Honolulu: One of the Worst Deficits in the Nation

article top

Would you believe it that Honolulu has one of the worst deficits in the nation?

We all know about the national deficit. It’s not a pretty picture and with trillions added for bailout, stimulations and heath care, the whole has gotten a lot deeper.


Many states have deficits but Hawaii has balanced budget so state deficit is close to zero. But only at the surface because the state’s retirement system deficit is about to explode.

Least known is the Honolulu city deficit. See list below and read more here:

Hannemann/Caldwell Administration Mismanage the City & County of Honolulu

Honolulu has the fifth highest debt per capita of America’s larger cities (See list below). Note that this debt does not include our inevitable shortfall in rail taxes, the $1.2 billion liability for secondary sewage treatment (the city lost both the suit and the appeal to EPA) or the funds needed for our roads which are some of the worst in the nation and will require billions for restoration (as opposed to the wasteful two inch overlays currently done in a hurry in order to “buy votes”).

Here’s Business Insider’s list of “America’s Most Bankrupt Cities.” Honolulu is 5th worst in the nation.

1. Harrisburg PA Mayor Linda Thompson – per capita debt $1500

2. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing – per capita debt $780

3. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom – per capita debt $600

4. NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg – per capita debt $590

5. Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann – per capita debt $370

6. Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone – per capita debt $300

7. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake – per capita debt $190

8. Chicago Mayor Richard Daily – per capita debt $180

9. Reno Mayor Bob Cashell – per capita debt $180

10. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – per capita debt $180

11. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon – per capita debt $150

12. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman – per capita debt $140

13. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed – per capita debt $120

14. Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim – per capita debt $110

15. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders – per capita debt $20

The debts and obligations are mounting, yet Hannemann and Caldwell appear to be oblivious to reality and are engaged in legacy politicking, self preservation and servitude to the special interests that have bankrolled them.

Isn’t it time for honest, rational and fiscally responsible governance?





  1. Too bad Rix Mauer’s rebuttle didn’t make it to the new format. I thought his article pretty much debunked this “city deficit” stuff as fantasy.

  2. Keith, it’s too bad that your PR is based on “data free analysis”. Rix never responded when I mentioned that City’s bonding went from $1.307 billion in the current budget to $1.444 billion in the proposed budget. I guess the MH administration really knows how to “hide” deficits.

  3. My main point was that, in the new format of Hawaii Reporter, Rix Mauer’s (City Director of Budget and Finance) well considered rebuttal disappeared, but your version of the city “deficit” story got featured and illustrated.

Comments are closed.