Cal Politic

A weblog dedicated to California politics. A thriving democracy depends on an informed body politic.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Governor Doesn't Walk On Water

Arnie's Budget Slammed By Independent Analyst

Despite his approval ratings hovering near 70% and Capitol Press Corps journalists drooling all over themselves as they wait to write another flattering story about the actor/governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger was taken to school today by nonpartisan super analyst Elizabeth Hill.

The LA Times has the story.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's revised $102.8-billion budget plan fails to take advantage of California's improving economy to cut the state's chronic deficit, according to a report issued Monday by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office.

Instead, the revised budget announced last week creates a persistent budget gap of more than $6 billion into future years, the report says.

So what did Arnold have to say about the nonpartisan analysis that he didn't make any tough decisions and instead is condeming the state to budget deficits as far as the eye can see?

"I'm worried about this year," he said. "People are talking about the out years. This year! This year is where the action is. This year. Then, after we have solved the problem this year, then we go to the next year and we solve the problems next year."

I don't know about you, but that sounds an awful lot like another infamous governor who compared tough policy decisions to a golf game... take it one shot at a time. That governor was ridiculed in the media and recalled soon thereafter. This governor so far is getting a pass.

Anyone with a brain in their heads knows that you can't cut your way out of a budget problem as big as California's. Even Texas Republicans are raising taxes this year.

But our action hero governor, who rode into office on a claim he would change politics as usual, is carrying out one of the oldest plays in the book. He is refusing to raise taxes in an election year.

Arnold's first budget has nothing to do with fixing California's fiscal problems and has everything to do with looking good for the cameras now (while he pushes all problems into the future) so that he can ride into the November election without having to make a tough decision after a full year in office. I'm disgusted, but not surprised.

Why do you think the press corps is letting Arnold get away with this?


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