and compete effectively in a global economy.
While it is obvious that we need to thoroughly overhaul our public education system, we must now resolve to continue an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education programs in our schools that will lead to the better paying, more challenging jobs we need to diversify and balance our economy.
These resolutions follow on important programs that have been initiated by the Lingle-Aiona administration. By resolving to stick with them in 2009, we will show that “It’s the Economy” and know that we are moving to a better economy and a better Hawai`i.