Inouye Criticizes Republicans; Driver’s License Fees; Economist to Discuss Obama, Birthers, Fire Deaths

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Inouye Criticizes House Budget Proposal


Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye is slamming the House Appropriations Committee’s efforts to cut federal government spending during the last seven months of the 2011 fiscal years.

The House committee wants to remove $100 billion of spending from the Pres. Obama’s fiscal year request, making it the largest single discretionary spending reduction in Congressional history. The plan calls for deep cuts to many programs that aren’t related to defense and homeland security.

“It is clear from this proposal that House Republicans are committed to pursuing an ineffective approach to deficit reduction that attempts to balance the budget on the back of domestic discretionary investments, which constitute only a small percentage of overall federal spending,” in a statement release by Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“The priorities identified in this proposal for some of the largest cuts – environmental protection, healthcare, energy, science and law enforcement – are essential to the current and future well-being of our economy and communities across the country.”

A battle between the House and Senate looms as the two chambers take different approaches to discretionary spending, which makes up about 15 percent of the federal budget. House Republicans released their spending plan last Friday, saying the public is demanding more fiscal responsibility from Washington.

House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers announced the budget proposal saying the nation is spending $1.5 trillion more than it has, pushing debt to $14 trillion.

“These cuts go far and wide, and will affect every community in the nation. These were hard decisions, and I know many people will not be happy with everything we’ve proposed in this package,” Rogers said. “That’s understandable and not unexpected, but I believe these reductions are necessary to show that we are serious about returning our nation to a sustainable financial path.”

But Inouye said that it isn’t possible to balance the budget by targeting 15 percent of federal spending, no matter how deep the cuts are. An analysis of the proposed House budget by Inouye claimed the cuts would cost at least 150,000 jobs and increase unemployment.

Lott to Speak on Obama’s Economic Policies

The Hawaii Public Policies Forum will host a public forum with John Lott, a nationally known economist who will give a talk on failures of Pres. Obama’s economic policies.

Lott, who has appeared on Fox News, will give an address titled “Why Obama’s Economic Policies have Increased Unemployment and Discouraged Investment and Work”. Lott will speak from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Veterans Center Oahu.

Lott has a Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA and has held academic positions at the University of Chicago, Yale University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Maryland, College Park. He held a non-academic research position at the American Enterprise Institute. Lott was the chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission in 1988 and 1989.

Admission: $20 per person, includes refreshments and a light meal. Open to the public, but RSVP required. Call or email Sirius Event Planning, LLC 808-285-8591,

Honolulu Driver’s License Would Cost More Under Pending Ordinance

A bill pending before the Honolulu City Council would raise fees for driver’s licenses by two-thirds beginning in July.

The measure calls for raising the cost of a new driver’s license or renewal to $5 from the current $3 per year.

The fee for issuing a duplicate permit or license would rise to $6 from the current $5.

White House Photo

Arizona Birth Certificate Bill Falters in Committee

An Arizona state Senate Committee has voted against a bill that would require Presidential candidates provide an original long-form birth certificate that includes the names of witnesses and attending physician.

The Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee failed to pass the measure that also would require sworn statements that a candidate had two parents who were American citizens at the time of the candidate’s birth.

The action comes as a new poll shows 51% of registered Republican voters believe Pres. Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. The state of Hawaii has released evidence refuting those claims, saying Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961.

The poll found 28 percent of those surveyed believed Obama was born here, while 21 percent weren’t sure. The survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina-based firm said to be Democratic leaning.

Public Policy said the poll of 400 Republican Primary voters had a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Ko’Olina Executive to Speak at Smart Business Hawaii Meeting

Abbey Mayer, Vice President of Government Operations for The Resort at Ko’Olina, will discuss what happening at Ko’Olina and what will occur with the Disney project and other plans for this premiere Leeward Oahu destination area during a Smart Business Hawaii breakfast Thursday.

The 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Sunrise Networking Breakfast is scheduled for the Pineapple Room at Macy’s, Ala Moana. The event costs $25 for Smart Business members and their guests who pay in advance; $35 for non-members and at the door. For information and reservations, call Darlyn at SBH at 396-1724.

Hawaii Has Lowest Fatality Rates from Fire

Hawaii’s fire fatality rate of 3.9 percent per million people was the lowest in the nation, according to a recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration.

The agency looked at data from 2007 in which fire, fire products, or explosion was the underlying cause of death or was a contributing factor in the chain of events leading to death.

The national average was 13.2. Washington D.C. had the highest average at 39.2.

The U.S. Fire Administration noted regional differences in per-capita fire fatalities was often the result of climate, poverty, education, demographics, and other causal factors.