Lingle: “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems”

Gov. Linda Lingle appears to be campaigning for a job with the Republican National Committee with her comments denouncing legislation passed by Congress that could result in Hawai’i getting up to $86 million for extra Medicaid funding and $39 million for education.

Following the line of Hawai’i U.S. Rep. Charles Djou and other Republicans in Congress who opposed the bill, Lingle said, “This federal bailout, like those that preceded it, is intended to be a one-time shot in the arm that must be paid for in the future. It merely defers the day of reckoning that will require a reprioritization of state services and a reduction of spending.”

Lingle’s out-of-the-blue statement hewing so closely to the party line feeds speculation that she sees her future in national GOP politics and is working to shed her reputation among some in the party as a RINO — Republican in name only.

The governor took immediate criticism for her statement from those pointing out that she had joined 41 other governors from both parties in February in asking Congress for extra Medicaid money.

Sen. Daniel Inouye’s office chastized, “It’s too bad Gov. Lingle would rather play politics than attend to the critical needs of our education and health care systems.”

Lillian Koller, Lingle’s director of human services, said the state won’t turn down the Medicaid money, but argued that it does little to alleviate the long-term problem as governors asked.

It’s uncertain what will happen to the education money; it’s intended mainly to stop teacher layoffs, of which there are none planned in Hawai’i. Lingle has considerable discretion in distributing funds to the Department of Education.

Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, the likely Republican candidate for governor, didn’ respond directly to Lingle’s statement, but offered his own views.

He said it “would be very difficult to say no to this money,” and that’s not what the administration is doing, but “this is not something I would go out and ask for.”

Drawing on his experience as a drug court judge, Aiona said the states’ dependency on federal money “is sort of like an addiction right now. We’ve got to find a way to break the addiction. It’s hard for an addict to say no. The more money you give them, the worse you’re going to make it.”

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21 Comments on “Lingle: “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems””

  1. zzzzzing Says:

    I suppose the $ for education could be put in the bank to draw interest until it is time to pay it back. Even at today’s low interest rates, $39 million can generate a nice chunk of change for the State.

  2. hipoli Says:

    Does Gov think we’re all a bunch of dumbasses?

    Someones gonna get this money. I, for one, want it to be us rather than the other guy.

    Dan Inouye. Gift Horse. Mouth.

    And I love him and thank him for it!

    Now, More Than Ever.

  3. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    The critical issue here for voters in the First Congressional District is to evaluate what you believe should be the role of the United tates House of Representatives in making and funding public policies and in what areas of our lives should the government play a role.

    The teapartytypes are making it very, very clear that even core functions such as Social Security, climate change & renewable energy, and public education are no longer something we should expect the government to oversee & fund.

    What really torks me off about Charles Djou is that he has impacted me even though I live in the Second Congressional District because his NpNO votes negate Mazie Hirono’s Aye votes which reflect her constituents’ positions on a wide range of issues.

    As for Lingle, she needs a job and what’s she’s doing is not that much out of line – given to whom it is she’s applying. As my grandfather used to say: Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    I was listening to Robert Reich’s comments on BPR’s Marklace last evening driving into town but lost a chunk of sound going through the H-3 tunnel. I’m going to see if they might be available on NPR’s website – and if they are, I’ll post them here for your comments & analyses.

    Off to work – another long day.

  4. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Whoops!!! United StateS House of Representatives

    NPR’s MarkETPlace

    Sorry about that.

  5. Richard Gozinya Says:

    Most of us acknowledge the wisdom of TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch and to be sure, the bill for those extra Medicaid and education funds will someday come due. So, to the extent that Lingle recognizes there is a cost for gubmint handouts, she has a valid point.

    Now, having said all that, come on…this is Medicaid and education we’re talking about here. If you’re gonna take money, take it for this kind of thing and if you wanna sit up high and righteous and hew to high principles and reject money, well, howzabout you pick on any of a bunch of other wasteful expenditures rather than the meager stuff that that actually trickles to the little guys. (Major metaphor melt down, sorry.)

  6. ppcc Says:

    The national Republican party is basically dead as guys like Michael Steele drove it into the ground. However individual Republican candidates will make serious headway in the upcoming elections in both House and Congress, and probably the White House in 2012. These Repub. candidates will steer away from the Repub party and try to get their money from other sources as well.

    Prior to her Civil unions veto, Lingle had a good chance of taking over one the Dan’s positions in the Senate despite the negative campaign by Demo operatives to blame her for student furloughs and rail EIS. Father time is going to catch up with Dan & Dan in a few years time but for her to give up on Hawaii residents and try to be in the “in” crowd with the national republican party, I think is a bad move as the positions available in the national repub party are basically worth nothing. Lingle should have had more faith on her future in Democratically controlled Hawaii politics, since obviously enough residents voted for so that she could have two terms as Governor of Hawaii. I am sure if a Repub Pres is elected in 2012, Lingle would be given some appointed position but I doubt it would have nearly the prestige and power as taking Inouye’s or Akaka’s senate seat.

  7. charles Says:

    With apologies to the Irish troops back in the day, Linda, we hardly knew ye.

