As Mayor Harry Kim lobbies for yet another tax increase, this time the general excise tax, my favorite quote comes from Councilwoman Maile David, stating: “Maybe we should just tighten our belt rather than coming up with across-the-board tax increases.”
My guess is, like other tax increases Mayor Kim has proposed, it’s inevitable, but kudos to Councilwoman David for a very simple and obvious statement with which the public can identify.
And while a Hawaii County GET increase is discussed, our state legislators on Oahu on Feb. 23 passed through the Finance Committee House Bill 584, the GET tax break for the Pepeekeo Hu Honua power plant.
So while this $150 million refurbishing operation is financed by tax credits, HELCO-sponsored, the state is about to bless another huge tax break.
For many citizens, these two actions on the GET once again signal where our lawmakers’ priorities are.
Friday’s editorial cartoon, showing teens standing their ground for gun control against the old guard, illustrates a core theme of today’s generation gap.
Rather than being sensitized through a gradual creep, as adults have been, of the proliferation of gun violence in the country, these kids were born into the eye of the NRA’s storm to arm everyone and are trapped in the reality of being the sitting duck targets for the use of these weapons in society.
Many of the beliefs that served the older generations’ vested interests might no longer be relevant to the new generation’s challenges. These teens have seen very clearly that “a good guy with a gun” does not fit into a law-and-order society, as they campaign for a ban on assault weapons and specific gun control laws that would prevent them from becoming sacrificial lambs in the promotion of a gun society. The absence of assault weapons raises their chance for survival.
Teachers also are sitting ducks because they shepherd students to safety and comfort them because of horrifying circumstances that only good laws can prevent. Asking them to stand against an assault rifle to kill a deranged person really conflicts with their job description of educating, instilling good values and nurturing students.