Arnold Still Clueless

John Seiler:

In office seven years, Gov. Arnold Schwarzendeficit still doesn’t realize why he couldn’t end the “crazy deficit spending” he pledged his honor to end. This is shown by an interview he conducted with the L.A. Times, which is published today, reviewing his seven disastrous years.

One crucial misstep came in the first few months, he said. Instead of confronting voters with the pain of dealing with the deficit he had inherited, Schwarzenegger shied away, backing a ballot initiative to borrow $15 billion to paper over the accumulated budget problem.

“It was a mistake,” Schwarzenegger said. “I should’ve gone the other direction to early on solve the budget problem and use the political muscle I had in that first year in office.”

He insists that the plan still could have worked. If the national economy had not slipped into recession in 2008, California’s finances — and, by extension, his record — would look far better today, he says.

Still clueless. He was warned repeatedly by then-state Sen. Tom McClintock, Steven Greenhut and me, among others, that he had to prepare for the return of bad times. Any sensible family or business does; so must government. I must have written “the business cycle has not been repealed,” or variations of it, 30 times in the pages of The Orange County Register, where Greenhut and I then were editorial writers.

Moreover, Arnold himself has made a lot of his hundreds of millions investing in real estate. So he had to have known that the real-estate boom of the mid-2000s, which saw home prices jump 15 percent a year for a couple of years, couldn’t possibly last.

Wasn’t he elected because, as a businessman, he promised us that he understood business, and would “run government like a business”?

His spending increases of those years, 14 percent in one year, tracked the increases in housing prices. That’s because the housing sales brought in tremendous increased revenues.

But you don’t have to be a business tycoon to realize that booms turn into busts. Common sense, and any reading of history, shows that.

So a good governor’s first priority is to get the budget in order, to prepare it for a bust. He never did that.

We warned you!

He laments that he was wrong to waste the crucial early months of his regime, when he could have done just about anything, borrowing $15 billion, instead of immediately tackling the deficit. Well, Greenhut and McClintock and I told him so at the time. We said: Restore the Gann Limit, which limits spending increases to the increases in population and inflation. Had Arnold done so, he would have solved the state’s budget problem and could have cruised through his remaining six years in office as a hero.

Instead, he’s a zero.

By the time he tried to tackle the deficit later, it was too late.

Davis also still clueless

The Times interview quotes recalled Gov. Gray Davis, whose wild spending and taxing Arnold was elected to end, but didn’t:

“You need a strong economy and rain in the north,” Davis says he told Schwarzenegger early on. “If you get both of them, people think you are a hero. If you get neither, then they think you are a bum.”

Wrong. Davis spent his first two years increasing spending an incredible 15 percent each year! And he signed into law the pension-spiking bills for government workers that now are choking to death local government budgets, and the state budgets. Davis also panicked during the electricity crisis of a decade ago.

Global warming superstition

The Times also mistakenly praises Arnold for imposing AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006:

The landmark global warming law he signed propelled him — and the state — to the forefront of the environmental movement.

…and propelled jobs out of the state. Meanwhile, this winter the world has been recording record low temperatures. “13 News” in Orlando, Florida reported last week:


Central Florida will once again wake up to bone-chilling temperatures Wednesday.

Temperatures around the Orlando area broke record lows early Tuesday, and even dropped several degrees lower.

Low temperatures for Dec. 28
  • Orlando: 26 (Old record: 31, set in 1977)
  • Daytona Beach: 24 (Old record: 26, set in 1935)
  • Melbourne: 28 (Old record: 32, set in 1972)

And England recorded what might be the coldest winter in 1,000 years:

BRITAIN’S winter is the coldest since 1683 and close to being the chilliest in nearly 1,000 years. Latest figures reveal that the average temperature since December 1 has been a perishing -1C. That makes it the second coldest since records began in 1659.

The chilliest on record was 1683/84, when the average was -1.17C and the River Thames froze over for two months. But with January and February to come, experts believe we could suffer the most freezing cold winter in the last 1,000 years.

So, global warming is just a superstition Arnold used to inflate further his immense ego. But AB 32 signaled to the world that California is run by anti-business inmates who escaped from an asylum. Worse, in November 2010, just two months ago, Arnold and others convinced voters of their delusion, getting them to defeat Prop. 23, which would have suspended AB 32.

Incoming Gov. Jerry Brown also is a true believer in the global-warming superstition. As a young man he gave up his studies for the Catholic priesthood, but as an old man has been ordained as a high priest of the Global Warmist Cult.

At least Arnold will be gone — finally.

Jan. 2, 2011

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