BY REP. GENE WARD – Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s status report today was long on rhetoric and short on specifics. He acknowledged that Hawaii residents shoulder the burden of the third highest per capita debt in the nation, but he made no mention of the fact that our state’s debt and subsequent credit rating concerns are the result of a government that doesn’t live within its means.
Unfortunately, Mr. Abercrombie’s solutions focus on spending more on government services rather than growing our economy and creating jobs. His statement today didn’t even mention our small businesses or entrepreneurs who are risking everything every day to keep our economy moving and provide jobs for our people.
As the leader of the House Republican Caucus, I believe that the future of our economy lies in the hands of these small businesses and local workers. Eliminating unnecessary regulations on local businesses, encouraging agricultural production and expanding alternative energy options are just a few of the ways we can help our economy grow and minimize the uncertainty that keeps businesses from creating jobs for our people.
It is my sincere hope that the administration and my colleagues in the legislature will begin considering how we can work with our job creators rather than against them.
Lastly, Mr. Abercrombie states he ended the year with a positive fiscal balance, but he doesn’t mention that he did this by raiding the Hurricane Relief and Rainy Days funds.
House Republican Leader Gene Ward represents Hawaii Kai and Kalama Valley
The governor achieved illusory “fiscal balance” with other short-term solutions as well. By generously bestowing 9 additional vacation days upon most state employees, government is now “understaffed” by 4%. After Obama is defeated and the economy begins to recover, this deficiency will be addressed by hiring more state workers, all enjoying salary and benefit packages far exceeding those offered by the private sector.
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