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Informing Hawaii's voters

Hawaii Labeled 2nd Most Unfair Tax System in Nation

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Middle Class and Poor in the Aloha State among the Most Overtaxed

September 15, 2014

HONOLULU, Hawaii—Sept. 15, 2014—A study of the tax systems of all 50 states by the financial site Wallet Hub has found that Hawaii has the second most unfair tax system in the country, trailing only Washington in the gap between what citizens consider a fair tax structure and the reality of the state system. In addition, the Aloha State ranked third among states where the middle class (defined as the 40-60% income quintile) is overtaxed and was little better about overtaxing the poor. Hawaii ranked fourth in states that overtax the lowest 20% of income earners.


The survey found that the majority of Americans, regardless of political outlook, believe that higher income households should be taxed at a higher rate than lower earners. Those states that most conform to this model were rated more fair, while those where the tax burden was heavier on middle and lower income householders were rated as "unfair." The Wallet Hub survey also noted that Hawaii is especially dependent on sales and excise taxes--the state ranked seventh in its reliance on revenues from this source.

"This survey is only confirming what too many of us realize every day," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. "Hawaii's tax system is badly in need of reform that stimulates the economy and reduces the burden on middle class and working households. This isn't a question of partisanship or politics--the system is faulty no matter what your perspective. If Hawaii's policy makers want to help our working families in a substantial and effective way, they should seek out reforms that provide real, measurable tax relief."

About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region. Read more about us at

About Grassroot President Keli'i Akina: Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii. Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government. An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University. Dr. Akina is currently a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.

KHNL Features Opposing Views on Proposed Oahu Army Downsizing


By Jim Mendoza

Jim's email address

September 15, 2014

WAHIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a draft statement the U.S. Army said there would be no significant impact on Wahiawa town if the Department of Defense cut back on the number of soldiers at Schofield Barracks.

But the president of the Wahiawa Community and Business Association said Wahiawa's businesses would be on the front lines of a decline.

"They really depend on the military and their dependents for survival," Doug Aton said.

Read more . . .


Making Military Downsizing in Hawaii a Good Thing [Hawaii Political Info] Aug 18, 2014

Oahu Council for Army Downsizing

Wind Turbines Omitted in HECO's Lanai/Molokai Energy Plan

One of Oahu's wind turbine clusters on the north shore as seen from Kaena Point/photo by Larry Basar

Honolulu Civil Beat

Here is why Big Wind is no longer really part of the discussion about Hawaii's energy future.

By Robin Kaye

Robin Kaye is a longtime Lanai resident and energy activist. He is the author of Lanai Folks.

September 9, 2014

What’s interesting about HECO’s recently released Power Supply Improvement Plans is what is not in them.

After 2,731 pages and $17 million in taxpayer-funded studies, there is not a single mention of Big Wind on Lanai or Molokai, and the vaunted undersea cable is barely mentioned.

So, notwithstanding two communities that were torn apart, HECO executives infiltrated our rural communities to argue for Big Wind, two governors obsessively pushed Big Wind, DBEDT made it a centerpiece of their state energy plans and a clean energy agreement that had Big Wind as its centerpiece, it has completely disappeared from the state of Hawaii and HECO’s future energy plans.

Read more . . .

Paul Craig Roberts Connects the Dots on Washington's Baffling Actions

Good interview with Paul Craig Roberts brings to our attention a change that the Fed, Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC have made in bank requirements that will have a negative effect on the value of state and local municipality bonds, which in turn will ripple out across entire local government structures. That includes us right here in Hawaii, meaning we are facing an escalation in the looting of our local assets.

Roberts, among the distinct minority of us who has training, knowledge and experience in government economic matters, follows by looking at the big picture of the new U.S. sanctions against Russia, attempting to answer, "Why? Why these particular sanctions?"

17-minute radio interview with King World News

Click here to listen

Will Swiss Vote to Get Their Gold Back from U.S.?

On November 30th, voters in Switzerland will head to the polls to vote in a referendum on gold. On the ballot is a measure to prohibit the Swiss National Bank (SNB) from further gold sales, to repatriate Swiss-owned gold to Switzerland, and to mandate that gold make up at least 20 percent of the SNB's assets. Arising from popular sentiment similar to movements in the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, this referendum is an attempt to bring more oversight and accountability to the SNB, Switzerland's central bank.

The Swiss referendum is driven by an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the conduct not only of Swiss monetary policy, but also of Swiss banking policy. Switzerland may be a small nation, but it is a nation proud of its independence and its history of standing up to tyranny. The famous legend of William Tell embodies the essence of the Swiss national character. But no tyrannical regime in history has bullied Switzerland as much as the United States government has in recent years.

The Swiss tradition of bank secrecy is legendary. The reality, however, is that Swiss bank secrecy is dead. Countries such as the United States have been unwilling to keep government spending in check, but they are running out of ways to fund that spending. Further taxation of their populations is politically difficult, massive issuance of government debt has saturated bond markets, and so the easy target is smaller countries such as Switzerland which have gained the reputation of being “tax havens.” Remember that tax haven is just a term for a country that allows people to keep more of their own money than the US or EU does, and doesn't attempt to plunder either its citizens or its foreign account-holders. But the past several years have seen a concerted attempt by the US and EU to crack down on these smaller countries, using their enormous financial clout to compel them to hand over account details so that they can extract more tax revenue.

The US has used its court system to extort money from Switzerland, fining the US subsidiaries of Swiss banks for allegedly sheltering US taxpayers and allowing them to keep their accounts and earnings hidden from US tax authorities. EU countries such as Germany have even gone so far as to purchase account information stolen from Swiss banks by unscrupulous bank employees. And with the recent implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Swiss banks will now be forced to divulge to the IRS all the information they have about customers liable to pay US taxes.

On the monetary policy front, the SNB sold about 60 percent of Switzerland's gold reserves during the 2000s. The SNB has also in recent years established a currency peg, with 1.2 Swiss francs equal to one euro. The peg's effects have already manifested themselves in the form of a growing real estate bubble, as housing prices have risen dangerously. Given the action by the European Central Bank (ECB) to engage in further quantitative easing, the SNB's continuance of this dangerous and foolhardy policy means that it will continue tying its monetary policy to that of the EU and be forced to import more inflation into Switzerland.

Just like the US and the EU, Switzerland at the federal level is ruled by a group of elites who are more concerned with their own status, well-being, and international reputation than with the good of the country. The gold referendum, if it is successful, will be a slap in the face to those elites. The Swiss people appreciate the work their forefathers put into building up large gold reserves, a respected currency, and a strong, independent banking system. They do not want to see centuries of struggle squandered by a central bank. The results of the November referendum may be a bellwether, indicating just how strong popular movements can be in establishing central bank accountability and returning gold to a monetary role.

Hawaii Road Rage Incident Goes Viral

740,000 views in three days.

Published on YouTube Sep 10, 2014

Caution: Offensive language

Ryan Arakaki introduction: This lady [?!] was looking down at something, maybe on her phone or something else but there was a good car and a half length of free space in front of her so I changed lanes (she was completely still, not moving at all waiting for red light to change). As I made my turn I could hear the lady's [sic] horn blaring. I looked in my rear view and I could see she was visibly upset. She continued to tail gate me and follow me closely. She then tried to either overtake me or get on the side of me to try and run me off the road. She did this a few times. I slowly drove the speed limit and made it to a shopping center near by. At this point the lady continued to follow me and I knew she wasn't going to let me go so I took out my phone and started recording her. The following is what happened.

See: Angry driver tells her side of the story.

Ted Cruz Booed by Middle Eastern Christians, Walks Off Stage after Insulting Audience

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), giving a speech to a group called "In Defense of Christians" in Washington, DC, said that "Christians have no greater ally than the Jewish state,” which was met with groans from the audience. He immediately followed with, "Let me say this. Those who hate Israel hate America," which drew an even stronger negative reaction.

Congressmen Call for Declassification of 28 Pages of 9/11 Report

Canadian Govt Warns Citizens about US Police Thieves

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