Gov. Schwarzenegger of California could learn a thing or two from Gov. Pawlenty of Minnesota. Both are Republicans, but only Pawlenty knows how to stand up to a spendthrift Democratic legislature and force the state to live within its means.
More importantly, the voters of Minnesota have noticed.
Mr. Pawlenty’s hardball has earned him glowing praise from the state’s job creators, in particular small businesses, who are relieved to be spared additional tax burdens in today’s economy. The governor’s message — that it is simply “inappropriate” for state legislators to keep spending like lunatics and raise taxes in a recession — has resonated with cash-strapped voters.
An editorial in the Washington Examiner looks at the implications of Tuesday’s election in California, in which voters overwhelmingly rejected tax hikes to deal with the state’s budget mess.
California’s rapid decline was self-inflicted with unsustainable government spending, capitulation to union demands, the third worst business climate in the U.S., years of excessive income taxes, and job-killing environmental regulations. This is the same toxic brew now fueling Obama’s national agenda. There are abundant signs that the voter rebellion seen Tuesday is already spreading beyond California.
Four years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger challenged and replaced Gray Davis as California governor because of Davis’ abyssmal handling of the state’s finances. Today, California is in at least as bad a shape as it was under Davis. And what is the Governator doing about it? Why, hosting a conference on the evils of global warming, of course.
This follows Schwarzenegger’s earlier push for sweeping greenhouse emissions reduction legislation that is crippling the state.
The greenhouse gas limits approved by Schwarzenegger will cost California billions of dollars in lost output as businesses locate elsewhere and take jobs with them. The one-time Golden State is rapidly deteriorating from a cutting-edge, high-tech economy to the fiscal equivalent of a Third World nation.
“The (state global warming) programs are costly to consumers and will not have any impact on the environment,” the nonpartisan American Legislative Council concluded in a recent report.
This is what we have to look forward to nationwide, as Obama follows a similar strategy.