Posts Tagged ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’
May 7th, 2012 at 7:31 pm
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Progressive Caveman

Meditate on this excerpt from an op-ed by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

“An inclusive party would welcome the party’s most conservative activists right alongside its most liberal activists,” the actor-turned-politician said. “There is room for those whose views, I think, make them sound like cavemen. And there is also room for us in the center, with views the traditionalists probably think make us sound like progressive softies.”

As usual, Schwarzenegger is being too soft on himself.  After promising to “blow up the boxes” in Sacramento and get tough on a legislature full of “girly men,” Schwarzenegger passed seven laughably unbalanced budgets that everyone acknowledged were premised on accounting gimmicks that are illegal in the private sector.  He signed into law AB 32, the global warming regulatory scheme that burdens California’s economy without making a single degree of difference in the global temperature.  He supported a multi-billion dollar bond initiative to fund embryonic stem cell research despite the industry’s pivot toward adult stem cells as an ethically better, more scientifically promising avenue for treatment.

Ignoring the laws of fiscal gravity?  Cursing the sun while your neighbors grow their economies?  Defying science to serve a political ideology?  Who’s the real caveman in all this Mr. Schwarzenegger?

H/T: Catalina Camia at USA Today

January 4th, 2011 at 6:03 pm
HuffPo Hating on Jerry Brown

According to a blogger at the Huffington Post California just inaugurated a “Right-Wing Republican” as governor.  He’s referring to Jerry Brown, aka ‘Governor Moonbeam’ and the man proposing sharp cuts, tax increases, and budget raids to balance the state’s deficit-ridden balance sheet.   In HuffPo world, that combination merits being tarred and feathered as the second coming of another rock-ribbed fiscal conservative, outgoing governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Please.  If Brown’s budget proposal looks suspiciously similar to Schwarzenegger’s it’s because there are precious few options for governors of any party to try.  Sure, nobody thinks they’ll actually solve the problems, but that’s because actually solving California’s budget woes will take some serious undoing of cherished political prizes.

Republicans want to hang onto the 2/3 requirement for passing a budget and maintaining Prop. 13’s cap on property taxes, while Democrats act as though rich (i.e. working) people will pay any price to live within a 100 miles of a beach and subsidize a green welfare state.  Neither party is serious about making investments in the state’s infrastructure (e.g. road, power, and water grids), a precondition for economic and social improvement.

The only way California heals its self-inflicted budget wounds is if it repeals all of the constitutional amendments mandating budget appropriations.   To do that, Republicans will likely have to agree to end Prop. 13’s property cap, a move that would likely increase property taxes.  Though unpalatable to many, removing the cap would return discretion to counties and cities (historically better than Sacramento at balancing budgets) while giving voters an outlet for their displeasure with the next Election Day.

None of this will be easy or popular.  Then again, neither is California politics.

December 2nd, 2010 at 1:54 am
Jerry’s Choice

Jerry Brown, the once-and-future governor of California, has precious little time to shore up his legacy.  Next month, he’ll retake office and be at the center of the nation’s worst state government budget crisis.  Most think he’s in the pocket of the public employee unions who spent millions supporting his campaign.  California’s Victor Davis Hanson posits a different possibility.

If the liberal Brown were to now take on out-of-control public spending, he would be immune to the charges of callousness that destroyed multimillionaire outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and would have likewise smeared Republican billionaire gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman had she won. Perhaps given that California already has the highest sales, income and gas taxes in the nation, Brown could shrug and say that any more tax increases would set off an even greater stampede out of the state.

And at 72, the once overly ambitious Brown — who ran for the presidency three times — can forget about leapfrogging into the White House. The question now is Brown’s final legacy, not his next career move. We know from the implosion of the European Union that unchecked big government inevitably leads to public insolvency. But does it also ensure, Brown might ask, moral bankruptcy?

In a postmodern world of omnipresent cheap consumer goods and all sorts of government-subsidized cradle-to-grave perks, can “small is beautiful” Jerry Brown teach Californians not just that too much stuff is no longer affordable or sustainable, but, at a deeper level, that our out-of-control excesses, appetites and dependencies are no longer good for our souls?

Before he chose politics Jerry Brown spent time in a seminary discerning whether he had a vocation to the priesthood.  If he wants to be remembered as one of the state’s greatest leaders perhaps he would do well to remember that being fiscally responsible isn’t just good politics, it’s also good morals.

July 31st, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Bell, CA City Salary Scandal Could be the Tip of the Iceberg

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling for all city, county and state employee salaries to be posted online for easy access by citizens.  Ordinarily, such a request wouldn’t merit a mention in a governor’s speech, but these aren’t ordinary times.  With California being home to 10 of the 12 highest unemployed metropolitan areas in the country, this is not the era to be paying salaries that total a million dollars in less than a decade to individual public employees.

The fallout from the City of Bell paying its top two city administrators plus the police chief a combined $1.6 million a year led to resignations from all three.  If media and prosecutorial scrutiny grows to include other municipalities, the taxpaying public will have a much better idea whom to blame for a good chunk of the state’s budget deficit: corrupt public officials and public employee unions.

February 3rd, 2010 at 6:20 pm
As Goes California …
Posted by Print

…so go aslyums masquerading as state governments throughout the nation. Despite the fact that the Golden State is staring a $20 billion budget deficit in the face (and facing the prospect of cutting off much of the revenue they’ll need to get out of the hole thanks to a Byzantine global warming law), policy entreprenuership is alive and well in Sacramento. The latest big idea:

California is going to be first state in the nation to monitor cow gas emission. The state plans to install a network of computerized devices to measure methane gas emissions in places where there are lots of dairy ranches and landfills.

