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President’s Corner

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,

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Politicians missing the boat on Jones Act

It isn’t often that a supposedly controversial political issue builds to an overwhelming consensus among Hawaii citizens — especially when that consensus is in direct opposition to the official position of the state’s Democratic Party. A recent Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll asked, “What should be done about the maritime shipping law, the Jones

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Hawaii living too expensive!

Earlier this year, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii created a popular video about our state’s problem with “flight” — the large number of families leaving Hawaii for places with lower taxes and lower costs of living. And yet, the average salary in Honolulu doesn’t seem so terrible. When you look

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Puerto Rico needs more than temporary Jones Act waiver

The stories coming out of Puerto Rico right now are heartrending. Already suffering from serious economic woes, the island was not prepared for the devastation that followed Hurricane Maria. Rescue and relief efforts have begun, but the challenges of supplies and repair are more substantial when everything needs to be

Read More →

Get Jones Act ‘out of the way’

We’ve always known that the road to Jones Act reform was going to be a long one. Under a Democratic president or Congress, it was always assumed that union support for the Jones Act made change nearly impossible. Then, after President Donald Trump was elected, we were told that even

Read More →

Hawaii taxes block prosperity

On Thursday, I had the honor of speaking at the Tax Foundation of Hawaii’s annual luncheon, along with Tom Yamachika, president of the foundation, and Gavin Thornton, co-executive director of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. During the panel discussion, we explored whether Hawaii’s tax code was

Read More →

How to gut an audit

Hawaii lawmakers are finally embracing the call for a “deep dive” audit of the Honolulu rail project, but how they follow through on that embrace could make it all for naught. There are many ways to subvert a serious audit, which is why it is important to insist that what

Read More →

‘Audit the rail’ push seeing some results

Trevor Ozawa, Honolulu City Councilmember, has introduced a resolution calling for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) to conduct an “economy and efficiency audit,” in order to determine “the causes for the cost overruns for the Honolulu high-capacity transit corridor project.”

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 →

Politicians missing the boat on Jones Act

It isn’t often that a supposedly controversial political issue builds to an overwhelming consensus among Hawaii citizens — especially when that consensus is in direct opposition to the official position of the state’s Democratic Party. A recent Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll asked, “What should be done about the maritime shipping law, the Jones

Read More →

Hawaii living too expensive!

Earlier this year, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii created a popular video about our state’s problem with “flight” — the large number of families leaving Hawaii for places with lower taxes and lower costs of living. And yet, the average salary in Honolulu doesn’t seem so terrible. When you look

Read More →

Puerto Rico needs more than temporary Jones Act waiver

The stories coming out of Puerto Rico right now are heartrending. Already suffering from serious economic woes, the island was not prepared for the devastation that followed Hurricane Maria. Rescue and relief efforts have begun, but the challenges of supplies and repair are more substantial when everything needs to be

Read More →

Get Jones Act ‘out of the way’

We’ve always known that the road to Jones Act reform was going to be a long one. Under a Democratic president or Congress, it was always assumed that union support for the Jones Act made change nearly impossible. Then, after President Donald Trump was elected, we were told that even

Read More →

Hawaii taxes block prosperity

On Thursday, I had the honor of speaking at the Tax Foundation of Hawaii’s annual luncheon, along with Tom Yamachika, president of the foundation, and Gavin Thornton, co-executive director of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. During the panel discussion, we explored whether Hawaii’s tax code was

Read More →

How to gut an audit

Hawaii lawmakers are finally embracing the call for a “deep dive” audit of the Honolulu rail project, but how they follow through on that embrace could make it all for naught. There are many ways to subvert a serious audit, which is why it is important to insist that what

Read More →

‘Audit the rail’ push seeing some results

Trevor Ozawa, Honolulu City Councilmember, has introduced a resolution calling for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) to conduct an “economy and efficiency audit,” in order to determine “the causes for the cost overruns for the Honolulu high-capacity transit corridor project.”

Read More →