It is budget time at the Hawaii Legislature.

If you know Lewis Carroll, you might recognize this version of “The Walrus and the Carpenter.”

Only this one is called:

“The Chairman And The Analyst”

The Capitol awaited
The Railings all a shine
The staff looked oh so busy now
And this was odd because you see
It wasn’t even nine.

Outside from the agencies
Employees did approach
A request from the Budget Tsars
Hoping they were not toast.

The Chairman and the Analyst
Were walking close at hand,
They laughed like anything to see
The admin budgets plan.

Joint Finance WAM budget meeting Chair Rep Sylvia Luke WAM Chair Sen Donovan Delacruz.
Rep. Sylvia Luke and Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, chairs of the money committees at the Legislature. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“If seven aides with sharpened pens
Made changes for a year,
Do you suppose,” the chairman said
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Analyst,
And shed a bitter tear.

“Oh civil servants, talk with us,”
The Chairman did request
“A pleasant budgetary chat;
No worries, you can rest.
Let’s look at these fine audits
Let’s put you to the test.”

The Deputy just looked at them
But nary a word was said
The bureaucrat just could not lie
And shook with fear and dread
For he had seen so many cry
If they were poorly led.

But Branch Chiefs came and hurried up
With helpful data charts
Their hair was short, their faces washed
Eager to be tested
And this was odd, because you know
Their benefits weren’t vested.

The Chairman and the Analyst
Reviewed the budgets new
And then they sipped some cabernet
And ate some cream puffs too
The bureaucrats who came to meet
They did not have a clue.

“The time has come,” the Chairman said
“To scrutinize your claims.
To look for overpayments
And position vacancies
And why you didn’t spend it all
Now tell us all your names.”

“But wait a bit,” the branch chiefs cried
“Before you cut the fat.
For some of us have really tried
To keep expenses flat.”

“No Worry,” Said the Analyst
They thanked him much for that
“A step increase we might arrange …”
“Its what we chiefly need!”
“Well, on my second thought on this,
We are not fond of greed.”

“Now if you’re ready, servants dear
We can begin to carve.”
“But please not us, we work so hard,
And we don’t want to starve.
We dearly love our agency,
Our friends we cannot lose.”
“Now look out on to Punchbowl
Do you admire the view?”

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Analyst said nothing but
“Shall we now roll the dice?
I wish your agency the best
Shall we cut another slice?”

“It seems a shame,” the Chairman said,
“To play them such a trick.
To summon them unto our turf,
And make them trot so quick!”

“I weep for you,” the Chairman said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Each salary a prize.
Holding the detailed spreadsheets
Before their eager eyes.

“O employees,” said the chair
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Your sick leave and retirement!
Now let me add that sum.”
But the spreadsheet was now empty for
They’d erased every one.

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