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Working for a better economy, better governance and a better society

Fuel for Thought

Fuel for Thought

Our Department of Transportation (HIDOT) was recently in the news because it won a $4 million federal grant to come up with a “reimagining” of the taxes we currently pay to support our highways and bridges. (Although we still had to come up with $1.5 million in...
Mythbusting HART, Part 2

Mythbusting HART, Part 2

Last week we took a look at the HART website where it took issue with our estimate that the surcharge was costing us all an average of $200 per person annually. Today we take a look at another vexing question: With all this money coming in to fund the train, how much...
Mythbusting HART, Part 1

Mythbusting HART, Part 1

With all of the recent discussion about HART and the Honolulu rail project, there have been quite a few assertions that people have been playing fast and loose with facts.  Some of the statements made by the Foundation have been part of this discussion, so we will...
The Little Engine that Could?

The Little Engine that Could?

When we think about everything that is happening with government and public finance, it’s daunting to add up the numbers that are being bandied about – a hundred million to cool the schools, billions in unfunded liabilities for our state retirement plans, and the...
Public Charter Schools

Public Charter Schools

Many of us have heard about “charter schools” here in Hawaii.  Charter schools present an alternative to regular public schools under the state Department of Education (DOE), in that they have the freedom to teach students using their own systems and processes, rather...
How Taxes Work

How Taxes Work

This is a thought-provoking piece that appeared on the Internet some years ago.  There are variations of this story floating around, and the investigative website snopes.com concluded that the actual author is still unknown. Every day, ten men go out for dinner. The...