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Thursday, October 6, 2016
CATO: Excessive Spending Earns Ige an ‘F’
By News Release @ 3:31 AM :: 4231 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Hawaii Statistics

Governor Ige Scores an "F" in National Fiscal Policy Report Card

Excessive spending cited as biggest factor in low grade

From Grassroot Institute

HONOLULU, HAWAII -- (Oct. 5, 2016) -- Despite improvement in other areas, increased general fund spending under Governor Ige was enough to net Hawaii's governor a grade of "F" in a national Fiscal Policy Report Card. Issued by the Cato Institute, the report graded the governor of every state based on state budget records. Governors who cut taxes and decreased state spending received the highest grades, while those who increased taxes and spending received the lowest.

Governor Ige was given credit for allowing tax hikes enacted under former Governor Abercrombie to expire. However, proposed tax increases and fees offset that positive trend. According to the report, the change most responsible for Ige's failing grade was increased spending. General fund spending rose 7% in 2016 and the Governor proposed a 12% increase in spending for 2017.

"Grassroot Institute has warned Hawaii's leaders about the long-term impact of increased spending--especially when the budget is built on overly optimistic projections," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute. "Though Governor Ige has promised to make our state run more efficiently, the numbers don't echo that resolve."

Dr. Akina continued: "The Governor deserves credit for taking initial steps towards dealing with the state's unfunded liabilities, something that should be considered in evaluating his fiscal policy. But Hawaii citizens deserve more. The Governor should look to raise his grade by abandoning any proposals to increase taxes and cutting--not expanding--state spending."

  *   *   *   *   *

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2016

From CATO Institute, October, 2016 (excerpts)

In the new “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors,” Cato scholar Chris Edwards examines the tax and spending decisions made by U.S. governors since 2014. Governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades. Only five governors were awarded an “A” in this latest report card — Paul LePage of Maine, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida, Doug Ducey of Arizona, and Mike Pence of Indiana.

…Five governors were awarded an “A” on this report: Paul LePage of Maine, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida, Doug Ducey of Arizona, and Mike Pence of Indiana. Ten governors were awarded an “F”: Robert Bentley of Alabama, Peter Shumlin of Vermont, Jerry Brown of California, David Ige of Hawaii, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Kate Brown of Oregon, Jay Inslee of Washington, and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania….

Ige Scores 35 out of 100 – Tied for 6th lowest in USA

Hawaii David Ige (D)

  • 10 of 100 -- Spending Score
  • 7.7 -- Proposed Changes in per Capita Spending (percent)
  • 6.2 -- Actual Changes in per Capita Spending (percent)
  • 47 of 100 -- Revenue Score
  • 0.4 -- Changes in Revenues from Proposed and Enacted Tax Changes (percent)
  • 48 of 100 – Tax Rate Score

Hawaii David Ige, Democrat

Legislature: Democratic

Grade: F

Took Office: January 2015 Before being elected governor, David Ige was a state legislator and also an engineer and manager in the telecommunications industry. Ige defeated incumbent Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary in 2014. Abercrombie had received poor grades on Cato reports, and Ige pointed to his tax hikes as one of the causes of his political demise.  Ige let expire temporary income tax increases put in place by Abercrombie, but he proposed increases in gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees in 2016. However, it was the governor’s excessive spending that pushed down his grade on this report. General fund spending rose 7 percent in 2016, and Ige proposed to increase it 12 percent in 2017.

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