Gov. Neil Abercrombie today put out the first of what his staff says will be weekly messages, challenging people to get behind his New Day budget.
But while the governor outlines broad goals, he does not offer a detailed plan to close the immediate budget deficit facing the state this fiscal year or in the following two-year budget cycle.
The governor talks about passing a budget with sufficient new tax revenues, but he does not explain what taxes should be raised or created. Instead, he warns against bickering over details.
We must commit ourselves 100 percent to solve our fiscal crisis and focus on economic growth. If we pass a plan with sufficient new tax revenues that commits everyone to do their fair share, we can be thriving in two years, maybe less. If we don’t commit entirely—if we choose instead to nickel and dime ourselves—our recovery will stall or even recede.
And if we do nothing—if we decide to just get by and stand still for yet another year—then not only will nothing change but we risk sinking further into pessimism and civic decline.
We do not have to settle for the status quo. We cannot get bogged down by the petty political story of the day. We can’t be stuck in the weeds, bickering over one detail or another, pointing fingers at each other.
Our time is now. We need everyone to reach out to their family, friends, legislators, and community to make it known that we want a New Day. Have faith in one another; help one another. Together, let’s commit to the New Day plan, pass a budget that will get the job done, reinvest in ourselves, and move forward with purpose and pride. If we all share the burden, we will all share a bright Hawai’i future.