BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Thanksgiving: More Than Turkey & Shopping. Have a wonderful day tomorrow with family and friends. Remember that Thanksgiving is more than turkey (Tofurkey? Are you kidding me??), football and shopping the next day. Even though more of our neighbors may be struggling and challenged, we have political, social and economic problems, natural and man-made disasters, lest we forget, we still enjoy many God-given blessings and unprecedented bounty. We are Free. It is a day for sharing and also for taking time out to be thankful.

Small Biz Saturday! Don’t forget to support your small business, or any small business, this Small Business Saturday. And, if you like, you can support the programs of SBH, Hawaii’s most effective small business advocacy organization. Mahalo!

Not so Super Super Committee. The 12-member bi-partisan Super Congressional Debt Reduction Committee failed Monday. It was tasked with cutting a paltry $1.2 billion in government spending over 10 years. Surprise? No. From the beginning it was clear this political group could not relieve our debt crisis. (The spending driven debt of the U.S. increased to $15 trillion during the committee’s short life). Half of the committee (Democrats) wanted massive tax increases, half (Republicans) tried to cut spending and not increase taxes. The pro-taxers offered no alternative to more government and spending as usual. There was no cap on spending.

The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund, who will be the SBH Annual Conference Keynoter on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, said, “the Founding Fathers would be appalled at Congress shirking its core responsibilities with such a committee dictatorship.”

Red Rover, Send Grover. Did you catch Americans for Tax Reform’s (ATR.org) Grover Norquist on “60 Minutes” last Sunday? He was fantastic. Should be a must see for every candidate—and CEO—as a primer on how to answer questions from a hostile media on the role of business and the role of government. John Fund, SBH’s January keynoter, was also interviewed on that segment. Page link at SBH, click here>
Direct Video Link @ YouTube click here>

Out of Work. Hawaii’s unemployment rate has INCREASED to 6.5% with many more people under employed and still more frustrated and who have stopped looking for work. Sure, we’re below the national average (9%) but to the person out of work it is 100%.

Higher UI Tax For Employers. Hawaii employers can expect higher unemployment compensation tax rates next year at record levels. The state borrowed money to pay UI benefits last year, paid it back, and is borrowing even more. Only employers pay UI taxes.

That Stinks! Hawaii Kai residents will face a whopping 14% increase in their monthly sewer rates because of a PUC rate ruling yesterday. Hawaii American Water Company successfully gained a rate increase sought months ago despite public testimony to the contrary. Hawaii Kai is the only part of O’ahu that has a private sewer company.

Aloha Shirt Flap. Local boy? President Obama dumped on the giving of lei and the wearing of local Hawaiian Aloha Shirts while here hosting the recent APEC summit, opting instead for business suits. However, as extensive news coverage showed over the weekend, Mr. Obama had no trouble wearing local, colorful, Indonesian garb during his most recent out of country Asia trip.

New York, New York. Hawaiian Airlines will be launching nonstop service between New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Honolulu starting June 4, 2012. A daily flight will depart JFK daily at 10:00 a.m. and arrive at Honolulu International Airport at 3:00 p.m. An introductory $212 one way fare during June, 2012, was snapped up in hours.

A Tree is NOT Just A Tree. The city plans to cut down somewhere between 70 and 200 trees in Hawaii Kai as part of a master plan. The City tree cutting project includes 7 targeted trees (four already cut down, two on watch and mine still standing!) The City did NOT come before the neighborhood board and no residents were informed beforehand. The City says it doesn’t have to notify residents if it is a “safety” issue. The residents were also not notified about their sidewalks being torn up weeks ago. They are still torn up with no one letting residents know when that will be completed. These issues come before the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board next Tuesday, 7 pm at Hahaione School.

Got Regulations? Only 13 percent of those surveyed think Americans need more government regulations, according to a recent IBOPE Zogby International survey. More than half of adults (55%) say that, in general, they feel the federal government already has too many regulations, while a quarter (25%) say there is just the right amount. In the survey, an overwhelming majority (88%) agree that the U.S. Government should keep its word and honor Native American treaties it has made with the nation’s Indian tribes. The survey of 1,000 adults in America, conducted Nov. 4-9, 2011, also finds that 51% agree that government regulation creates undue financial burdens on businesses run by Native American’s on sovereign tribal lands.

When asked about credit use and responsibility, respondents largely believe it should be the individual’s responsibility when it comes to the type of credit a person can and can use (80%), compared to just 12% that say it should be the government’s responsibility.In the same survey, respondents made clear their agreement that individuals–and not federal or state regulators–should control their economic and financial choices.

To that end, those surveyed were asked to state their level of agreement on a number of statements. Nearly two-thirds of adults (64%) say they agree that since most banks do not offer short-term loans of less than $1,000 and overdraft fees can be extremely costly, alternative loans like installment or payday can provide a convenient option for those who need to access to a small amount of cash for emergencies, compared to just 28% who disagree.

Christmas Parade Saturday. The annual East Honolulu Christmas Parade (the political correctness crowd now calls it the “holiday parade”) will be held this Saturday, from 10 – 11:30 am, along Lunalilo Home Road. It is organized by the Hawaii Kai Lions and co-sponsored by Koko Marina Shopping Center. “Holiday” Santa will be in the parade as usual.

Blonde Uprising. Award winning Hawaii Reporter.com, Hawaii’s first electronic daily newspaper begun 9 years ago, still is free. Hawaii Reporter’s Malia Zimmerman reports daily (M-F) on the Rick Hamada Show, KHVH radio on 830 AM at, 7:40 am. Malia also reports on Kauai’s KKCR with Sandy Brodie on Tuesday mornings, on the station’s “Morning Paper.” She will report the news behind the news for you.

Want more local business information? Please visit the several SBH websites at: www.smartbusinesshawaii.com, www.educate808.com and www.sbhfoundation.org.

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