Skip to comments.A fresh start (Schwarzenegger brings new approach, hope)
Posted on 11/17/2003 12:31:58 PM PST by South40
Arnold Schwarzenegger will take the oath of office today at one of the most trouble-filled moments in California's modern history.
In an unprecedented display of dissatisfaction, the voters have recalled the incumbent governor less than a year into his second term. The Legislature is incapacitated by partisan paralysis. The budget is submerged in red ink. Jobs are fleeing because of the high cost of doing business here, including a bloated workers' compensation system that threatens to bankrupt many small firms. And the state's economy is only beginning to show signs of rebounding from a prolonged slump.
Yet, the actor-turned-officeholder exudes an unyielding optimism that contrasts sharply with the conventional political view. Therein lies Schwarzenegger's strength his unique capacity to articulate a brighter future for California and mobilize public support for an agenda to achieve it.
More than any governor in years, Schwarzenegger has an uncommon chance to carry out wholesale reform in Sacramento. One reason is that the electorate is demanding it. But another is that, unlike any governor since Ronald Reagan, Schwarzenegger has the ability to appeal directly to Californians, to go over the heads of legislators when necessary, and to whack through the partisan thicket that long has stymied progress in Sacramento.
Starting today, Gov. Schwarzenegger must deliver on his own call for "action, action, action, action."
The place to begin is by bridging the destructive chasm that divides Democrats and Republicans, not only in the Legislature but also among statewide constitutional officers. Schwarzenegger already has signaled, through bipartisan appointments to key positions in his administration, that he intends to reach across party lines. Democratic leaders who control the Senate and Assembly have an obligation to meet the new governor half-way, to work with him, not against him, in tackling the enormous problems confronting the state. The extreme political polarization of the last decade must end.
The first challenge to be addressed, of course, is the budget. In the special session Schwarzenegger is expected to call next week, a flurry of critical decisions must be made. The governor is moving toward asking voters next March to approve a bond issue of as much as $20 billion to carry the state through to economic recovery.
As stated in this space when Gray Davis still occupied the governor's office, our preference is to eschew bonding for normal operating expenses. But Democrats who now rail against such huge borrowing should be prepared to propose the very steep cuts in spending that are the only real alternative. Schwarzenegger has rightly made it clear he won't raise taxes except under emergency circumstances and he is entirely correct that tax hikes are the worst possible response to a sluggish economy.
Despite the bleak circumstances that confront Sacramento, Arnold Schwarzenegger's inauguration offers a historic opportunity for a fresh start one which Democrats and Republicans alike must make the most of.
Any idea if those of us who have already paid the tripled car tax will get a refund? I have three personal vehicles. The registration on one was due in Oct. One was due in November, and the third is due next month. I've already paid the first two. $459 to register a Jeep Wrangler? I know liberalism is costly but that's ridiculous.
Not to worry.
Laz had a good week last week, said lunch is on him.
I have no idea. I do know the usual Inaugural Ball with all its extravagance will not take place.
Davis mismanagement was/is costing Californians 30-35 million a day. If the cost of a luncheon is the price to pay for booting his sorry butt it's money well spent.
Here is hoping he has what it takes to do that.
How much did you pay last year? I already paid my first two. One was $68 (down from $76 last year) and the other was $74 (down from $81 last year). The next one isnt due until February. Ive been looking for someone that has paid triple and have yet to find anyone.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs executive order S-1-03 to repeal the California car tax as his first order of business after being sworn in as the state's 38th Governor during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Sacramento November 17, 2003. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
It looks like it must only apply to newer vehicles. 1n 1992 when I brought the car into CA (that I just paid the $74 for), it cost me $680 to register including some sort of tax. It was four months old so I guess CA thought they needed to collect sales tax or something.
I'd be semi-inclined to buy something newer and get rid of some of my junkers, but then maybe not if they think I'm going to pay $300, $400, $500 to register - I've played that game in the past.
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