Local Connection: Remembering Sen. Inouye

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Rick Blangiardi

It is an often repeated joke that Hawaii's economy is based on three components: tourism, the military and Sen. Daniel k. Inouye.

As we grapple with his death and his memory, we are also reminded of the stark reality that the senior senator delivered for Hawaii a disproportionate share of federal dollars for our tiny size.

A recent study by University of Hawaii students estimates Senator Inouye delivered over $71 million in federal funding to UH alone - from 2006 to 2010. However, statewide, the students estimated, he has consistently brought in between $200 million and $450 million a year, most of it to the military.

It's not like federal funding will completely dry up in Hawaii, but because we are less than half of one percent of the us gross domestic product, it doesn't take an economist to see that we may not be seeing the same amount of money we had for decades.

If you are connected in any way to jobs at Kauai's pacific missile range, the Maui supercomputer, the Pearl Harbor naval shipyard, the east-west center or just about any nonprofit, you probably owe your job to Sen. Inouye.

The senator never made excuses about earmarks that helped Hawaii. He actually reveled in the fact that he could deliver them for Hawaii.

Now it's a brave new world and in some ways, our delegation will have to start from scratch in seniority. Let's not forget all the fruits that came from Sen. Inouye's incredible dedication to our state.

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