Arnold Gathers the Kindling and Gasoline

With just a few months left in his failed tenure as California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is preparing to deliver the coup de grâce to what was once the Golden State. His May Revise, the updated budget document, is due out this Friday, and the governor’s own spokespeople indicate it will be catastrophic:

No specifics are out yet on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s revised plan to balance the state budget. But Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear offered two salient details today: There will be no tax hikes and “absolutely terrible cuts.”

In other words, Arnold plans to burn down what remains of prosperity and hopes for economic recovery in this state, as his “parting gift” to the people of California. The unspecified cuts – likely to hit schools, health care services, and what remains of the safety net – will pull the props out from under the slow recovery the state is experiencing. If we cannot educate our kids, or force already-strained households to pay more for health care costs, or lay off tens of thousands more workers, then that creates a deflationary and recessionary effect on the state at a time when that’s the last thing we need.

Californians want higher taxes to prevent these cuts. And they want the corporations and the wealthy to pay, instead of being told they’ll have to pay more money for their health care, or have their kid put into a classroom with 40 other students because the teachers were laid off.

But because of the 2/3rds rule, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ideological dedication to protecting the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us, he’s going to burn California down. Let’s hope Democrats are willing to stop him.

4 thoughts on “Arnold Gathers the Kindling and Gasoline”

  1. “Let’s hope Democrats are willing to stop him.”  Steinberg opposes increasing taxes on the people who can afford to pay more.  Also, he did not support the Lakoff initiative to eliminate the 2/3rds requirement for increasing revenue and passing the budget.  Instead, Steinberg wants to eliminate the 2/3rds requirement on only the budget, so that the Dems can be blamed for the mess.

    I think we have to just hope that the people that are most hurt by this will wake up and get involved.  And, that they will direct that involvement in a way that will achieve something good, rather than just become anti-government.

  2. I recall that back in 1994 the Republicans led by Newt Gingrich threatened to close down the government if President Clinton didn’t cave in to their demands. He said, in effect, “Go ahead, make my day.” So the Republicans shut down the government for a couple of days and then bowed to public pressure and ended their threat.

    I’d love to see the Speaker Perez and ProTem Steinberg do the same thing if the governor and the Republicans threaten to shut down the state if they don’t get a “cuts-only” budget.

    Let’s see how long the Repubs can stand the pressure from their constituents if we shut down the state.

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