Robert mentioned Oregon’s sensible budget solutions last week. With 36 states facing budget deficits, we have many examples of what others are doing to face the economic reality of lower revenues, increased need for services, and a lesser borrowing ability than the feds.
Arnold seems intent on blackmailing DC and the people of California. His first plan, which I agree with the ends, but not the means, is to get more cash from the feds. He points the finger at California’s congressional delegation for not bringing back enough pork. He points at Sen. Ben Nelson and the sweet deal he got for Nebraska in the health care bill. Unsuprisingly, this has resulted in a lot of angry Congress members. Oh, and a stream of snippy press releases and a little war of words with Senator Boxer. Boxer accusing him of ignoring the stimulus when calculating the 78 cents on the dollar figure he’s been citing, and Arnold accused her of being “not as effective as Sen. Nelson.” I don’t even know where to go with that one.
Rep. Joe Baca responded to the little attack by pointing out that California’s take-up rate for federal programs is low across the board. And for food stamps? Well, we are dead last. So, perhaps the state could do a better job using the federal resources offered seems to be the response from DC at this point.
And this is the problem with Arnold’s approach to getting more money for the state. Clearly, state governments in general need a lot of help, and California needs an amount commensurate with our population and economy. And, that should be part of a second stimulus which should have happened, oh 2 months ago. But Arnold isn’t really helping things with his confrontational attitude. Rather than working to get powerful DC types, say, like DiFi, on board with the “give California a bunch of money” plan, he’s been on the war path.
And instead of proposing viable solutions, he’s demanding another cuts only budget. Even in our red state neighbor of Arizona, the Republican governor acknowledges that they have to face up to the reality of the economic situation and raise taxes. In her state of the state speech, she called for a sales tax increases, in addition to some rather vile spending cuts, of course. But at any rate, instead of talking about a ridiculous pig and her friend the pony, Gov. Brewer actually tried to present solutions.
But Arnold never was really one for that, was he? Look, I’m not saying there are any perfect solutions out there. There just isn’t. But we can’t get stuck in Arnold’s frame of putting a gun to the head of the people of California in some crazy hostage scenario with DC. It’s a dangerous road to hoe.