Money Does Not Fall From Space; Hawaii Reporter in the News; Wheels of Justice Turn Slowly

Photo: Emily Metcalf
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Photo: Emily Metcalf

Money Does Not Fall From Space

“Money does not fall from space.” That was the response from Antony Davis, an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University and a Mercatus Affiliated Senior Scholar at George Mason University, when he learned about the outcome of Hawaii’s stimulus program.


The state of Hawaii has already spent $1.329 billion of the total $1.824 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds received, but just 2,046 jobs have been created.  That is $650,000 per job.

State officials still have not commented on whether the stimulus plan turned out as they hoped.

But Davis told Hawaii Reporter that taxpayers have to pay the bills for the stimulus borrowing, and when they do, it will undo everything the stimulus was supposed to have accomplished.

Also a concern: The stimulus plan ratcheted up government spending and now, talks of returning budgets to pre-stimulus levels is being called a “cut,” Davis said.

Edward Kemp, a local CPA who sits on the Hawaii Stimulus Oversight Commission, cited similar concerns to that of Davis.

Kemp said the almost $900 billion in federal stimulus funds distributed to the states has allowed the state to “kick can down the road” and allowed the “status quo to go on longer than they would have, at the expense of our children grand children and future generations.”

“This money is not from our taxes or any other sources, it was borrowed and it will have to be repaid by future generations,” Kemp said.

Kemp compares the spending to taking money from his granddaughter’s piggy bank. “I want to ask those spending the money, is this project good enough to break open your granddaughter’s piggy bank to help fund it? I have never asked but it occurs to me that in most cases the answer is no. Yet we are choosing to create debt for future generations so we can benefit currently, and that is unfair to people who have no voice in making those decisions.”

Davis said that the way to stimulate the economy is for government to get out of the way of business. “The government does not create jobs – it is the people who create jobs and wealth. The government’s role is to make it as easy as possible to do what they do, with minimum regulation and taxation,” Davies said. He stressed that protecting property rates and the environment also is key.

Hawaii Reporter in the News

Hawaii Reporter was cited Thursday in the London Daily Mail for its reports on the cost to taxpayers for President Barack Obama’s Christmas vacation.

The paper was following up on criticisms that Obama’s extravagant vacations in places like Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard is costing taxpayers as much as $10 million.

Wheels of Justice Turn Slowly

Two autistic sisters whose family said the state public school system denied them special services in the 1990s may finally get their day in court.

Their lawsuit, which was filed in 2000, is set to go to trial in October and could cost the state “millions of dollars” in damages for each of the girls, according to the attorney general.

If you missed the exclusive report by Jim Dooley, see it here:





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