Hirono, Lingle, Face off Over Taxes

Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle
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Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle

U.S. Senate candidate Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, attacked Republicans in Congress on Wednesday and tied Republican opposition to the Democrats’ taxation plan to U.S. Senate Candidate Linda Lingle.

“The Republican plan extends tax credits for millionaires but fails to extend President Obama’s middle class tax cuts to help our middle class working families. Linda Lingle supports her Republican leadership on a plan that reduces tax credits for working families and students to help them afford a college education, and reduces tax credits for families struggling to cope with raising children on modest incomes who are currently helped by the child tax and earned income tax credit.  It is time for Linda to finally stand up to the national Republican Party and side with Hawaii’s middle class for a change,” Hirono said.


“Linda Lingle must finally explain to the people of Hawaii how she can support continuing to give special tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans while forcing middle class families to make up the difference. It is high time that she explain to us how she can continue to support the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that have added a trillion dollars to our deficit,” Hirono said.

Lingle’s campaign manager, Retired General Bob Lee, fired back at Hirono yesterday, saying “While it is easier for Hirono to hide behind the curtain of national Democrat talking points, than it is to dig into the details of the hotly debated discussion of extending the Bush-era tax cuts, her ignorance is far from bliss for Hawaii taxpayers.”

“What Hirono conveniently ignores is that by not extending these tax cuts, she has voted for the largest tax hike in American history (Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce).  And, while she is quick to call this a ‘tax break for the wealthiest Americans’, she ignores the fact that 90% of Americans earning $30,000 annually – which includes the working families, single parents and young workers that Hirono purports to defend – will see their taxes go up. The non-partisan organization, Tax Policy Center, estimates the average tax increase would be $3,700 each year. Why is Mazie Hirono fighting so vehemently to raise taxes on working families? Because she is putting politics ahead of the people of Hawaii,” Lee added.

Governor Linda Lingle has stated that she would vote to extend the tax cuts because of the harsh impacts on Hawaii small businesses if they are not extended, Lee said, adding “The question is: ‘why isn’t Hirono standing up for Hawaii businesses?'”

It is also important to point out, Lee said, that unlike the majority vote in the House of Representatives today, Lingle would have supported continuing the child care tax credit enacted in 2009, which would reduce financial pressures on working families in Hawaii and across the county.

“Nearly a million small businesses and farmers across our country file their federal taxes as individuals, and many of them would be hurt if the extension is not granted to higher income earners.  Even the liberal-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research admits that raising taxes on incomes over $1 million will not help the economy nor will it help the 23 million people unemployed, under-employed or who have given up looking for work,” Lee said.

“We need elected leaders like Linda Lingle who take the time to thoughtfully consider the impacts of the legislation they are voting for, rather than sitting by rubber stamping Party leaders orders, reciting national Party talking points and continuing Washington-style attacks as has become Hirono’s common practice. If Hirono wins her Party Primary Election, there will be numerous opportunities over 87 days to discuss and debate these and other important issues.”