Skip to comments.It's time to cut a newly serious Schwarzenegger some slack
Posted on 01/23/2005 9:01:56 AM PST by SmithL
It's easy to critique Arnold Schwarzenegger's rookie year as California governor, and this space has contained its share of criticisms about errors of action and inaction.
If one were to generalize about those mistakes, it would be that he overpromised the voting public and specific interest groups, especially on fixing the deficit-saturated state budget.
It began on inauguration day 14 months ago, when his first act was to reinstate a very popular, $4 billion per year reduction in car taxes, while insisting that he could still fix the chronic budget gap. And it continued with promises to educators about school financing, and to voters about balancing the budget without deep spending cuts or tax increases.
In June, this column analyzed Schwarzenegger's problem this way:
"Despite his cigar-chomping, tough-guy image and his Terminator-like rhetoric, Schwarzenegger now comes across as someone who values popularity over effectiveness and never heard, or doesn't accept, Harry Truman's sage political advice: 'If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.'
"Perhaps it's just that Hollywood and Sacramento are different cultures. In Hollywood, popularity is everything. If you can't get people to come to your movies, it doesn't matter how good an actor you may be. Conversely, you can be a very untalented actor, but if you can ring up box office receipts, Hollywood loves you. And Schwarzenegger loves to be loved.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
OK by me.
The columnists and state legislators are the ones who aren't serious.
Arnold is very serious.
And that is very good. The people of Kali should be proud of him.
However, I cannot, will not support a constitutional amendment to allow him to run for Prez.
I have noticed quite a few of these type articles and I cannot help but think they are a runup to future proposals to promote an amendment for him.
As someone who generally supports Schwarzenegger (except when he's wrong!), I agree. No need to amend the Constitution.
As a senator, he'd be an improvement over Barbara Boxer. But then again, my appendix would be in improvement over Boxer.
And it was removed in '74!
He'd not be my first choice, nor my second, nor my third, nor my fourth... but since Boxer would be my dead-last choice, he'd come ahead of her.
It was one thing for the Communist/socialist Black Caucus to challange in that way. It's expected. And the left is generally very condescending towards its minority vote (given the nature of the leading leftist spokesmouths for that minority, perhaps it's reasonable, if it weren't otherwise SOP for the leftist, in everything). But for the white and wealthy Boxer to do this, in pandering to the Michael Moore/McGovern wing, which is the bulk of the party, seemed almost a violation of D.C. courtesies - which is apparently the greatest sin, to those who won't otherwise confess the notion of sin. She was boorish, crude, that is, as seen by fellow insider leftists. It may be the thing for which she'll be remembered, even if now, contemporaneously, it's been almost ignored by both the liberal and conservative press.
Remember who is running this State. Not Arnold, but the legislature. All CRATS. Arnold is not a dictator and cannot pass bills alone. It takes the body of the legislature. He has moved slow in order to get some support of the CRATS. It's tough, but thats the Socialist State of California.
Two things are certain. 1) The column was approved by the editorial staff or it wouldn't have been published and 2) the advice wasn't offered to further conservative goals.
My guess is that McClatchy would like to see the Austrian stick around because, at heart, Schwarzenegger is a typical Eurowienie who will capitulate when "our" programs are threatened.
We need to NOT change the law that states natural born citizens can hold the office of President.
As much as I admire Schwarzenegger, we must not compromise.
Arnold is a fine governor, he is making the liberals very nervous, because he is sticking to his no new taxes pledge and is cutting spending.
Let's keep him governor for another term.
I think this whole thing about an amendment to have him run for president is a red herring, trying to turn people, who support Arnold, against him. He would also not be interested to be a Senator. Why would he want to be one of 100. He ran for governor to help California, not because he wanted fame and fortune -- he already had it.
Sorry Kennedys but you will not get back into the White House thru Arno either......
Arnold gave the Dems a chance to come on board, they didn't. So now he is going into his Terminator mode.
Here is Arnold's vision of CA's economy:
My Economic Policy
California needs someone to terminate taxes.
BY ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
Wednesday, September 24, 2003 12:01 a.m. EDT
I have often said that the two people who have most profoundly impacted my thinking on economics are Milton Friedman and Adam Smith. At Christmas I sometimes annoy some of my more liberal Hollywood friends by sending them a gift of Mr. Friedman's classic economic primer, "Free to Choose." What I learned from Messrs. Friedman and Smith is a lesson that every political leader should never forget: that when the heavy fist of government becomes too overbearing and intrusive, it stifles the unlimited wealth creation process of a free people operating under a free enterprise system.
Still drinking the Koolaid and fabricating details FO? So that lurkers here don't fall for your loyalist dreams here are some facts:
1) Since Schwarzenegger took office he has proposed and approved the largest budgets in state's history.
2) Since Schwarzenegger took office he has proposed and supported the highest level of government taxation in state's history.
And ... just so you don't get creative with your next reply:
3) Since Schwarzenegger took office he has proposed and approved the greatest level of taxpayer indebtedness in the state's history.
Newsflash out of the "BOHEMIAN GROVE" eh??? Governator!
never forget that kalifornia is run by democrat trail lawyers and unions.
the gop evaporated.
Arnold promised all things to all people to get elected. No new taxes and no painful cuts to education. He was going to fix everything by identifying and eliminating waste.
