Hawaii’s Congresswomen Weigh in on Payroll Tax Cut Debate; Obama Family Christmas in Limbo; Rolling the Dice on Gaming Proposal for Hawaii? Wall Street Journal John Fund Heading to Hawaii for Smart Business Hawaii Conference

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Hawaii’s Congresswomen Weigh in on Payroll Tax Cut Debate

The Senate passed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, federal unemployment benefits and Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors on Saturday, and went home for the holidays.


But the House Republican majority does not support the plan. The House GOP wants a one-year extension on the payroll tax cut, and passed a measure on Tuesday to set up a conference committee with the Senate.

Without a compromise, payroll taxes will increase in the new year from 4.2%, to 6.2%.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a press conference today a deal can be struck “quickly.”

But Hawaii’s U.S. Representatives Colleen Hanabusa and Mazie Hirono joined other House Democrats yesterday in calling for an “up-or-down vote” on the Senate’s plan.

“Americans deserve a vote on this bill. They deserve to see clearly who is standing up for their interests and who is not.” Hanabusa said.

Hirono said. “The House Majority’s gift to 700,000 workers in Hawaii is to raise their taxes by not extending the payroll tax cut and cut unemployment for 3,000 people in the islands in January.”

Obama Family Christmas in Limbo

With the House GOP holding out for a one-year extension on the payroll tax, President Barack Obama’s Christmas vacation in Hawaii is on hold.

According to The Hill, The White House won’t say if the President will spend Christmas in Washington DC. while his family is in Hawaii or if he will make a brief appearance and return before the end of the year to approve the final legislation.

The First Family, their friends and the U.S. Secret Service already arrived here over the weekend. They plan to be here for 17 days.

Should the President decide to travel to Hawaii, the cost to taxpayers for his travel and security will be more than $4 million.

Rolling the Dice on Gaming Proposal for Hawaii?


Will Hawaii lawmakers roll the dice this session?

Hawaii is one of only two states that prohibit any kind of legalized gambling, the other being Utah.

But that may change. Lowell Kalapa, president of the Tax Foundation says legislators will consider a number of legalized gambling proposals this session because they want more revenue and less cuts to government.

If such proposals gain momentum, Kalapa said there will be a major debate because the public is “deeply divided on the issue”, and it is an election year.

He said lawmakers also have to consider the adoption of any form of gaming may expedite other forms of gaming not approved by the legislature on Hawaiian Homes Lands or other Hawaiian sovereignty lands.

Kalapa’s column in Hawaii Reporter already is gaining attention in the gambling industry and was noted in the CasinoCityTimes.

Wall Street Journal John Fund Heading to Hawaii for Smart Business Hawaii Conference

Wall Street Journal Editorial Writer John Fund will be the keynote speaker at the Smart Business Hawaii annual business conference on Wednesday, January 11, at the Ala Moana Hotel.

There will be a number of Hawaii leaders speaking as well including Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and Mark Dunkerly of Hawaiian Airlines.

The conference is sponsored by McDonalds of Hawaii.

Sign up today by calling SBH at 396-1724.





  1. On the legalized gambling issue, here is some advice from Michigan. DON’T BE FOOLED! It is complete rubbish that legalizing gambling will solve your fiscal problems. Look at Detroit – false promises by public relation spinsters at Marketing Resource Group and in the end, bankruptcy or an emergency fund manager. Meanwhile billionaires grab up more power and influence. If you want gambling, make it government owned or 100% charity with a tax. Don’t invite these vampires into your state. If you do, after a few years, guess what, the insiders buy up – they call it “privatize” – the City’s assets for pennies on the dollar. Then you will pay them for your water, sewage, and other basic services. In the end the cash liquidity of the gambling industrialists run your government. They set up a network of political donors and the legislators become afraid of them. Witness the state of Detroit’s financial crisis. Michigan has a 19% wagering tax. Ohio (just 50 miles away) has a 33% wagering tax. That difference is $197 Million a year. Detroit’s shortfall is $62 Million. But not a single Detroit legislator will introduce a bill to RAISE THE CASINO WAGERING TAX. Why? Because they are scared stiff. I was told point blank that, “Frank, you don’t understand, these ‘people’ can raise $20K against me in 20 minutes.” So, if Casino Gambling passes in your beautiful state, it will be the end of you government as you know it. Don’t let these corrosive influences destroy your State. I have nothing to gain by writing this. There is much to know about Tom Shields and Michigan Marketing Group, most is available on the internet. Justices on our Michigan Supreme Court have Shields run their campaigns. One gave Shield’s MRG over $1,000,000 for his 2002 and 2010 campaigns. That Justice then ruled on a major case regarding environmental groups’ right to sue under our Michigan Environmental Protection Act. The Nestle company had hired Shield’s MRG as a political consultant. Shields acted as a sitting Michigan Justice’s campaign spokesman, while representing the Nestle Company. It is “business” as usual in Michigan. And don’t be fooled by the “conservative” labels. That is MRG political consulting at work. There is nothing conservative about overturning 30 years of legal precedence to benefit clients of MRG. Its all on the internet. Go to the Michigan Secretary of State Campaign finance website. Go to MRG’s website. But don’t look for MRG as a lobbyist. They aren’t registered here a lobbyists, only in Hawaii are they registered as lobbyists.

    Read the case and the dissents. https://courts.mi.gov/supremecourt/Clerk/01-07/130802/130802-Opinion.pdf

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