HOOSER: Time to cut a deal; lessons from L’Amour

Louis L’Amour’s novel “Sitka” should be required reading by all who serve in elective office.

“He knew how to line up the votes, knew what the states and territories needed, and he knew that statecraft consists of a reconciling of viewpoints, and to be a superior statesman one must also be a superior politician. It was not enough to have vision, to have a program. It was not enough to be strong, sincere, honest. In a democracy, one also needed votes, and to put over a program one must find a way to win the votes of those with less vision and possibly even less loyalty to country.” (“Sitka,” page 320)

President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan is a once-in-a-generation proposal that if passed has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of working people, retirees and families across the country, all paid for by rolling back the Trump tax cuts and increases on those earning over $400,000.

While U.S. Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawai‘i) is also maneuvering to delay passage and reduce the benefits being offered, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and U.S. Sen. Kristen Sinema (D-AZ) are the two biggest problems standing in the way of passing this historical legislation.

Politics 101: Find out what they want and give it to them. It’s time to cut a deal with Manchin and Sinema.

To those who say “no, we give them nothing” — relax, take a breath, and look at the bigger picture. Know also that karma has a way of taking care of things like this.

They want to win. So let them win. Just make sure we win too. The real winner will be people and the planet.

Use the fuzzy math government accountants and legislators are famous for. Reduce the number without really reducing the number. Drop it from $3.5 trillion to $2.9 trillion by reducing the term from 10 years to nine; delay or phase-in implementation. Bottom line is make the “top line” appear to drop below $3 trillion without actually reducing programs or benefits. Whatever, just maintain the benefits and reduce the big number slightly so the two senators can save face and look cool.

Then, allow them to look really cool and powerful by throwing some big-dog stuff to Arizona and West Virginia. Give them a freeway, an airport, a rail system, or maybe a football stadium. Name an aircraft carrier, battleship or destroyer for them.

And do it quickly. The longer it takes to cut the deal the less likely the deal will be cut. There are too many things on edge right now: health, labor, business, social and environmental. It’s as if multiple volcanos are ready to explode.

We need to close this deal now.

If the two Senate Democrats don’t want to play ball, then find two Senate Republicans who are hungry for fame and the history books. Cut a deal with them.

Seven Republican senators voted to convict and impeach Trump. There must be at least two of them who would love to have an aircraft carrier or nuclear submarine named for them, be known forever for their bi-partisan acumen, and bring home the largest slab of bacon ever to their state.

It’s time for President Joe Biden to play hardball. Each of these senators, Democrats and Republicans alike, just wanna win. They wanna look good back home, be in the history books, and get some big piece of floating metal named for them.

I say give it to them. Let them win, and at the same time give a hugely big win to the American people as well. But do it now, before something blows up, both literally and figuratively.


Gary Hooser is the former vice-chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and served eight years in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Council, and was the former director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. He serves in a volunteer capacity as board president of the Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action and is executive director of the Pono Hawai‘i Initiative.

  1. Sam G October 20, 2021 6:09 am Reply

    Gary is right about our leaders, in both parties, putting personal self interests above the greater public good. If you are smart you’ll prepare for ‘the fall.’

  2. Ken Conklin October 20, 2021 6:11 am Reply

    Hooser makes clear the cynical attitude that causes big government to get bigger. Politicians say to each other: “I’ll vote for your project if you vote for mine.” Thus all projects get funded, including unnecessary boondoggles, and all politicians get glory for “bringing home the bacon”; and the taxpayers get gouged. It’s often like Christmas: I’ll give you gifts, because I know you’ll give me gifts because you know I’ll give you gifts … Everybody must give gifts to everybody else even though many of the recipients end up with stuff they didn’t want or need, and the credit card bills keep building up to pay for those gifts. When government gets bigger, we each get smaller. Hooser has always been a big-spending hoser of us, the ordinary people who don’t need or want what his leftwing buddies are forcing upon us.

  3. Patty October 20, 2021 7:26 am Reply


  4. Nah, October 20, 2021 7:33 am Reply

    This build back better bill most certainly will affect everyone and everything is our country and future generations. I see you don’t quite understand economics and the disaster this would be. Makes me happy you’re not on a county or state rep. You will
    Not ever have my support for office.

