It is interesting to read the opening day speeches and governor’s State of the State in the morning paper every year.

Being as positive as I can I always try to see if the blowhards involved have proposed anything that will lead to more good than harm.

Last year, as this year, the toughest challenge was finding anything good in Senate President Robert Bunda’s speech. He is for the train, the gas caps, more spending, more law enforcement, and basically a larger role for government in every aspect of our lives.

House Speaker Calvin Say, as he did last year, spoke mostly in platitudes. Luckily he has come out against raising taxes. So there is one big positive.

The best that can be said of the two Republicans is they weren’t as bad as last year. Oh, how I wish they’d let Sen. Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai, speak for them. But the GOP is in the minority and their opinions aren’t as much at issue.

The governor was happy to trumpet Hawaii’s improving economy. We can all agree on that, but it’s not clear how much credit can be given to an administration whose policies have had so little time to take effect.

Government in general probably has had very little to do with the economic upturn we now enjoy. She made no mention of a tax increase which is a good sign. On the other hand she did not promise to veto a tax increase if passed or to end her support for the multi-billion dollar train boondoggle.

The biggest area of common interest between the governor and freedom loving people may be in her educational initiatives. There are flaws to be found in the specifics of her proposals.

We do appreciate the move to break up the centralized school system that has strangled public education in this state. Her pointing out the irritating facts about how much of the Department of Education budget is spent outside of the classroom is a message that needs to be repeated again and again.

Not said, but understood by political types, is the baleful effect the money and votes the state Department of Education can deliver up to its supporters in government has had on educational quality and cost.

Perhaps if this battle can be won the governor can be convinced to address more fundamental issues such as how human beings learn, what we really want from an “education,” what are the most cost-effective ways of educating, and how would parental choice impact on these questions. Someday maybe.

Sadly this administration seems hell bent on putting more people in jail. Much of the governor

Comments

comments