Your Views for December 22


Invest in America

The “fiscal cliff” seems to be dominating the news. It seems that the Republican leadership is still refusing to recognize that they lost the elections. They are steadfastly refusing to roll back the disastrous tax cuts on the rich that were instituted by George W. Bush.

This refusal is based on either willful ignorance of the basic principles of economics, or sheer stupidity. The mantra of supply-side economics has been disproven for the past 32 years since Ronald Reagan’s election. The present recession is based entirely on a lack of demand, not a lack of supply. Corporations are sitting on billions of dollars of profits. The rich do not need lower taxes to invest in Americas’s corporations. The corporations are already flush.

How do you stimulate demand? You stimulate demand by job creation, pure and simple. The fastest way to kick-start this job creation would be a massive government investment in shoring up this country’s antiquated infrastructure. High-speed rail, bridge and highway construction, airport upgrades, the list is endless.

The deficit is a problem, no doubt. But the worst time that you could possibly decide to balance your budget is when you are just starting to emerge from a severe recession. Job creation increases government revenue in the long term. Don’t buy the GOP’s baloney.

Phil Barnes

Pahoa

Keep legacy alive

Sen. Daniel Inouye used his political clout to secure funding for the Saddle Road and Ane Keohokalole Highway projects. These improvements have positively impacted the quality of life on the Big Island. However, Hawaii’s new congressional delegation won’t have the same political clout Sen. Inouye had.

Big-ticket projects, such as the Saddle Road extension and phase two of the Ane Keohokalole Highway, will be competing for limited federal highway funds. Some of these on-deck highway projects may have to be phased, curtailed or scuttled entirely as a result.

Hawaii County and the Hawaii Department of Transportation need to plan for this contingency. For example, Hawaii County should explore alternative funding mechanisms for future roadway projects. Floating bonds and depending on federal highway funds isn’t sustainable.

The Ane Keohokalole Highway and Saddle Road projects will leave a lasting legacy for future generations. However, I hope Hawaii County and the state Department of Transportation prepare for life post Sen.Inouye.

Aaron Stene

Kailua-Kona

Violent games

I believe that the government ought to scrutinize the video games that children play. These games program violence into developing young minds. It is this violence that I believe has a lot to do with the tragedies that seem to happen more and more.

Both parents in many families work. Children are shut in after school until there parents get home. What do they do during that time if there is no structure? They watch violence on TV and play violent video games. I wonder what goes through those young minds?

If a disturbed or confused mind decides to obtain a weapon, no matter what the gun-control laws are, they will find what they want. Until we stop allowing manufacturers to produce violence … we will all have to live with fear.

Lani K. Ka‘awaloa

Pahoa

 

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