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California: The poster child for dysfunction

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 19, 2009 05:02 AM


Photoshop via W.C. Varones

Arnold Schwarzenegger was so preoccupied with lecturing the national GOP about the need to “rebrand” itself and move left that he forgot to mind California’s own business.

Today, his desperate tax-and-spend ballot measures are expected to all go down in flames at the polls. Tea Party activists of all political stripes have lambasted the deceptive initiatives. The intellectually and financially bankrupt state GOP is in full meltdown, having poured $650,000 into Schwarzenegger’s coffers to promote the phony spending cap measure before the state party waffled, then turned around and voted to oppose it and the other tax hikes.

So, where in the world is the Taxinator now? After making a last-ditch pitch for his $16 billion in tax increases at black churches in L.A. (hello, church/state separation activists?) and attempting to fear-monger voters into approving the measures, Arnie has fled to Washington, D.C. today for a pow-wow with Barack Obama to celebrate — what else? — new eco-regulations on cars that will result in massive new costs imposed on drivers:

Battling anger and indifference on the part of California voters, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger implored them Sunday not to make the state “the poster child for dysfunction” by defeating a host of measures on Tuesday’s ballot that seek to restructure the state’s bleak finances.

After years of binge spending, open-borders welfare expansionism, environmental extremism, unchecked unionism (read: SEIU) and hostility to businesses, it’s a little late to try to prevent California from becoming “the poster child for dysfunction,” isn’t it?

You can run, but you can’t hide:

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and that’s what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is doing tonight: going out of town.

Although the governor has been arguing for months that Tuesday’s election features a package of ballot measures that are absolutely essential to California’s financial future, Schwarzenegger is leaving on a jet plane for Washington, where he’ll spend election day. And he’s not coming home in any hurry, either.

The governor will be in DC for what his staff is billing as a major announcement: California is expected to get its long-sought waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency, which will allow the state to set higher standards for car and truck exhaust emissions.

And Schwarzenegger plans to stay in Washington Wednesday to lobby the California congressional delegation for more budget help for the state.

Important stuff. The tougher emissions standards are something Schwarzenegger has been working on for years and is an important past of his plan for the greening of California. And since California is looking at a $15.4 billion budget deficit under the best — and currently unlikely — circumstances, a chance to smooze the DC-based pols isn’t a bad thing.

Still, would Schwarzenegger be making this trip if every poll wasn’t predicting an election night disaster for the governor’s budget reform package? Things are so ugly that Budget Reform Now, Schwarzenegger’s umbrella group for support of the ballot measures, hadn’t decided by this afternoon when, where or even if they were going to have an election night party.

It will be thanks in large part to both the old guard taxpayers’ rights groups (Howard Jarvis) and the new generation of anti-Evil&Stupid Party activists from the Tea Party movement that Schwarzenegger’s ill-conceived measures go down. But the fight is far from over.

The Taxinator is in D.C. with his hands out — and his figurative gun to the head of the rest of the country’s taxpayers. As I noted last week, California wants TARP money. They’ll argue, as every other successful bailout recipient has, that the state is Too Big Too Fail.

California did itself in. It deserves to suffer the consequences.

Tell your congressional representatives to tell the muscle man looking to pump up his puny state coffers with everyone else’s money:

Not one dime.

***

Karl at Hot Air: “[M]any Americans will chafe just as much at the prospect of paying to bail out California’s decades of inept govenment as they do at paying to bail out GM’s decades of inept management. Obama would bail out California to hold onto those electoral votes, but he will have to worry about how many he loses in the process.”

CK MacLeod: Your official Cali budget initiatives guide. Har.

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