Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Benedict Arnold

by Chris Reed - January 6th, 2009 - American Spectator

Just over five years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger swept into power in California, vowing to crush the "spending addicts" responsible for the state's crushing budget deficit and to thwart Sacramento Democrats who saw taxpayers as ATMs.

"The people of California have been punished enough. From the time they get up in the morning and flush the toilet, they are taxed. Then they go and get a coffee, they are taxed. They get into their car, they are taxed. They go to the gas station, they are taxed. They go for lunch and they are taxed and [it] goes on all day long, tax, tax, tax, tax, tax.…This is crazy," the Republican movie star said in August 2003 as his campaign to recall and replace Democratic Gov. Gray Davis hit high gear.

Now, however, Schwarzenegger is about to stab California's beleaguered taxpayers in the back.

I like Arnold. As a person he is a decent, incredibly hard working man who loves people and tries to inspire them. He is a devout Christian who has double tithed for years. He grew up in socialist Austria and saw the evil of that economic system. However he loves to be loved. On the basis of that need to be loved, his total overwhelming defeat when he tried to get the people of California to vote to fix the problems of the state has left him with a different attitude.

As noted in the article, "The shift from aggressive to accommodating came after Schwarzenegger's slate of budget, teacher tenure, redistricting and union-dues reform measures were defeated in a November 2005 special election due to a $100 million-plus union disinformation campaign." Business and social conservative groups never were willing to join Arnold in enthusiastic efforts to win that great fight. He stood nearly alone fighting. Since then he has evolved to the new position, if business and conservatives do not understand what the consequences are and will not fight, why should Arnold fight the good fight alone?

Arnold has abandoned the Republican Party, has abandoned his opposition to socialism (or at least some big government aspects), and is working hard to be popular as long as he remains Governor. Those who would not help when it mattered now spend their time attacking him for his rational response to their own failures.

As noted in another article by Jordan Rau and Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times entitled California may delay tax refunds amid budget impasse, Arnold is still willing to play hardball with the Democrat legislature, as he vetos the bill they passed. This indicates he has not totally abandoned his fiscal principals even as he seeks to be popular.


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