Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, September 28, 2009
Kawamura on budget: Hooser "out of touch with reality"
By News Release @ 12:54 PM :: 7970 Views :: Honolulu County, Democratic Party, Energy, Environment

By Georgina Kawamura

For more than a year-and-a-half, the facts about the state’s economic and fiscal challenges have been clearly laid out, but unfortunately, some refuse to accept the reality that until the State’s revenues recover, we simply cannot continue to pay for all the existing government programs.

In a recent opinion-editorial, Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser questions the Administration’s urgency to balance the budget, including the need for layoffs, and says that addressing the budget shortfall “takes time” and “long-term planning.”

Hooser seems oblivious to the rapid and steep rate in which the State’s unprecedented budget shortfall developed as a result of the economic impact Hawai‘i experienced when the global and national recession hit.

From March 2008 through August 27, 2009, the Council on Revenues, which forecasts the State’s tax revenues, projected that Hawai‘i will have nearly $3 billion less revenue than anticipated through June 30, 2011. This is nearly one-third of the State’s total projected general fund budget for the next two years – funds that we cannot spend because we don’t have them.

Through various prudent spending restrictions, the Administration has reduced spending by $2 billion. However, we still face a $496 million shortfall in the next nine months and an additional $529 million from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. That’s a total of $1.024 billion less money we will have in the next 21 months.

Our fiscal condition will take time to recover. Because of the huge revenue losses between fiscal years 2009 and 2011, it will take until fiscal year 2012 for our revenues to return to pre-recession levels.

Because of this, it cannot be business as usual, and we cannot follow Hooser’s strategy of kicking the can down the road and hoping things will get better.

For Hooser to say that there is no need for urgency and to call the Administration’s actions to balance the growing budget shortfall “fear-based decision-making,” shows how out of touch he is with reality.

Like all of Hawai‘i’s families and businesses who are making tough decisions to tighten their belts in the face of reduced income, the Administration is focused on reality-based decision-making versus Hooser’s wishful thinking.

Hooser prefers that we hold hearings and community discussions to debate the type and size of government we should have. Lawmakers can hold such hearings during the next legislative session, or even schedule them now while the Legislature is on its break. Frankly, the Legislature should have held such discussions three or four years ago, when the State had money to invest in our long-term future.

While Hooser is busy debating options, the Administration is facing up to our fiscal responsibility and obligation to the people of Hawai‘i by taking immediate steps to address the current financial crisis. Many of the decisions that are being made are not ones that we want to make, but we are doing what needs to done in order to ensure the State government does not run out of money, which will happen if we wait as Hooser suggests.

Hooser questions the need for layoffs, but does not acknowledge the fact that labor costs account for 60 percent of the state’s budget. Private businesses reduce labor expenses as their first step in controlling costs. The Administration exhausted other sources to realize $2 billion in spending reductions before turning to labor savings in order to minimize the impact to the public as well as to state employees and their families.

The most disappointing part about Hooser’s criticisms is that he fails to offer any solutions to balancing the budget. He has not proposed one fee or tax he would increase in order to generate more revenue. Nor has he proposed one program or service that he would cut.

It’s one thing for Hooser to disagree with the Administration’s approach to addressing the budget shortfall – we realize our decisions cannot please everyone – but to not offer any solutions or be willing to make tough decisions in this time of crisis shows a lack of leadership.

Governor Lingle, Lt. Governor Aiona and our entire cabinet are continuing to work with many in our community who understand the urgency of the current fiscal realities and have stepped forward to offer constructive solutions to help us recover from this financial crisis so we can emerge stronger.

Georgina Kawamura is the Director of Department of Budget and Finance for the state of Hawaii

LINK:  Hooser's Op-Ed 

RELATED:  GOP: Hooser's only idea--"increase taxes" , Sen. Gary Hooser campaign website linked to Holocaust deniers


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute


Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii


DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group


Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii



National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii


SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii