CA GOP’s Arnold Problem

CA GOP’s Arnold Problem

Going on 11 years now, the California Republican Party has an “Arnold Problem.” Gone from office now almost four years, ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to loom over the party. Here’s what “The Terminator” promised during the 2003 “Total Recall” election:

The reality: Arnold swept the state’s problems under a giant rug, then created even more problems. In particular, he imposed AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which has crippled industry ever since, especially destroying the good middle-class jobs industry produces. And SB 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, which is pushing Californians into high-rises and mass transit, while Arnold and his elitist friends frolic in gigantic beach-community compounds and tool around the streets in Bentleys.

And look at these budget numbers. When he took office in October 2003, Arnold assumed control of the fiscal year 2003-04 budget, which began on July 1, 2003, and it spent $78.3 billion. The budget he signed for 2006-7, just three years later, was for $101.4 billion — an incredible 29 percent increase! (See Appendix Schedule 6 here.)

Instead of sweeping away waste, Arnold effectively said to Democrats, “Achtung! Give me your biggest. most wasteful spending programs and I’ll sweep them into the budget!”

No wonder, when the recession hit in 2007-08, he went to the Democrats running the Legislature and said, “Achtung! Give me a record tax increase, and I will sweep it into the budget!”

Which is what happened with the $13 billion tax increase of Feb. 2009.

When President Hoover’s crashed America into the Great Depression, it took Republicans five decades for their party to recover at the national level under Ronald Reagan, himself a former FDR New Deal Democrat. And in some ways, the national GOP still haven’t recovered from Hoover. It hasn’t mattered that President Roosevelt’s New Deal was even worse than Hoover’s. Perceptions count.

It well could take the CA GOP five decades to recover from their Arnold Problem.

Tags assigned to this article:
SB 375AB 32Arnold SchwarzeneggerJohn Seiler

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