by Frances Nuar 

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii welcomed Governor Abercrombie’s candid reflections on our state’s fiscal crisis in the State of the State address. Just today, the Institute for Truth in Accounting reported our state faces an additional $11.9 billion in debt, translating to $18.2 billion in state obligations for which we lack funding. We are pleased that Governor Abercrombie is addressing the issue head on.

Grassroot Institute agrees with the Governor’s call to end state-funded reimbursement for federal Medicare Part B for state employees, a benefit private employees do not enjoy and which Hawaii taxpayers can no longer afford.

Grassroot Institute also supports the Governor’s plan to reallocate resources to where they are most needed. However, we believe that place to be in the hands of Hawaii’s people, the individuals and businesses who worked hard to earn those resources.

We are disappointed that despite Governor Abercrombie’s campaign plan to not raise taxes, he is proposing several tax increases, including a tax on pension income earned by retired workers.

Governor Abercrombie referred to Hawaii as an “under-resourced and often dysfunctional democracy”. In the coming days the Grassroot Institute will release a report we call “The Real State of the State” detailing how the state government is far from under-resourced and extremely inefficient in its use of those resources.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is an independent, non-partisan think tank based in Honolulu. The Institute’s mission is to achieve a freer and more prosperous Hawaii through the principles of free markets, individual liberty and limited, more accountable government.

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