  5. YuCalJoe October 20, 2021 7:57 am Reply

    Oh, right! President Biden has everything messed up. Supply chain where there’s not enough goods and food, a border that is out of control that also includes secret late at night flights of illegals into American cities, inflation at a rate that is setting records, and let’s not forget Afghanistan. Add vaccine mandates, attacks on school parents, and so much more. And where’s has the laughing hyena VP been? Oh, that’s right! She took a private car and private jet to the climate change summit. And you want us to accept his plan after we’ve seen what he has already done? Only the insane and socialists would support such a plan. But China and Russia love it!!!

  6. Dt October 20, 2021 8:19 am Reply

    Good grief. The stuff said here, shouldn’t even be written or verbally spoken. Lest even published to an audience.

    The idea that let’s blow money, and get approval through greasing palms by playing into personal egos. Some playbook.

    How about an adult conversation regarding fiscal responsibility?

  7. KauaiFarmMan October 20, 2021 8:31 am Reply

    Biden’s plan will only put America in debt we will never recover from. Biden has tanked our economy. Gas prices are through the roof, store shelves are empty across America, containers are stuck at sea outside ports, Taliban has a brand new military with all American gear, our Southern border is wide open and Biden can barely finish a coherent thought. To think any plan from a senile puppet will help is laughable. The Democrats are leading us down a path of perpetual poverty. He will go down as the worst president in history. The Democrats are intentionally destroying our nation.

  8. Barry Dittler October 20, 2021 12:55 pm Reply

    I sent in a letter to the editor about this bill, with some findings, but it has yet to be published(if at all). The 45 billion for “free community college” shifts 20% of the cost to the states, so we pay with our taxes. Plus, illegals are eligible, and with no income limit, millionaire’s send their kids to college on our tax dollar. The “free pre school” shifts 40% of the cost to the states, so our tax money. The government sets the laws and makes the Hawaiian (and other state’s) taxpayer’s pay for it. 150 Million to a DC college for the deaf that charges $ 17,000 a year for tuition and has 100’s of millions in endowment. The list goes on and on, and yes, I down loaded the entire bill and am going through it. 10 million for D.C. for electric vehicles, but no on else. 2.5 Billion for salary increases for “Head Start Staff” .Ed Case and Joe Manchin are right to oppose this, as the state taxpayers are getting the short end of the stick in the end. This bill is more give away’s to special interests than anything to help the American people. As I read more, I will keep reporting. It is available for download if you want to read it yourself.

    1. therealhawaiian October 21, 2021 9:12 am Reply

      Thank you Barry for your research! It helps a lot of people!

    2. Guy October 21, 2021 12:13 pm Reply

      Place a percentage of the tax burden on the state instead of solely the Fed keeps Hawaii from paying for all of Arkansas tuition. Makes sense to me. It’s tax one way or the other, some of it is sure to be localized this way.

      The Fed manages DC, not sure why you think anywhere else can’t do that on their own.

      What’s wrong with paying Head Start Staff? Break down that number and tell us who is getting rich from that one item. Or is it just a lot of employees and marginal increases per capita?

      It looks like you’re just trying to find angles that make things look bad, when really they are quite normal.

      1. Barry Dittler October 22, 2021 11:13 am Reply


        All I am doing is reporting the facts that are outlined in the bill, the things they are not telling you, but simply glossing over with the supposed “free stuff”. Feel free to go to the government site and download it an read it yourself. This was just in the first few hundred pages. If you are ok with the Feds making mandates and then forcing the states to raise YOUR taxes to pay for it, fine. I am not. If this is in only a few hundred pages, how much more state tax burden do you think we will see ?

  9. Wil Welsh October 20, 2021 1:44 pm Reply

    As usual, Gary, you’ll get a lot of hate-mail and people spouting ugliness which is neither informative nor productive. That’s for persisting in spite of all. Nobody’s always right, of course, but I like the thinking behind this piece in how accurately it reflects how politics have to be conducted to get things done. it takes compromise and finesse and tact. It also takes caring about people and being willing to take the thumps to get something done. That seems to be harder and harder these days! Best to you and your family.

  10. The Big Kahuna October 20, 2021 6:10 pm Reply

    Wow Gary,

    Your understanding on how polititcs really works is insighrful, but that is were your efforts to persuade fall off the cliff. Take any subject pre election and discuss one good action that has taken place.

    I have been a independant my entire life and have never seen such disgrace fall upon our country in my 60 years in just 9 months. Biden is a moron and even CNN knows its.

    Have you seen Tulsi speak her opinions about what is going on in our country lately. She is a real patriot and refuses to be a follower and leads with real solutions.

