LOS ANGELES — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will leave office in November, but, unlike the Terminator, he will not be back.
According to a recent Field Poll, the governor’s job approval rating stands at a paltry 27 percent; 64 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing. Also, 59 percent of Californians say Arnold will leave the state worse off than it was seven years ago, when then-Governor Gray Davis was recalled—that is, thrown directly out of office by the voters.
Right now, the Golden State is spending $20 billion a year more than it takes in. Even Lehman Brothers could predict looming bankruptcy. In fact, Governor Arnold flat-out says the state cannot pay its bills, so it is issuing IOU’s. Wouldn’t you like one of those?
The primary problem out here is massive entitlement spending and out-of-control pensions and disability funds for state employees. The unions are so strong they can kick sand in Arnold’s face any time they want. The golf courses are full of former state employees too impaired to work any longer. Thank God they have enough cash for greens fees.
In addition, elected far-left loons are running wild. In San Francisco, for example, the city now wants to spend taxpayer money on measuring how much sunlight hits city parks. I am not kidding. The environmental nuts rule, and the folks pay and pay and pay.
I believe Governor Arnold was well-intentioned in the beginning, but the arcane system wore him down. Faced with an overwhelming Democratic presence in the state legislature, the Republican governor simply could not stop the madness.
While his charisma worked with voters, it was mocked by career politicians. So Arnold eventually folded, and the rest is history: his approval rating fell from 65 percent to below 30 percent.
A great fear is that President Obama will follow in the big guy’s footsteps. The federal government now owes $13 trillion, and if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is tried in New York City, that could quickly add another trillion.
There is little fiscal discipline in Washington right now, and the president has at least three more years in office. If Mr. Obama does not reign in federal spending, the USA could very possibly experience a Greece-like economic meltdown. The president only has to look west to California to see the wreckage of poor financial management.
So the folks here in the Golden State can’t get rid of Arnold fast enough. The Terminator has been terminated. A once-promising charismatic outsider gets elected to run the nation’s largest state. Hope was in the air. But the good feeling has vanished as California’s finances have collapsed on Governor Arnold’s watch.
Quite the cautionary tale, isn’t it?