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Lingle statement on $26B federal bailout bill

MEDIA RELEASE

Gov. Linda Lingle issued the following statement on the passage of the $26 billion federal bailout bill:

“While the Democrats in Congress contend this latest federal bailout will not increase the national deficit, it also does nothing to reverse it or to reduce the level of government spending in Washington or at the state-level.

“What’s even more troubling is in order to pay for this latest $26 billion bailout of states, the Democrat-controlled Congress cut almost $12 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps), at a time when a record number of Americans – including almost 141,300 Hawai‘i residents – depend on this assistance to subsidize their food purchases.

“In addition, Congress rescinded $2.2 billion in unobligated highway funds, including an estimated $10 million that would have been used for Hawai‘i highway projects.

“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. Once the money is spent, states still need to figure out how to balance their budgets without federal stimulus funds.”

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