William Baldwin’s eleven-count list in “Do You Live in a Death Spiral State?” is FLAWED MATHEMATICS for State of Hawaii.
As you noted; “For another thing, the “takers” list includes pensioners”. Mr. William Baldwin neglects the fact that if the state has advantageous tax laws for retirees it will attract more retirees from out of state and how many pensioners do you think Hawaii has when the state offers the following: State of Hawaii Retirement Income Taxes: Social Security, first tier Railroad Retirement benefits, military, federal, state, municipal, and some private pensions are exempt. All out-of-state government pensions are exempt. Also, employer-funded pension plans are exempt. Distributions from private employer pension plans received upon retirement are partially taxed by the state if the employee contributed to the pension plan. I’m one who moved from Rhode Island and there is a count of over 600 Rhode Islanders who also moved to Hawaii.
The City and County of Honolulu because of recession has increased my real property annual tax bill from $100 per year to $300 per year and there is NO property tax on cars, trucks motorcycles and boats in Hawaii and sales tax is 4% except in County of Honolulu where a 0.05% surcharge was added to pay for $5.5 billion high speed 20 mile light rail transit system (0.05% surcharge will be eliminated in 2025).
If you live below 3,000 ft. level there are NO heating bills and NO fall, winter or spring clothing wardrobes required only summer clothing because median 365 daily temperature is 78 F degrees and winter nighttime low is 60 F degrees.
Also October unemployment numbers for Hawaii state-wide is 5.5% and normal average is 2% to 3% plus City and County of Honolulu where 80% of states 1.3 million live and work is pegged at 5% unemployment meaning the state is just about returning back to normalcy.
November 13, 2012 The State of Hawaii's “AA/AA/Aa2” credit rating was reaffirmed by three major credit agencies, according an announcement by the Governor and was published in the newspapers.
State of Hawaii fiscal budget is balanced for two years as required by Hawaii constitutional law and State of Hawaii is under a long term Hawaii Supreme court order to replenish the underfunded state pension liability caused by state government not paying its obligated fair share into the pension system. The Hawaii State Pension System has regained all lost funds back to pre recession 2007 levels.
The State of Hawaii has completed a required state-wide sustainability study out to year 2050 with NO fiscal budget problems.
State of Hawaii is ranked 2nd behind New Jersey in the nation by 0.01% for having the most millionaires per capita that can reach into pocket and hand you $1 million in disposable cash. However this study was completed before billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison purchased 98% of 100 sq. mi. Island of Lanai for an undisclosed sum fellow billionaire David Murdock.
State of Hawaii has regained the title back from California for the most expensive housing in the United States with median single family house now at $645,000 and median condominium at $303,000.
Tourists are on track to pump into the Hawaiian state economy over $14 billion by December 2012 surpassing high bench mark of 2007 $12.7 billion in tourist spending.
State of Hawaii is NOT “a Death Spiral State” as asserted by Mr. William Baldwin’s FLAWED MATHEMATICS and incompetence of not knowing the state’s actual economy.