Sounds like the state’s bureaucrats are competing with the bovines to see who can produce the most … waste.

January 29th, 2010 at 2:50 pm
Sacramento Needs a Socrates

A good friend of mine is fond of pointing out that majority opinion condemned both Socrates and Jesus to death for speaking truth to power. One wonders if the political equivalent will happen to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreau now that his country has avoided being booted from the European Union for it’s out of control deficits. Part of the deal keeping Greece in the EU fold is Athens’ promise to do “whatever it takes” in order to get the nation’s fiscal house in order. The other part is the knowledge that the EU will not bail Greece out of its problems. For his part, the prime minister gets it:

“Greece is in a situation where we need to take very strong measures and structural changes in our country,” he said. “We’re determined to implement the programme.”

Unfortunately, the current solution is to sell a series of bond measures to finance the debt. This is exactly the same situation facing the State of California. Yearly budget shortfalls should no longer be patched with accounting gimmicks and stimulus money from the feds. Instead, if the state is going to avoid running out of money on April 1st, Sacramento needs to cut spending – NOW. But the only way that’s going to happen is with a sustained, detail-oriented presentation about the need for systemic reform from someone with access to the media. In effect, California needs a public figure willing to get the electorate to sober up on spending and make a priorities list funded with at least 10% less money than the state has taken in since 2007.

True, that won’t be politically expedient for any of the main contenders running to replace Schwarzenegger next year. It may even cost them the election. Then again, no one who’s running needs the job. Republicans Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner have over a billion dollars in wealth between them, and Democrat Jerry Brown wants a third turn at the governor’s mansion. If any of them want to start their tenure off on a realistic foot, they’d be talking about ways to cut, not ways to spend. As Greece shows, at some point the money runs out. Crazy thought: Why not start correcting the problems before they’re too big to fix?  Put another way, anybody willing to be a potential martyr for sake of actually telling people the truth?

January 8th, 2010 at 1:16 am
Schwarzenegger Misses Another Reform Opportunity

You are forgiven if you didn’t hear or read California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “state of the state” address recently. The Governator’s halting speaking style and usual lack of substance typically attracts neither attention nor interest. But one section of his speech bears scrutiny. Buried towards the end he compared the change in state spending on prisons and higher education. Thirty years ago 10 percent of the budget went to colleges and universities while 3 percent went to prisons. Today, “almost 11 percent goes to prisons and only 7.5 percent goes to higher education.”

Okay, so Californians passed the three strikes law and reinstated the death penalty.  Now they are paying the costs of locking up serious criminals for the rest of their lives. But Schwarzenegger didn’t advocate for eliminating the laws that drive up incarceration rates. Instead, he did what almost every California politician does: call for a constitutional amendment. In this case, one that would require the state to spend more money on higher education than prisons. Presumably, this Austrian “economist” would be satisfied so long as higher education gets one dollar more than the prison system.

And yet the truly remarkable thing is that he then advocated for privatizing the prison system. Why; because privately run prisons would save “billions a year.” True, but why not apply the same logic to other side of the ledger and privatize state-funded education? If competition is good in the housing of California’s worst residents, why not in the education of its youngest and brightest? Imagine if instead of proposing yet another arbitrary budget constraint the governor had announced a plan to expand the logic of the higher education Cal-Grant program into a statewide K-12 voucher program. Or maybe he could announce a district wide sale of LAUSD to a charter school outfit like KIPP. After all, if the prison guard unions can be sacrificed for the good of the taxpayer, why not the teachers unions too?

December 15th, 2009 at 1:40 pm
“Arnold the Barbarian”
Posted by Print

barbaric:   (1) Of, relating to, or characteristic of barbarians.   (2) Crude or unrestrained in taste, style, or behavior.

Perhaps California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is simply desperate to retain some element of his fading spotlight as he drifts toward political retirement?  After all, we live in the age of reality TV, in which even self-embarrassment such as White House party-crashing is an acceptable price for publicity.

Sadly, that possibility would be preferable to the possibility that he’s simply lost what remained of his intellectual bearing.

Appearing today on ABC’s Good Morning, America, Schwarzenegger attempted to outdo even the Obama White House on the topic of climate change absurdity.  Even though he has presided over California as it has hemorrhaged jobs and descended to economic basket-case status, partly due to costly state environmental policies, he denied any contradiction between the global warming agenda and economic prosperity, saying, “we in California have proven it over and over that you can protect the economy, and you can protect the environment.  I don’t think you have to choose.  I think it is nonsense talk to say ‘let’s talk first about the economy.'”

Apparently oblivious to the Climategate scandal surrounding the global warming activists at Britain’s University of East Anglia, he went so far as to say that on the issue of global warming, we should “pay more attention to the universities.”  And ignoring California’s catastrophic loss of jobs to surrounding business-friendly states, Schwarzenegger continued, “in California, the biggest job creation is in green technology, we have seen an increase there of over 36%, we have been increasing the amount of jobs in all those different areas.”

Perhaps most preposterously, the man who played Conan the Barbarian had the audacity to label anyone who rightfully questions man-made global warming hysteria as “still living in the Stone Age.”

No, Governor Schwarzenegger, you’re the one who has continuously regressed back to the Stone Age with such profoundly mindless comments as these during your tenure.  What a sad, sad spectacle for a once-promising political newcomer and purported reformer.