Sunday, February 25, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Hawaii Still a Debt "Sinkhole State"
By Grassroot Institute @ 1:35 PM :: 5215 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Taxes

Hawaii Still a Debt "Sinkhole State"

Hawaii remains among the worst 5 states for taxpayer burden of debt and continues to use overly optimistic accounting

News Release from Grassroot Institute

HONOLULU, Hawaii—August 19, 2014—Even Governor Abercrombie’s optimistic accounting couldn’t move Hawaii out of its “sinkhole” status. Truth in Accounting has released its annual “State of the States” report, a financial analysis of all 50 states that focuses on the key assets and liabilities of each state to determine the extent of that state’s “Taxpayer Burden” (the amount each taxpayer would have to pay to cover the state’s debt). Of the 41 states with Taxpayer Burdens—which are generally due to unfunded health and pension liabilities—Hawaii falls into the worst five in the nation. These “Sinkhole States,” which include Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, and Connecticut, have the highest debt per taxpayer in the country.

Hawaii has actually improved its position slightly in this year’s report, though it was not enough to move it out of the bottom five. The calculated 2013 Taxpayer Burden of $27,000 is a decrease of $14,300 since 2012 report. The change is due to the initial meassures to pay down Hawaii’s unfunded liabilities.

However, as the Truth in Accounting report explains, citizens should be wary of the decrease, as it is partially the result of an accounting trick. By “pre-funding” $100 million of retirement health debt, the state was able to assume a higher rate of return, decreasing the size of debt from approximately $16 billion to $11.8 billion. For a state that is overwhelmed with debt, this illusory half-measure may create the false impression that Hawaii is taking steps to ensure fiscal responsibility when that is not the case.

“Hawaii citizens deserve a better explanation of the sudden and dramatic decreases in retirement health debt than ‘the actuaries calculated it,’ stated Donna Rook, President of StateDataLab.org. “Taxpayers still will have to pay the real debt when it comes due, in spite of different ways to estimate its potential value.”

“The hard truth is that this is not a problem that can be solved painlessly,” stated Keli’I Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “Our state’s unfunded liabilities represent years of promising more than we can afford, and no amount of fiscal sleight of hand can make it disappear. It is time for our leaders and decision makers to embrace fiscal responsibility and advocate for policies that will make a real difference in reducing the state’s debt.”

###

About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region.  Read more about us at http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/

Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GrassrootInstitute

Donate to help us grow: http://tinyurl.com/GrassrootDonate

Tweet us at http://twitter.com/grassroothawaii

About Grassroot President Keli'i Akina

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.,  is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii.  Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government.  An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University.  Dr. Akina is currently a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT