Government Spending

A Brighter Shade of Gray

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Reason Contributing Editor and confirmed Californicator Tim Cavanaugh has a long declamation of Arnold Schwarzenegger's "lost year" in the latest LA Weekly. I'll spoil the ending:

[M]arveling at Arnold Schwarzenegger's career isn't as fun as it used to be. Most Californians are too preoccupied with rising taxes and "fees," uncontrolled spending, lousy services, and broken state politics to care about a superman who turned out to be a flash in the pan.

Reason on Schwarzenegger here, including a post-recall piece by Cavanaugh asking, "Is Arnold good for the libertarians?"


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  1. Ahnold’s biggest problem is that he chickens out so often. That’s the difference between a pretend tough-guy and a real tough-guy.

  2. “Remember, libertarians, when I said I would kill you last? I LIED.”

  3. As I recall, the governor of California has a line item veto – a power which Ahnold has apparently never seen fit to exercise.

  4. Here in Connecticut, during two hours of TV watching last night, I saw seven commercials exhorting me to eat “Real California Cheese.” I wonder how much the state is spending on THAT?

  5. As I recall, the governor of California has a line item veto – a power which Ahnold has apparently never seen fit to exercise.

    A historian friend of mine looked at the effect of the line item veto on budgets and concluded that it just made the governor (a necessary) party to the all the backroom deals, but didn’t significantly effect levels of pork barrel spending and rent seeking.

    Too bad.

  6. Sounds like Jesse Ventura !!

  7. I blame it on the Kennedys. Everyone thought that Arnold would corrupt Maria, but she clipped his balls before anyone could prevent it. Is there nothing that evil, toothy clan can’t destroy?

  8. It isn’t a brighter shade of gray and there were several of us who pointed out that Arnold wasn’t going to be good for libertarians simply because he doesn’t care if gays get married. The man is, without a doubt, the worst governor Californicate? has ever had. Bar none.

    He didn’t even have the courage to mention that tax hikes he vetoed were unconstitutional. When asked about that by the press he said: No es me trabajo, that is for someone else to argue about. After all, I’m only the governor and cannot be expected to understand that tax increases require a two thirds majority vote.

    His (Arnie’s) workers’ comp reform was historic….

    Utter bullshit. Comp is no better than it was before. It costs more than all other insurances combined. It is a huge business cost and the fraud rate remains as high as ever at 50% plus of all claims.

  9. It is a huge business cost and the fraud rate remains as high as ever at 50% plus of all claims.

    I’ve always wondered about statistical claims like this one. Another one of my favorites is “x% of rapes go unreported”. Well, if they go unreported, how do you know how many there are? For this one, presumably if the fraudster was getting caught, they wouldn’t pay out and it wouldn’t be a problem. So, they are not getting caught…hence they are not getting detected.

    So…from what orifice did that 50% number come from?

  10. I saw seven commercials exhorting me to eat “Real California Cheese.” I wonder how much the state is spending on THAT?

    That’s not a state agency. That’s the California Milk Marketing board, which is an association of dairy operations in the state. It’s mostly a lobbying group.

    It’s the same kind of group as the people who were running all those “California raisins” ads a couple of years back.

    -jcr

  11. So, they are not getting caught…hence they are not getting detected.

    So…from what orifice did that 50% number come from?

    Well, my sister is a work comp administrator for a major carrier and her direct quote is that “half of all comp claims are fraudulent”.

    The problem is that they are easily detected but the rules of evidence in comp cases are extremely lax in Ca. Anything and everything is admissible. For instance, I know a girl who broke her ankle on the steps of her office building on her way to lunch. That’s a comp claim. It may not be a fraudulent claim, but it certainly bears only the most tenuous connection to being work-related.

    Second issue is cost. It is far simpler to pay off a fraudulent claim for a few thousand dollars than it is to fight it through the bureaucracy.

  12. WC, you’re feisty as always, but do you really think he’s the worst ever?

    He’s vetoed a lot of stuff Gray woulnd’ta done kiboshed. There was a corporate income bill, also some cockamamie green building standards. Then again he vetoed a hemp farming bill and gay marriage, as you note: Even his wins are really pushes.

    Still, while I hesitate to push the charisma button, Californians do take a lot of pride that Arnold Schwarzenegger is their governor; technically that is a value that Davis didn’t bring.

    I think he’s a distinctly non-disastrous governor, having so far (not always willingly) avoided doing more harm than would have been done anyway and enjoying a reasonable probability of avoiding any career-enders for the next two years.

    And the one thing we know is that Arnold ain’t d-u-m. More power to him if he chose to duck out as a likable ex-governor rather than burn himself alive in unwinnable fights.

    It’s just jawdroppingly shirtrending that this amiable stroll through fiscal catastrophe is what California voters have to show for launching an electoral convulsion that was unique in California history (though it probably won’t remain so for long).

    And the beauty part is that this is just what California voters deserve: You recall a chump a year after you elect him, then you hamstring the palooka what follows him up? Where’s the logic?

    Gray Davis should get a public apology to go with that ovation. And Arnold should quit politics, not go back into the movies, and instead go to a place where he can get more respect, adulation and instant feedback than Hollywood or Sacramento could ever offer: the Great White Way.

    I’d pay my kids’ college tuition to see Arnold do Lear. I can’t be the only one!

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