  8. Guido Sarducci Says:

    At first I thought the Governor was right to criticize Inouye etal over this ‘free’ money. But then I found out that it was coming out of the mouths of the hungry–$708 per year cut from foodstamp allotments–so now I feel better about it.
    Let them eat cake!

    Just to be clear. I still would prefer that this Foodstamp money go to Wall Street fatcats insterad of corrupt DOE contractors. But when the goal is to drive the poor deeper into poverty, I can’t be too picky.

  9. David Shapiro Says:

    @ppcc No reason she couldn’t park herself in a prominent DC job for awhile and then come back to run for the Senate, as Pat Saiki did between her loss to Akaka in the Senate race and her run for governor against Cayetano.

  10. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha ~
    I’m sure most of you know by now where I stand on these useless and despicable games of politics when people need help.

    We’re nearing the 9th anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks. Could anyone imagine Democrats refusing to join the president in response to the tragic events?

    No … nobody could imagine.

    Yet teachers, fire fighters, police and law enforcement could have been pushed to bread lines – and Lingle wanted to use them as political pawns. I can’t imagine how someone acts like this with the lives of others.

    This isn’t a permanent solution. It’s a wad of cash shoved into a few gaps in the dike that’s holding back the flood waters of despair for our families.

    Yet it buys us time … time to get a better read on our economic trends; time to better organize our public services and tax structure; time to come together and battle these difficult global challenges.

    In our spirited discussions yesterday, we focused a great deal on the tax situation in the nation. CNN reports today that the (almost) rich can expect a tax cut in 2011. source

    These aren’t rose colored glasses; our national glass is half full. We are generally very lucky people who live highly privileged lives.

    Maybe our leaders ought to be a bit more thankful and show more appreciation for what we have. Their graciousness under fire might energize the masses to work together more effectively.


  11. zzzzzz Says:

    @Guido–Food stamp benefits have been way too high for a long time, far past the point of making sure people don’t go hungry. My only quibble with cutting benefits is that some of that money should have gone to educating food stamp beneficiaries on how to survive on the reduced level of benefits.

  12. Michael Says:

    8 years of lingle and people still don’t know that she is lingle as lingle does.

    Senator Inouye will retire when he is happy with who will replace him. Senator Akaka wants to leave with the Akaka Bill being passed. Their legacy will grow from there. lingle will run against Senator Akaka.
    she wants a part of the glory saying that she helped pass the Akaka Bill. If it doesn’t pass soon and IF lingle is senator, she will sink it. Back stabbing the Akaka Bill. I never said I agree with it would be her reply. lingle is as lingle does.

  13. Jim Loomis Says:

    So many problems … so much needs fixing … so many people in trouble … and every solution costs money. And the same people who trumpet their patriotism at every opportunity, squeal whenever there’s talk of any tax increase (currently defined as allowing a tax CUT to expire as prescribed by the law that created it). For most of these patriots, that would amount to giving up a couple of nights out at their favorite fancy restaurant. That’s too much to ask, of course.

  14. Earl of Sandwich Says:

    Well said, Jim. These are the same people who simultaneously want the deficit reduced and the tax cuts continued, even though allowing the cuts to expire could reduce the deficit by 30%.

  15. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha Jim and Earl ~
    Great points … there’s an excellent visual analysis of possible tax options on CNN today:

    We recognize tax increases in a recessionary environment are not preferred – yet adding trillions to our collective debt is equally troublesome.

    Forecasters suggest extending the Bush 2001/2003 tax cuts for ALL payers would lead GDP to rise at a 4.1% annual rate for Q1 2011.

    Allowing the cuts to expire for only the MOST RICH and extending the cuts for 95% of the population would yield a GDP growth rate of 3.8%.

    Yet if the cuts expire for all payers, forecasters suggest GDP would increase only by 2.3%.

    Pragmatic and reasonable people therefore easily conclude that the optimal choice to achieve balance between competing interests of prudent debt reduction and needed economic growth is to allow the tax cuts to expire for the MOST RICH, while extending them for the remaining 95%.

    We should also make it clear that those of us in the 95% group must allow the cuts to expire in 18 to 24 months as well. This period should be sufficient to add needed stimulus to the economy, while preventing debt to increase more than tolerable.

    Will conservative Republicans add their names to this reasonable compromise? Most who are betting will likely wager they won’t. It will be fun to watch the spin game over these numbers.


  16. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha ~
    Let me add another excellent visual comparison of competing tax policies: The Bush tax plan vs. the Obama tax plan in one chart. Please see the analysis by Ezra Klein, in the Washington Post. Visually stunning!



  17. Michael Says:

    Mo’ contrary Mary.
    lingle lets the public voice and
    she nominates Recktenwald.
    she did seem too happy in her announcement.

  18. shaftalley Says:

    tax cuts do not add to the cuts are genuine natural stimulas package.and tax cuts should be across the board.for all of us that pay cuts create real wealth and will get back into the economy.right now,your government taxes our income.and now your government wants to tell us what to do with the money left over.not good.

  19. tommy Says:

    TANSTAAFL has got to be the worst acronym on planet Earth.

  20. Michael Says:

    correction: she did not seem to happy in her announcement. she seemed to hold back, and admitting she was wrong.

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