Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cut taxes to end the recession

Two stories in Thursday's Star-Bulletin highlight the differences between business and government. Due to the recession, both McDonald's and Starbucks saw a drop in sales. In short, less money came in. So what did they do? They lowered prices! Yes, they lowered prices. And what happened? Sales and profits increased. More money came in because reduced prices led to more business activity.

On the other hand, when government wants more money, it raises prices, aka tax increases. The result is that citizens have less money to spend so business activity declines and governments actually see a drop in tax revenues.

Our city, our state and our federal government need one thing to emerge from their fiscal messes: a robust economy. They won't get it by raising taxes. Economics 101.

Bob Lamborn







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Vote for real change in special election

I had an inspiring time with “;We the People”; at the Hawaii Tea Party 2010. Mahalo to Rick Hamada and all the speakers.

Our government is bigger, taxes are going higher, debt is unsustainable (estimated, $1 trillion in interest by 2020) and our representa- tives don't listen to us. Sens. Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka and Rep. Mazie Hirono just continue on with no real challenge, so they elect not to have town hall meetings or talk to us. Challenge them. In the special election next month, there is one candidate who believes in smaller government, lower taxes and you the people. Vote! If we don't reduce our spending by 25-50 percent and lower taxes to inspire growth, we will not like the changes that lie ahead.

Don't let America be divided. Let's remember the “;we”; in “;We the people of the United States.”;

Donald Harlor

Ewa Beach


Raising cigarette tax will reduce revenues

I have always been a supporter of legislators, yet I have never really participated in the legislative process. This changed when senators started to talk about another increase in cigarette taxes. My family started a small convenience store on Maui over 80 years ago. Today, we have grown into a company that owns or operates over 17 mom- and-pop-like convenience stores, from Kauai to Hawaii Island.

The July 1 increase in cigarette taxes would have already lowered sales, as we figure current taxes per pack are around $2.60. Now the Legislature has sent Gov. Linda Lingle a bill to increase the scheduled increase of 20 cents by another 20 cents; this would bring taxes on a pack of cigarettes to $3. I would like to ask the governor to veto House Bill 1985.

Legislators say this will increase tax revenue. I find this hard to believe. Our 2009 records show that our cigarette sales were down in general. Our generic brands had higher sales, albeit a lower sales volume than 2008. These taxes will continue to increase and our sales will continue to dwindle. I am not sure how this will bring increased tax revenues.

I know many will say cigarettes are damaging and taxes should be increased to discourage sales. If we're betting our state's budget on this ideology, then I wish the Legislature the best of luck in finding ways to solve this financial chasm.

Frank Kamemoto

President, TK Family Enterprises, Ltd., Honolulu