Monday, December 13, 2010

The Tragedy of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Governorship

LaTi's Michael Hiltzik correctly calls out the Schwarzenegger failure:
The day he took office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commanded popularity enough to persuade California's voters to swallow the harshest fiscal medicine.

The tragedy of his governorship is that he never used it.

The roots of the state's dysfunction were well known in Sacramento in 2003, when Schwarzenegger took office, and still are today...

One might argue that Schwarzenegger's fundamental flaw as governor was his consistent lack of imagination. He didn't seem to see the irony in his coasting into office by attacking Gray Davis for borrowing to close a budget gap, then submitting an alternative budget that closed the deficit with a bond issue...

Schwarzenegger was never exactly Mr. Austerity. On the November 2004 ballot he endorsed two bond issues that added nearly $4 billion to the state's capital debt, not including interest. One was the stem cell bond, which can be spent with virtually no oversight from Sacramento; why would a governor be in favor of that?
Hiltzik seems to think the solution should have been higher taxes, when it should have been spending cuts. But the point remains, the state is in much worse shape now than when The Terminator entered the Governor's mansion.

Bottom line: In real life, as opposed to his reel life, The Terminator completely failed to terminate an out of control government.

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