Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, November 11, 2021
Survey shows concern about government spending and debt
By Grassroot Institute @ 7:48 PM :: 2719 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Hawaii Statistics, Taxes

Survey shows concern about government spending and debt

The poll of nearly 1,000 Hawaii residents also found significant agreement that private firms should be more involved in delivering public services

News Release from Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, November 10, 2021

HONOLULU, Nov. 10, 2021 >> High levels of state and county government spending and debt are not popular in Hawaii, according to a recent survey of nearly 1,000 Hawaii residents statewide.

The survey was conducted Aug. 16 to Sept. 7 for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii by Anthology, one of Hawaii’s leading market research firms. Its margin of error for the sample size of n=933 is 3.21 percentage points, with a 95% confidence level.

ON THE ISSUE of government spending, 70% of the respondents agreed (33% “strongly” and 37% “somewhat”) with the statement that “Hawaii’s state and county governments spend too much overall,” and 68% agreed (30% “strongly” and 38% “somewhat”) that “High levels of government spending hurt Hawaii’s economy.”

The poll also showed a strong sentiment in favor of relying more on the private sector to help deliver public services, with 74% of respondents agreeing (22% “strongly” and 52% “somewhat”) that “Local governments could save money if they contracted the private sector to deliver some public services.”

Regarding government debt, 77% agreed (32% “strongly” and 45% “somewhat”) that “Hawaii’s state and county governments have too much debt“; 63% agreed (13% “strongly” and 50% “somewhat”) that “Taking on debt is a way for politicians to avoid raising taxes in the short term; and 56% disagreed (16% “strongly” and 40% “somewhat”) that “Government debt is a good thing because it enables spending to benefit the community.”


THE SURVEY showed significant support for spending and debt under certain conditions.

For example, 83% of the respondents agreed (30% “strongly” and 53% “somewhat”) that “Spending on public infrastructure helps lay the foundation for a healthy economy.”

Similarly, 65% agreed both that “Government spending strengthens public services” (16% “strongly” and 49% “somewhat”) and that “Government spending is a good way to stimulate economic growth” (15% “strongly” and 50% somewhat”).

On the issue of debt, 53% agreed (12% “strongly” and 41% somewhat”) that “Debt is a good way to keep the government functioning during temporary revenue shortfalls.”

The takeaway

Keli’i Akina, president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, said, “The good news from the survey is that most Hawaii residents are concerned about government overspending and excessive debt.

“I am also pleased,” he said, “to see so many people in favor relying more on the private sector to deliver public services, which could help bring down costs and improve efficiency.”

Akina acknowledged that Hawaii residents seem to be forgiving when it comes to spending on infrastructure or dealing with a crisis.

“These results help explain why it has been so difficult to bring government spending and debt under control,” he said. “But that should not be taken as a license by our lawmakers to continue exceeding the state’s constitutional spending limit and driving up our unfunded liabilities to dangerous levels.”

Akina urged Hawaii policymakers to keep their spending low and their debts even lower.

“That way,” he said, “Hawaii residents can keep more money in their pockets to spend as they see fit, whether to invest in new businesses, take care of their families, spend in the local economy or donate to deserving community charities. The key is to not push today’s spending bills off onto future generations and risk financial ruin in the process.”

The respondents

For more information about the demographics of those who responded to the statements about government spending, go here; for the statements about government debt, here.

Previous survey results

As previously reported by the institute, this same survey found:

>> Most Hawaii residents who have heard of the federal maritime law known as the Jones Act are in favor of scrapping or reforming it. For more information about those results, go here.

>> 87% of Hawaii residents favor opening up more land for housing. See details of those results here.

>> 63% of Hawaii residents volunteered that “COVID/vaccination issues” are among their one or two most pressing community concerns. See here.

>> Most people in Hawaii think they are paying too much in taxes and would like to see them lowered. See here.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


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


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

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 Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii