Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Hawaii Budget “Fix” by grassroothawaii
February 22, 2011, 4:06 pm
Filed under: Economy, Limited Government | Tags: , ,

by Frances Nuar

Gov. Abercrombie proposed his new budget yesterday, complete with “$11.4 billion in spending for fiscal year 2012, a $490.8 million increase from the governor’s initial budget submittal in December, and $11.3 billion in spending in fiscal year 2013, a $237.8 million increase from December. The spending plan is 5 percent higher in fiscal year 2012 and 2 percent more in fiscal year 2013.”

Do your eyes just gloss right over those numbers? Eleven billion dollars. $11B. That’s a whole lot of money, and sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on just what those numbers mean. But let’s break it down a little bit and talk about how the Abercrombie administration plans on obtaining those monies. First off, the Governor is planning on raising spending, (even while blaming the previous administration for all his budgetary woes.)

The whole budget is based on what-ifs: the budget will “work” if lawmakers raise/establish taxes on:

  • pension incomes
  • alcohol tax
  • soda tax
  • time-share properties

Lawmakers also must repeal a state income tax deduction. Yet even if lawmakers vote for all these things, the budget is also dependent on:

  • reducing welfare and Medicaid services
  • eliminating state Medicare Part B reimbursements for retired public workers
  • and–here is my favorite–they must achieve a 5% labor savings in contract talks with public-sector unions. Has anyone seen what happens when the government tries to cut back union benefits? (Take a look at Wisconsin for some answers.)

Kudos to the Governor for not proposing a raise of the GET tax–which he described as a “regressive” tax–as promised throughout his campaign. So true, but these other taxes aren’t helping our economy either, and raising spending in this economy truly is fiction. No ifs about it.


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