Wednesday, May 20, 2009

California Rejects Massive Tax Increases: 'The Biggest Loser Would Be Arnold'


It's a shame we can't put King Obama's massive tax increases on a ballot measure. Well, we always have the 2010 midterms. He can't say he hasn't been warned.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to permanently fix California's "broken budget system." But three times now he has tried and failed to smooth out the state's roller coaster revenues.

Voters on Tuesday resoundingly rejected his latest effort, a package of budget-balancing measures that he promised would provide a short-term patch for the current financial crisis and prevent further catastrophe in the future.

Instead, he now faces a $21.3 billion budget deficit and a budget system that has not changed a bit since he took office nearly six years ago.

"I think he's discovered that this job is a lot harder than he anticipated in a state of economic downturn," Treasurer Bill Lockyer said Tuesday of the governor who came into office in 2003 promising to "end the crazy deficit spending."

The Republican governor faces another tough round of budget negotiations after months spent haggling with lawmakers to close the state's first budget shortfall, which was initially $42 billion through June 2010.

Schwarzenegger will be forced to spend much of his final year-and-a-half in office struggling with the same financial woes that led to the recall of his predecessor instead of enacting the sweeping policy changes he once envisioned.

"The biggest loser would be Arnold," said Dave McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University. "It's time to start looking for a cabinet post in the Obama administration or an ambassadorship someplace warm."

The measure lost in every county in the state and at last count was defeated by 65.8%-34.2%.

The message? Even a very blue state like California doesn't like taxes.

Perhaps the national GOP can fashion a message off of these results.

Is it any wonder Schwarzenegger was hanging out in DC with his new pal Obama instead of remaining in California?
Afterward, the lawmakers appeared split over the idea of a federal backstop for state borrowing, said Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River). And some saw irony in Schwarzenegger's appearance in Washington while voters decided the fate of his ballot package back home.

"If the governor thought that the initiatives were going to win a smashing victory, he'd be in California right now," said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks).

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