Budget Betting - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

May 6, 2010

Budget Betting

$10 billion. That's the size of the budget that passed both the state House and Senate last week. While no G.E.T. tax increase was deemed necessary, taxes were added to oil, cigarettes, estates, and a few other areas, and a few other cuts at the state level will be put in place to make ends meet. If the tourism numbers continue to rebound, and if there are not major collapses on the mainland or elsewhere that impact us here, then maybe there won't be the unpleasant discourse in mid-2011 about what to cut.

But this current economic calamity should provide a clear and steady warning siren that the public and private sectors need to do more to stimulate our economic growth in areas beyond the usual suspects for the next time things start to slip- which could happen next year, or the year after. Placing our bets year after on tourism, along with construction and military projects, has caused some complacency and perhaps a defeatist sense that we simply can't come up with anything else way out here in the Pacific.

For the sake of the future and our kids' futures, we had better come up with more ideas, projects, niche areas, and better uses of technology and brainpower to ensure that we have other pieces in place to help drive our economic engine. Whether it's 9/11, airline strikes, fuel costs, or general economic malaise, we all know that tourism simply cannot be looked at as the golden calf that always comes back. Think about it…

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