Hawaii's Sudden Economic Tsunami
by Panos Prevedouros, PhD FixOahu.Blogspot.com
With the sudden death of US Senator Inouye and the retirement of US Senator Akaka, both in December of 2012, Hawaii instantly finds itself at the center of an unprecedented fiscal tsunami due to the total loss of Congressional seniority. The table below indicates that Hawaii's Congressional Seniority changed overnight from stellar to abysmal.
Although well over half of federal funds are appropriated by formula, a large share of local programs are funded by special appropriations and earmarks which would be very hard to obtain in the coming years.
Recent preliminary research by a group of students at UH placed the annual impact of Senator Inouye to Hawaii between $200 Million and $450 Million per year. The students surmised that the sudden loss of Senator Inouye would be similar to the sudden and complete loss of Hawaiian Airlines.