Whether measured in the number of employees or the expenditures of government, the state and city government in Hawaii have grown.
There is no doubt that if the economy is going to continue to grow, it needs to do so at a pace that will be greater than the growth of government during the past 10 or 15 years.
To some degree, lawmakers and administration officials have made it increasingly more difficult to measure the size of government as they moved what were at one time general financed services into special funds attaching fees and user charges as ways to pay for these services. As a result, one cannot compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.
However, when one takes into account the overall spending of both state and county governments in Hawaii, spending has grown much faster than the rate of inflation, which means either more services and workers were added or the services provided got more expensive to provide.
The result is that state and local government in Hawaii has had to reap more and more revenues — better known as taxes and fees — from taxpayers. Even when the state