Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Meet the hypocrites: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Back in 2003 in the midst of the historic campaign to recall California Governor Gray Davis, candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, much like the on-screen characters he plays, was full of bravado and one-liners regarding the perceived failures of Davis and the changes he (Schwarzenegger) intended to make.

Schwarzenegger blasted Davis on economic issues, blaming him for the stagnating economy (among other things) and the seemingly-annual ritual of the governor and legislature failing to pass a budget before the dawn of the new fiscal year. Indeed, on his campaign web site, Arnold wrote:
After taking a close look at California’s budget, it’s hard to make any sense out of it. California’s budget has become a patchwork of special interest give-aways draining precious resources from core programs such as education, public safety and health care. There are also hundreds of millions of dollars-if not billions-of documented waste, fraud and abuse in state spending. Our first order of business is to get California’s operating deficit-estimated at between $5 and $8 billion-under control.


I will ensure that California government lives within its means-something working families manage to do everyday-and reins in spending to close the operating deficit. I support a constitutional limit on annual spending increases and an unambiguous constitutional requirement that the state pass a balanced budget, so that California never finds itself in this mess again. I will restructure our inherited debt, estimated at between $12 & $20 billion.
Gray Davis was recalled in the October 7, 2003 special election in Calfornia and Schwarzenegger became governor.

Fast forward to 2009, where Governor Schwarzenegger has had nearly six years at the helm of California state government. After years of talking about budgeting like families have to and living within means, Governor Schwarzenegger sits staring at a $26.3 billion shortfall. In addition, there is still no constitutional amendment in California to require a balanced budget. And on top of that, Governor Schwarzenegger has become the first governor since 1992 to issue IOUs instead of payments to vendors, taxpayers (California has a state income tax), college students receiving state financial aid (the state has a higher education financial aid program called the Cal Grant) and local governments providing social services.
California issues IOUs instead of payments for the first time in nearly two decades.

The state currently has a $26.3 billion shortfall. California is ready to issue its first IOUs instead of money since 1992. On top of that, many state workers have been ordered to take an extra furlough day.
It's worth noting that in 1992, when the state last issued IOUs, California's governor was Pete Wilson, a Republican. Yes, Governor Schwarzenegger did not create the economic downturn that has plagued his state and our country, but he has failed to deliver what he promised. For all of the talk of fiscal responsibility, Arnold Schwarzenegger's promised economic reforms are much like the characters he plays in movies: a work of fiction.


OpenID Bubbers said...

The information here is not complete. Gray Davis was recalled because he tried to pass a new tax of $15.00 on each license plate. The new tax was to cover the gift Gray Davis had bestowed on government unions of 100% pay on retirement eligible at age 52. This gift has since been spread to other government unions. Davis was told at the time this retirement program would eventually bankrupt the State.

Arnold tried to take on the government unions and get rid of this ridiculous scheme. As the Democratic California Legislature is on the payroll of the government unions he was not able to cut these benefits.

The City of Vallejo had to go to bankruptcy court to cut these unions benefits. What was the Democratic legislature response? To try and enact a law to prevent cities from declaring bankruptcy to protect their real constituents the government unions.

The time has come to end government unions. They are a cancer that needs to be cut out of the control of government.

July 12, 2009 2:00 PM  
Blogger Ken Camp said...

Actually Gray Davis was recalled as part of a right-wing power grab that installed the biconceptual Schwarzenegger as governor. Conservative Republicans have consistently lost gubernatorial elections in CA, but it didn't stop them from recalling Davis.

July 13, 2009 10:00 AM  

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