By: Rick Blangiardi
Budget director Kalbert Young warned state lawmakers about what he called the Inouye cliff.
The implication is that senator Inouye got federal dollars for Hawaii that we're gonna lose now that the senator is gone.
Senator Inouye was smarter than that - he pursued valid projects that are as justified now as before.
The problem isn't the end of the age of Inouye - it's the age of the exploding federal debt.
As young correctly pointed out, a fifth of the state economy is driven by federal dollars. Most of it is military, and the pentagon is on record as supporting a major shift of resources to the pacific to meet the challenges of the next 20 years.
But even incremental spending cuts affecting the military services, or the national parks, will affect Hawaii.
The new Hawaii congressional delegation won seats on both the house and senate armed services committees.
But no one from Hawaii sits on house or senate appropriations.
Hawaii may also be vulnerable to house republicans determined to put their thumb in the president's eye.
Consequently, we need our representatives in Washington to quickly form political alliances for Hawaii's future.