You must not be very familiar with Dan Walters, as I would hardly describe him as a "liberal columnist". He is one of the most fair and tough-minded and accurate columnists in the state. The Claremont Institute describes him as having his "his right of center moments tempered by pragmatism." ARN says Dan Walters "is known for generally conservative views and most of all for exposing the maneuvering for political advantage and self-serving dealings of California politicians." And Tom McClintock's biograph quotes Dan Walters as saying that Tom has "consistently been one of the very few legislators who has been right about what California is experiencing."
The SacBee may be a liberal paper, but it employs great non-liberal columnists like Dan Walters and Daniel Weintraub. So stop jumping to false conclusions.
I knew he was serious when I saw his administration float the proposal to reopen private prisons, and he started talking about merit pay for teachers. The teacher's and prison guard's unions are the most powerful and feared in the state, and taking them on is a sign that he's ready for a real fight. He may not be the best on the social issues, but he's starting to look like the kind of fiscal conservative we need. Time, of course, will tell.
I agree. If the Sacramento Bee is saying that Arnold is a terrific governor, watch out. A rabidly liberal paper like this would not be praising Arnold unless the fix was in and they had the full approval of the Democrats in the legislature.
So far, Arnold has been through one budget battle and did absolutely nothing to cut spending. He just took out more gigantic loans.
But he did support a plan to spend $3 billion to chop up babies for stem cells. And now they are putting the drug company profiteers on the state board.
He's a great talker. But watch what he does.
Apparently, a Republican running up the tab and borrowing to fill the gap is preferable to a Democrat doing it.
Like you said,
it's better to light a candle
than to curse the darkness.
State $6.5 Billion More In Red
Published in the Sacramento Bee - March 7, 2004
By conventional analysis, the stunning and overwhelming passage of Propositions 57 and 58 has placed California on the road to fiscal recovery.
The unprecedented $15 billion bond gives the Legislature and the administration the time they need to put the state's finances in order. The stern spending limits in Proposition 58 will give the governor added tools to restrain state spending. The stunning margin of victory greatly enhances the governor's political clout with the Legislature to win tough reforms. As those reforms take effect and the economy responds, state revenues will grow quickly to absorb the $1.5 billion in annual debt repayments that Proposition 57 will require.
On paper anyway, that's how California intends to borrow its way out of debt. But just beneath the surface festivities should lurk a high level of anxiety.
The first assumption is that the bond now gives the governor and the Legislature breathing room to make the tough and unpopular decisions necessary to straighten out their fiscal problems. But experience should warn us that tough and unpopular decisions are only made under intense political pressure produced by urgent necessity. Now that the prospect of impending insolvency has vanished and legislators' pockets are overflowing with an extra $15 billion of borrowed money - is the prospect of significant and painful reform (in an election year, no less) improved or diminished?
The second assumption is that Proposition 58 "tears up the credit cards" to assure the state never borrows to balance its budget again.
A little reminder!
The 13% Solution
As printed in the Wall Street Journal
"Have you ever had to make serious cuts 15 percent or more in your family budget because of an unexpected job-loss or unforeseen expense? Its not pleasant, but it's not impossible. And it's also not permanent. As long as youre willing to face your financial problems squarely, you can be sure that the hard times won't last forever and things will improve.
But if you're not willing to face those problems if you paper over your debt by borrowing and continue to spend as if that debt didnt exist -- those hard times will follow you far into the future.
State government is no different. And as the new administration decides which road it will take, it is important to understand the simple math of the states finances.
Californias current budget deficit is caused by two actions Davis took last year to paper over his mismanagement: he illegally tripled the car tax and he attempted to borrow $12.6 billion unconstitutionally.
Governor Schwarzenegger rescinded the illegal tax increase on his first day in office. Its important to note the word "illegal." Not one of the conditions required to raise the car tax had been met, and it was only a matter of time before the courts ordered the money to be returned to taxpayers with interest. By acting now, he saved California from having a multi-billion dollar hole blown in a future budget by court order.
But repairing this problem requires that local governments be reimbursed for their losses. In addition, the courts have already invalidated $1.9 billion of Davis borrowing plan, further deepening the deficit.
According to the Legislative Analysts Office, these developments mean that the state will end up spending $76.9 billion this year, with only $74.2 billion in revenue.
It gets worse. The courts are also poised to strike down the additional $10.7 billion of borrowing in Davis' last budget. It is not a pleasant financial situation. But it is also not impossible.
If the current rate of state spending were reduced 13.4 percent on January 1st and frozen through Gov. Schwarzenegger's first budget, the state would be back in the black, free and clear of external debt, and able to start the Governor's second year in 2005 with a clean slate.
A 13.4 percent reduction would mean cutting $5.2 billion from this years budget before January 1 and setting next year's budget at $66.6 billion. Thats a big cut and it means giving up billions of dollars of programmed spending increases next year. But it's still 15.2 percent more than California was spending when Gray Davis took office. And after 18 months of austerity, the Governor would be able to plan his second budget with $12 billion of breathing room in 2005 when revenues are projected to reach $78.6 billion.
Like a family that has faced its finances squarely and tightened its belt, California would be solidly back on its feet and looking toward a sunny future.
The alternative is to borrow the difference at heavy rates of interest over the next generation. Like a family that cant bear to change its ways, it would end up dragging its financial difficulties into future years as it struggles to meet its current expenses and pay down a crushing credit card debt as well.
These are the two roads diverging in the budget woods and the choice that is made in coming weeks may well determine whether California has the fresh financial start it deserves, or whether the ghost of Davis' excesses stalks a generation to come."
Playoffs and McC 13% Bump
Spending still continues unabated....still in debt....the state should be bankrupt.