    1. Loladog October 21, 2021 5:48 pm Reply

      Big Kahuna,

      Were you meaning or thinking of where? Or is there no difference between the two for you? Are you proud to be a independent, rather than an independent? I guess that you “knows its” as well. Usually questions end in question marks, don’t they?

      Just asking…

  11. Erik October 20, 2021 8:43 pm Reply


  12. Pete October 21, 2021 11:44 pm Reply

    While Gary relies on a western pocketbook story, here’s some facts.

    As you can see by the comments above, the government needs all the people, including the children as upcoming taxpayers, to be edwilling to do what the government want us to do. Otherwise what sinister motive could there be to actually mandate all citizens be vaccinated, when more than 98% of the people naturally infected by Covid and or Delta viruses have zero to only mild symptoms and become naturally both Immune to these vituses viruses, but also non-contagious within approximately 2 weeks after infection, the time for our bodies to complete the immune process.

    The vaccine is an admitted gene therapy, and it is untested and experimental. Could this be another gene modification experiment set to alter people’s behavior, such as so that people will obey, regardless how unreasonable the government requirements are, such as masking that even visibly won’t stop exhalation of cigarette smoke or exhalation or inhalation of viruses. Find a smoker and watch the smoke and virus and bacteria do the same.

    As in also, no matter how unreasonable tax increases are and will be, people will pay the demanded taxes regardless of how much they are unreasonable and how suspiciously the taxes will be used to pay for corrupt purposes of Cronyism.

    Bottom line the vaccine is said to be a human gene treatment that appears to quite possibly will cause you to OBEY, including taking more gene treatment vaccines and boosters, while having no knowledge of the vaccine ingredients and what they will do to your body and mind over time.

    As well, the majority of people have already taken the vaccine even though all the alleged, but fake vaccines, have no ingredients that attack the covid virus or delta mutated variant, nor do they confirm immunity. Essentially they are worthless to the task. Yet the Pharma Cartels, have their medical dealers injecting the naive public with rapid fire, in the hundreds of millions, if not billions worldwide.

    Thus these “breakthroughs” where the so called vaccine allowed covid/delta infection to infect the body was to be expected since these non vaccines continue with ZERO INGREDIENTS that would eliminate both Covid and Delta virus, nor do they have anything capable to do with producing immunity against covid/delta. The “vaccines” are not vaccines, they admittedly are experimental gene therapies the final outcome of which are yet to be revealed.

    Only the human (and other vertebrates) have a capable immune system wherein only the immune system’s plasma cells can produce 10,000 specific bio-identical (like a key to a lock) antibodies specific to eliminating specific virus infecting the body.

    Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Astrazeneca laboratories, and all the rest of the labs worldwide, cannot make the necessary specific antibodies that can eliminate infecting virus.

    That antibody / virus interaction and it’s by-product of immunity and no spreading of the virus is a unique process of the human and other vertebrate. It is performed by the Innate / Inborn Intelligence relying on the human nervous system to organize this immune function as it interacts with the whole human organism.

    The vaccines, besides the chimpanzee virus in the Astrazeneca vaccine, have no virus in them, and therefore the vaccines are legally and scientifically not vaccines, they are purposefully made to alter your genes by way of chemical therapy.

    After the vaccine therapy you may be more prone to obey, that which otherwise you would not agree with, thus you would do what the government says you must, which is clearly spelled out in some of the well thought out comments above.

    I wonder if the commenters opposed to Mr. Hooser’s suggestions of build back betterare not vaccinated, and Hooser is?

    It seems Gary is into obeying no matter how far fetched the taxable idea is. Vaccinations work, you will obey, he does and so do others.

    Don’t vax, make up your own mind, many are making up their own minds and commenting on this Hooser article.

    Will gene therapy become a part of future Artificial Intelligence? What next? Only your vaccine booster manufacturer can predict that.

    This vaccine push is more pseudo Scientists Gone Wild.

    Better to follow the Natural Path, go Natural.

    The inborn, innate, Intelligence that organizes, directs, and coordinates all in the human organism, is the same universal Intelligence that organizes, directs, and coordinates the Universe(s).

    Who do you put your confidence in, a large for profit ($Billions) chemical experimental laboratory(s) that are in desperate debt to pay off prior lawsuits for harming other people; or putting confidence in the Intelligence of the Creator that has been overseeing the Universe before the world was even created?

    In other words don’t turn your back on God ! God being the Supreme Intelligence.

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