I can’t help but laugh at the sorry state of California, the big-government conservatism (neo-conservatism, national greatness, whatever) that failed this country for the last eight years has failed that great state for the last six. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, supposedly a great Republican moderate in the mold of former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, has presided over a massive expansion of state government and turned California into a fiscal laughingstock. He vetoed legislation that would have recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry and fixated on regulating carbon emissions from lawnmowers. He couldn’t be further from Weld.
Weld’s first budget as governor was actually smaller than Dukakis’ last budget by tens of millions. Weld cut taxes several times and cut 15,000 government jobs. He never once raised taxes or fees (Hi, Mitt.) Compare that with Arnold who added $45 billion to an already bloated $100 billion budget and campaigned for the passage of several bonding measures that increased spending even further. He is currently pushing to raise the state’s sales tax by 1.5% to an obscene 8.75%. The increase in the sales tax, along with several other taxes, is one of his methods for solving a budget deficit that is larger than the operating budgets of several states.
With all the recent talk about the Massachusetts gubernatorial race I can only hope that our standard barer for 2010 will be more like Bill Weld and less like Arnold.