BY MUFI HANNEMANN – Tonight on Maui, my opponent and I will stand side-by-side at our final public debate. This will be the last time voters have the chance to hear from us, analyze our positions and make informed decisions about who would best serve Hawaii as our next governor.
Both of us have set forth plans outlining actions we’d take, policy priorities and new initiatives. In many areas we agree.
But there is a fundamental difference in our plans which illustrates a philosophical difference in our approach. Simply put, I believe we need to live within our means, while my opponent either cannot or will not say how much his plan will cost or how he will fund it.
At a time when the state is struggling to make ends meet, the Abercrombie plan calls for:
• Unprecedented expansion of government;
• New, unfunded spending;
• New borrowing; and
• Reliance on unidentified federal dollars.
Even a cursory examination of his plan reveals hundreds of millions of new spending, including over $280 million on just two pages alone.
My approach is to make the economy job one from day one. The Hannemann Action Plan focuses on stimulating our economy through job creation within government and the private sector while simultaneously eliminating inefficiencies, duplication and waste, and identifying cost saving opportunities. It takes a realistic look at Hawaii’s fiscal situation and a careful approach to spending to ensure that what we do today does not harm us tomorrow.
In keeping with having a clear-eyed view of Hawaii’s current fiscal situation, I plan to conduct a thorough management review of our state’s finances. This will give us solid information to make decisions on how to prioritize our spending, safeguard taxpayer money, and fully fund worthy state programs.
This is what I did when I became Mayor of Honolulu in 2005. Under the leadership of Paul Yonamine and a task force of public and private sector volunteers:
• Developed a clear set of priorities for the City;
• Identified waste;
• Recommended services and processes for elimination; and
• Offered areas of opportunity for government and private sector collaboration.
While I’ve been criticized for this approach, my philosophy is that we need to know exactly where we are so that we can determine the best way to move forward, live within our means, have clear priorities and be accountable to Hawaii’s taxpayers.
Note to media: Mufi Hannemann will be available for comment on his statement at 2:00 p.m. today at the Hannemann campaign Oahu headquarters.