Schwarzenegger’s Talk Was Cheap

This post originally appeared at Speak Out California

Governor Schwarzenegger has talked about the need to act responsibly and pass a budget.
So the legislature is trying to do just that.  According to the Sacramento Bee,

“… the Legislature’s joint budget conference committee, on a party-line vote, adopted a plan that included about $2 billion in new oil production and cigarette taxes to help bridge a $24 billion budget gap.”

So what is the Governor’s response to a balanced approach to fixing the budget?

“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he wouldn’t sign a plan that was balanced with tax increases.”

He will shut down the state, close the schools, lay off thousands of workers, because the legislature balances the cuts with small tax increases on tobacco and oil companies.

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California – The State Of The State Is Ungovernable

This post originally appeared at Speak Out California
“People are asking if California is governable.” Governor Schwarzenegger said in the State of the State address today that California faces insolvency within weeks. He said there is more gridlock in Sacramento than on our roads, if that is possible.
The governor gave a very short speech, saying there is no sense talking about education or infrastructure or water or anything else as long as we have this huge $42 billion deficit.
But the fact remains that the state’s requirement that 2/3 budget-approval requirement means that the state is, in effect, ungovernable. A few anti-government extremists are able to continue to block the budget, refusing to compromise or even negotiate, demanding that the state lay off tens of thousands of workers, slash medical help for the elderly, slash police protection and firefighting capability, slash funding for courts, raise class sizes to 40 or 50 students, stop repairing roads and levees and everything else the state government does.
David Greenwald writes at California Progress Report wrote, in State of the People is Grim: More Budget Cuts Are Exactly the Wrong Prescription,

“Budget cuts totaling $16 billion over the last three years have already had severe consequences for the people of California. And the Governor’s proposed 09-10 budget would further harm California families and our economy with an additional $17 billion in cuts to schools, health care, homecare, and state services.”

Leading up to the speech, David Dayen at Calitics wrote, in The State Of The State Is, Well, You Know, “Typically he has done this speech to coincide with the evening news. This year he’s trying to hide it.”
We at Speak Out California want to invite readers to come up with some solutions for the budget mess. We are working on some ideas for a prize for the best ideas.
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Governor Schwarzenegger v.s. “Republican Right-Wing Talk”

This post originally appeared at Speak Out California
Not content with blocking the budget, the right is going after the Republican Governor for trying to govern. See Schwarzenegger engages in talk-show tussle,

Schwarzenegger tried to defend new taxes as necessary because the state was still paying off debts incurred by predecessor Gov. Gray Davis. But the hosts pressed further and suggested that Schwarzenegger abandoned his original mission of fixing the state’s fiscal situation in order to pursue environmental goals.
That seemed to upset the governor, who maintained that his environmental policies had nothing to do with the state budget.
“This is absolutely absurd what you’re saying right now,” Schwarzenegger said. “….You’re living in the Stone Age if you think that the environmental issue has anything to do with the budget or the declining economy worldwide.”
“Don’t lie to the people,” Schwarzenegger added. “That’s all I can tell you, don’t lie to the people. Don’t pull wool over their eyes. It’s nonsense Republican right-wing talk.”
That prompted the “anesthesia” joke. Schwarzenegger underwent anesthesia Saturday when he had arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee.

In fact the state is paying off debts incurred by Governor Schwarzenegger, but at least he is trying to move the far-right Republicans off of their “no taxes under any circumstances” ideology. The Governor is trying to govern and should get credit for that, even if it is governing from the right. The far-right that is the rest of the state’s Republican Party apparently doesn’t want government at all, especially not government-by-the-people. There are lots of people. They want a one-dollar-one-vote approach favored by corporations and the rich who have lots of dollars.
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