Sunday, May 26, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, March 01, 2019
Help People Save by Cutting Their Taxes
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 2:41 PM :: 1017 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Tax Credits, Taxes

From Grassroot Institute, March 1, 2019

The Hawaii Legislature appears to be dropping hints about the way people save their money — or don’t save it, as the case may be.

While much of the news coming from this year’s legislative session has revolved around a possible minimum-wage hike and increase in the state general excise tax, there’s another trend quietly moving through the Legislature, one that speaks volumes about the philosophy of our current policymakers.

Multiple bills heard this session have revolved around encouraging residents to save. The details vary, but there’s a common theme: The state wants to be your local bank.

The ALOHA homes initiative, for example, hopes to have low-income residents save up and buy leasehold properties from the state. Other bills would:

  • Create an “individual housing accounts” savings program (SB1310);

  • Establish a “Hawaii retirement savings” program for the private sector (SB1374);

  • Set up a state mortgage insurance program to guarantee up to 15 percent of the principal balance of real property mortgage loans, under certain conditions (SB718);

  • Expand eligibility for a state-funded individual development account so that everyone up to the median income could get help buying or renting a house, paying for public transportation, buying or repairing a car, going to school or starting a small business (SB1081/HB334).

The point isn’t whether these bills pursue worthy goals or might help someone. It’s whether these kinds of programs are really the proper role of government. In other words, to whom would you rather trust your financial future: experienced professionals whose livelihoods depend upon continued good performance, or unelected bureaucrats with nothing at stake?

The fact is, nearly every proposal I mentioned attempts to copy something already available through the private sector. Mortgage insurance, savings programs, individual retirement accounts — they are all available through long-existing private financial institutions, including credit unions.

In testimony on SB1374, a representative of the banking industry wondered whether the state was planning to intrude on the private sector and take advantage of its unique position to undercut private entities.

“It is not the role of the state to engage in competitive activity with the private sector,” said Neal K. Okabayashi, executive director of the Hawaii Bankers Association.”

For Hawaii taxpayers, there is another question: Where would the money come from? Even programs to which the state might not have to contribute funding would still need bureaucracies to manage and administer them — and lobby for bigger budgets in the years ahead.

Such proposals suggest that our legislators don’t really understand Hawaii’s housing crisis and high cost of living. They seem to believe Hawaii residents just don’t know how to save, and need the government’s help to do so. But that ignores the reality of living in Hawaii.

Just take a look at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii’s “Why We Left Hawaii” series. You’ll see story after story that shows residents are having trouble saving not because they are financially inept but because they are faced with an economic reality that makes savings and home ownership virtually impossible.

You can’t help people save money by growing the government. All that will do is increase bloat and raise spending … which will require more tax revenue … which will lead to higher taxes … which will increase the cost of living.

Hawaii’s policymakers should get out of the finance game and leave it to the experts. If they want to help residents save more, they should start by lowering our taxes, including a grocery exemption to the general excise tax.

E hana kākou! (Let's work together!)

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.

President/CEO

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

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

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

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

Habele.org

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

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

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

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

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

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

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

NARTH

Natatorium.org

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

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

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

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT