Economics

Reason.tv: After Arnold: California gubernatorial candidate Tom Campbell on fixing the Golden State and bracing for inflation

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California, once the land of endless promise, is now the land of endless crisis. Year after year, the once-Golden State lurches from one budget mess to the next. Sacramento Bee Columnist Dan Walters calls Sacramento's latest budget deal "another mélange of gimmicks aimed at once again postponing the day of reckoning," which means that whomever succeeds Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor must confront the massive task of pulling California back into the black.

Enter Tom Campbell, the former Stanford Professor, Berkeley Dean, State Senator, State Finance Director, and US Congressman. Campbell currently teaches law at Chapman University and has thrown his hat into the race for governor, where he will face ex-Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Poizner and former eBay chief Meg Whitman in the June 2010 Republican primary.

Reason.tv's Ted Balaker sat down with Campbell to discuss what would free California from its cycle of fiscal crisis (hint: limiting spending to the increase in inflation plus population), and why Washington DC's spending spree will almost certainly bring on inflation.

Campbell says he's friendly to libertarianism, and talks about studying under Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago. Campbell thinks the Nobel laureate would suggest a "don't just do something, stand there" approach to our nation's recession, and that he would worry about politicians doing something just for the sake of doing something. Campbell clearly shares that concern, especially when "doing something" involves printing huge amounts of money. "We have built up a tailwind for inflation," says Campbell of the yearlong flurry of stimulus packages and bailouts.

During this nine-minute interview, Campbell also explains his views on marijuana legalization, why he defends California's property tax-limiting Prop 13, and why he calls the anti-gay marriage Prop 8 "a mistake."

"After Arnold" is produced and hosted by Ted Balaker. Director of Photography is Alex Manning, and Associate Producers are Nate Chaffetz, Paul Detrick and Hawk Jensen.

Go here for embed code, iPod, HD, and audio versions.

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  1. the massive task of pulling California back into the black.

    So much for the post-racial America I was hoping for.

  2. (hint: limiting spending to the increase in spending plus population)

    I think you meant inflation plus population here.

  3. I’d love to see Campbell win, but even he couldn’t turn California around. Most Californians want lots and lots of government spending and regulation. The only way to save to state would be to make everyone leave and bring in a new electorate.

  4. The only way to save to state would be to make everyone leave and bring in a new electorate.

    They’re working on it. Just ask LoneWacko.

  5. @Joe M
    Come on, I thought “limiting spending to the increase in spending” is a rather brilliant plan. After all it is 100% achievable and even the politicos in California can’t mess it up.

  6. On another note, am I the only one who thought, “Dang Rush Limbaugh has lost weight.” when they saw the displayed frame of the video.

  7. Disappointing that in response to legalizing weed he said “we need a study”. