REGARDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT
1. What steps do you think Congress should take to rebuild our economy on a more sustainable, yet economically viable basis?
We need to make sure that people have jobs, and we need to make sure that the measures we pass have a proven economic benefit. I voted for the Recovery Act because it would produce jobs. And in spite of the Republican rhetoric about the Recovery Act, “not doing anything,” the fact is that the Act has brought over a billion dollars back to Hawaii and put firefighters and police and construction workers and teachers — all here in Hawaii — back to work. I voted for the extension of unemployment benefits because statistics show that it would — far more than tax cuts to the rich — help stimulate the economy.
Stimulating the economy is also about preserving and diversifying our economy here in Hawaii. For example, I voted for a bill that provides tax incentives to the solar energy industry. I met with people working in that industry here in Hawaii, and they told me that if this bill didn’t pass, then they’d have to lay off many of their employees. So I helped pass the bill to help preserve that local “green” industry. (more…)