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Jeff Emanuel, in highlighting Governor Schwarzenegger’s failures, hit upon a sensitive issue for all states. For over a decade many states have taken Washington DC’s lead in running up huge bills. Taxes in many states have sky-rocketed. In my state of Indiana, many property taxes have risen as much as 400 percent in the last 4 years. (This, by the way, cost a supposedly popular Democratic Indianapolis Mayor his job, and GOP Governor Daniels is fighting furiously to get a reform of the reform through the legislature.) States, unlike the Beltway have specific hard duties that must be performed efficiently if the normal day to day lives of the citizens are to continue. Public safety, education, well built roads, sidewalks, traffic signals, bridges, and snow removal are expected to be delivered by the local and state governments. These services are necessities.
Yet, many states have gone beyond the offering of the most basic services. Like the Beltway, many state capitols have gone into the pork business. State Lobbyists of all types have lobbied for additional spending and regulations that put the ability of many of the most basic services now in jeopardy. California, as in the past has set the tone — which should serve as a warning to other states. California for over a decade has been the liberal’s Nirvana. Feeding off the tax revenues of Silicon Valley, and the financial services sector, California added billions of dollars in additional spending to care for illegal aliens, public education, public transportation, and their famed universities. Additionally, California has some of the stiffest pollution standards, some of the most restrictive land-use laws, and under Governor Schwarzenegger California has enacted very onerous carbon emission laws. The Global Warming lobbyists have gone as far as to promote a law that will allow state regulators to set thermostats of individual homes during periods of “peak energy usage.” Of course, California’s problems with energy production are related to their restrictive laws concerning power plants. Under both Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, California has not built enough power plants — this despite growing demand from increased industry and population. Californians must now ration energy during the hot summer months. This very big problem has nothing to do with oil shortages or global warming, and everything to do with a state government run amuck.
Across the country many communities have crumbling sidewalks, pot-holed streets, near bankrupt school districts, and under sized police forces. Yet, these same states find money for expensive monuments, parks, half billion dollar sporting arenas, urban community centers, and subsidies for little used public transportation. At the same time income and property taxes have sky-rocketed, and most states have gone into the gaming business. Finding creative ways of “raising new revenue” has become a cottage industry for most states and cities.p>Unlike the Beltway, state and local elections tend to be more volatile. The failure of providing snow removal during the 1979 Chicago Blizzard cost Mayor Michael Bilandic his job; memories of the 2000-2001 black-outs cost Gray Davis his. (Yes, Enron had a hand in it, but capping what public utilities can charge customers is a sure way to disaster.) At some point voters take notice that their community is not just unsafe, unkempt, but also very expensive. Large Corporations eventually vote with their feet. California has one of the most diversified economies in the world. But even California can suffer from a decade of mismanagement. Huge deficits, crumbling infrastructure, Orwellian regulations all add up to a gathering political storm. Despite significantly higher taxes, California doesn’t have enough cash to repair roads, run public schools, or add additional law enforcement. When he agreed to raise taxes earlier in his term, Governor Schwarzenegger failed to understand one of the first rules in dealing liberal bureaucracies — there are never enough taxes to go around no matter how high you raise them. Of course, the Governor never was much of a conservative. Schwarzenegger was living in a fantasy world of hybrid cars, rising real estate prices, carbon free air, and Euro-Socialism while his state went to hell. In a few years he can retire from public life and leave the taxpayers a huge mess to clean up. br> — JP br> Indiana /p> p> Ah-nold has proven to be a disgrace, as one can see from his actions as California governor and as documented in Jeff Emanuel’s fine article. Years of body-building steroids and hob-nobbing with the Kennedy has softened his brain to the point of collapse. And so it goes out on the Left Coast (as fitting a description as one will ever find). br> — Jim Bjaloncik br> Stow, Ohio /p> p> Californians are learning what Germans learned in the 20th century: Never trust an Austrian artist.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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