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What is the state of our state?

Hawaii Gov. David Ige presented his fourth State of the State address this past Monday, and while I have no wish to add to the growing chorus of criticism aimed at our governor, I did walk away from his speech with many unanswered questions. Given the subject under discussion, the

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State government at work: This is not a drill

Like so many of you, I was awakened last Saturday morning by a text message with a heart-stopping warning: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Despite the unequivocal wording of the message, my first instinct was to see if it was true.

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Hawaii’s debt to Freddy

“Hawaii island rancher Freddy Rice may not have intended for his name to go down in history as shorthand for race-blind election laws, but that only demonstrates how much he was a son of the Aloha State. He was doing what he thought best for all Hawaii citizens, including Native

Read More →

Hawaii taxes feel the heat

While the new federal tax plan has most people thinking about how much money it might save them, local politicians, true to their nature, are busy worrying about how much it might affect their ability to spend. This week, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii staff attended the annual budget hearing at

Read More →

Tax plan a reason to cheer

This week, an actress did something almost unheard of. She apologized for spreading misinformation about the new tax law. Jenna Fisher, who was on NBC’s “The Office,” was one of many who claimed the new tax law eliminated a deduction for teachers buying classroom supplies. She later learned that this wasn’t true

Read More →

‘He’s making a list’

You better watch out You better not cry Better not pout I’m telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town Who doesn’t love Santa Claus? He’s the enduring symbol of Christmas and, at his best, the embodiment of generosity and holiday spirit. At his worst, however, he strongly suggests

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One down, 44 to go

Why not briefly celebrate the upside to Hawaii’s extremely modest creep up the ladder of economic freedom before rolling up our sleeves? OK … celebration’s over. After all, we moved up only one place on the Economic Freedom of North America index, the study produced annually by the Canada-based Fraser Institute

Read More →

Share freedom, not red tape

Hawaii took the long route to increasing consumer choice at its largest state airport, but it arrived there nevertheless, if only temporarily. After lengthy negotiations, the state granted Uber and Lyft permission to pick up passengers from two designated areas at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oahu, under

Read More →

A tax plan worth copying?

There’s a lot of news out there about the tax bills before the Congress, and nearly all of it is confusing. Call it a symptom of our increasingly partisan media culture or a reflection of political infighting, but it does make it frustrating for those of us who are interested

Read More →

Pension pinches profligacy

Earlier this year, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii pointed out that the state Legislature had discovered a new tactic for meeting its public pension financial obligations: passing the costs on to the counties. Now, Hawaii’s county governments — and county taxpayers — are about to feel the pinch. Act 17,

Read More →

What is the state of our state?

Hawaii Gov. David Ige presented his fourth State of the State address this past Monday, and while I have no wish to add to the growing chorus of criticism aimed at our governor, I did walk away from his speech with many unanswered questions. Given the subject under discussion, the

Read More →

State government at work: This is not a drill

Like so many of you, I was awakened last Saturday morning by a text message with a heart-stopping warning: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Despite the unequivocal wording of the message, my first instinct was to see if it was true.

Read More →

Hawaii’s debt to Freddy

“Hawaii island rancher Freddy Rice may not have intended for his name to go down in history as shorthand for race-blind election laws, but that only demonstrates how much he was a son of the Aloha State. He was doing what he thought best for all Hawaii citizens, including Native

Read More →

Hawaii taxes feel the heat

While the new federal tax plan has most people thinking about how much money it might save them, local politicians, true to their nature, are busy worrying about how much it might affect their ability to spend. This week, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii staff attended the annual budget hearing at

Read More →

Tax plan a reason to cheer

This week, an actress did something almost unheard of. She apologized for spreading misinformation about the new tax law. Jenna Fisher, who was on NBC’s “The Office,” was one of many who claimed the new tax law eliminated a deduction for teachers buying classroom supplies. She later learned that this wasn’t true

Read More →

‘He’s making a list’

You better watch out You better not cry Better not pout I’m telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town Who doesn’t love Santa Claus? He’s the enduring symbol of Christmas and, at his best, the embodiment of generosity and holiday spirit. At his worst, however, he strongly suggests

Read More →

One down, 44 to go

Why not briefly celebrate the upside to Hawaii’s extremely modest creep up the ladder of economic freedom before rolling up our sleeves? OK … celebration’s over. After all, we moved up only one place on the Economic Freedom of North America index, the study produced annually by the Canada-based Fraser Institute

Read More →

Share freedom, not red tape

Hawaii took the long route to increasing consumer choice at its largest state airport, but it arrived there nevertheless, if only temporarily. After lengthy negotiations, the state granted Uber and Lyft permission to pick up passengers from two designated areas at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oahu, under

Read More →

A tax plan worth copying?

There’s a lot of news out there about the tax bills before the Congress, and nearly all of it is confusing. Call it a symptom of our increasingly partisan media culture or a reflection of political infighting, but it does make it frustrating for those of us who are interested

Read More →

Pension pinches profligacy

Earlier this year, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii pointed out that the state Legislature had discovered a new tactic for meeting its public pension financial obligations: passing the costs on to the counties. Now, Hawaii’s county governments — and county taxpayers — are about to feel the pinch. Act 17,

Read More →