Every rose has its thorn, said the rock group Poison.  The prickly sticker protruding from the rose of the President’s and Congress’s populist outrage against financial sector spending is pricking Hawaii hard, and they’re feeling the pain.  From the Los Angeles Times, Hawaii, suffering tourism drop, appeals to Obama

Hawaii has suffered one of the worst winters for tourism in recent years and has appealed to the state’s most famous native son — President Obama — to help turn its fortunes around.

Hotel occupancy rates in the winter were the lowest in at least five years, and in February — traditionally the state’s busiest month — the rate dropped to 75%. That was the lowest level since 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, when it fell to 69.7%, according to Smith Travel Research.

Why?

Because of the country’s stubborn recession, Americans have held tight to their travel dollars. But Hawaii’s problems are compounded by an increasingly hostile attitude toward business travel, particularly when major corporations are laying off hundreds of workers and accepting government bailouts.

Since the first of the year over 1100 meetings and business trips have been cancelled, resulting in losses of nearly $60 billion in revenue and nearly 700 jobs.

What’s the President’s part in this?

Asked about corporate spending and the federal bailout, the president said: “You can’t get corporate jets, you can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.”

Later, the White House tried to clarify the statement, saying the president encouraged travel, except for companies accepting government bailout money.

Apparently a lot of companies aren’t buying the clarification:

Marcia Wienert, the governor’s tourism liaison, said Hawaii’s tourism industry has been hurt by companies that have not accepted government money but canceled trips for fear of a negative perception.

“Those are the residual effects that were unintended but are having huge impacts on our economy,” she said.

Guess they don’t want any pitchforks aimed at them.  Looking ahead to the results and consequences of their actions appears to be above Washington’s pay grade, and a lot of innocent people are suffering as a result.  Nice going, native son.

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