Welcome To My Dream Kingdom
Wednesday - March 02, 2011
Do you ever have the fleeting fantasy that you’re the king (or queen) of the land and you can make your good ideas law? I know dictatorships ain’t doing too well these days. But neither is our budgetary democracy!
These are some things I’d do as logical, moral and good for us if I didn’t have to deal with Calvin Say.
Sure I’d review all government programs to cut waste and bureaucracy. But nothing that will cost us dearly later on such as the Institute for Human Services, Adult Friends For Youth, Planned Parenthood or Teen Pregnancy Prevention.
You want more government services and no school closings. Those have to be funded. I don’t like fees disguised as taxes. We must pay more tax on higher incomes or a larger excise tax or use a value-added tax. Plus a Waikiki casino and shipboard gambling. Face up to it!
Social Security is an easy fix. Scrap the $106,800 taxable-income cap. Pay on all income. Use an earnings test to receive benefits and only start them at 72 (short rate) and 75 (full rate).
Tax our pensions as the feds do. They’re income. End the Medicare Part B reimbursement for new or next-contract state/city workers and their spouses. Make them pay out of their Social Security as my wife and I do.
Don’t touch collective bargaining for public employees; end binding arbitration.
Linda Lingle was on vacation most of her eight-year term so deny her that $17,000 unused-vacation pay.
Homeless tents must be trucked away from public property in Kakaako and elsewhere after one week’s notice to vacate. Ignore the ACLU as largely irrelevant in 2011.
Make governors and the chief justices publicize the names of court nominees. If you want a judge job your name is out there for public scrutiny and comment.
Malama aina. People intended no more high-rise hotels looming over the beach at Waikiki. Why give Kyo-ya an exemption to build a Diamond Head Tower? Probably no Envision Laie, either, because that starts the end of Keep The Country Country.
Order labeling of genetically modified foods. Nothing against them, but we have the right to know what we’re eating.
Publicly finance a simple governor’s inauguration (“raise your right hand, etc.”) not one paid by Mitsunaga and Associates’ $30,000 (“do you swear to give me business?”), Kapolei Property Development, Alexander & Baldwin, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaiian Air, HMSA and even $10,000 from the UH faculty union (“do you swear to give us big raises as Gov. Lingle did?”)
Bring back a Superferry for all islands.
No way should we pay Lynne Waters - very competent though she is - $140,000 to be UH president M.R.C. Greenwood’s PR person. Not in these hard times. Not even in flush times. We pay for a PR person for the Manoa chancellor and even for the Manoa College of Engineering.
I got a chuckle out of editorial that called College Hill a “presidential mansion.” It was businessman Frank Atherton’s 1902, two-story, ordinary-forthe-time, house-in-the-rain that rot and termites devoured.
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