The new state budget is NOT "fiscally conservative"
Recently, our Democrat dominated state legislature just unanimously adopted what most are calling, a "fiscally conservative" budget.
If anyone tells you that the Democrats' new budget was fiscally conservative, you're probably talking to a Democrat.
Here's HIRA's brief new video explaining what's wrong with the new state budget:
With this new budget, do you really think you'll be getting your money's worth from our overpriced, failing state government? Of course not.
With this new budget, do you truly believe Democrats care about your family's struggle to maintain a job and residence in an ever unstable economy with artificially high prices? Not a chance . . .
. . . and here is why:
The Hawaii Republican Assembly completely disagrees with the deliberately misleading "fiscally conservative" assessment of the recently adopted biennial state budget.
Here are a select set of tenets that define fiscal conservatism in red, followed by how the state budget contradicts the tenet in blue:
Reduction of overall government spending:
The last biennial state budget for Hawaii was $21.9 billion. The budget that passed this legislative session calls for $23.8 billion; an increase of almost $2 billion. So much for reduction of spending.
According to the Sunshine Review, Hawaii's last state budget had a total state debt of approximately $39,954,412,000 when calculated by adding the total of outstanding official debt, pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities, Unemployment Trust Fund loans, and the FY2013 budget gap. Hawaii's total state debt per capita is $29,061.77, the highest in the nation. And this newly-adopted budget is doing very little about it. This year's budget plans to divert over $200 million over the next two years to pay for unfunded, overly generous retirement benefits for government employees; an expensive "fix" which merely addresses only one-half of one percent (.5%) of the nearly $40 billion problem. So much for avoiding debt.
Reduction of the size of government:
This budget grows government; labor accounts for 70%. Budget highlights show an increase of 197 positions across several departments. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hawaii ranks 15th out of the 50 states with 539 state and locals employees per 10,000 people. This is egregious given the fact that Hawaii is one of the least populated states ranking 42nd out of 50. So much for reducing the size of government.
The tax increases enacted by the State Legislature during the 2013 session are too numerous to list in this report. See this article in the Hawaii Reporter for a brief summary. And these job-killing 'revenue enhancements' only compound the financial pain to Hawaii residents inflicted by our Federal government through the top 13 tax increases which have already started on January 1st. See HERE.: So much for lower taxes.
Encouraging business growth:
A new Fraser Institute report on economic freedom ranks Hawaii 41st in economic Freedom. The Corporation for Enterprise Development, gave Hawaii the following grades from 2002-2007:
How would you feel if your child brought home grades like these? It's not getting better. So much for encouraging the growth of business.
There isn't one shred of fiscal conservatism in this budget, and we are only barely scratching the surface. Watch your wallet Hawaii; it's time to start thinking about replacing these politicians with ones who care about your bottom line rather than their own. It's time to think about voting for conservative Republicans.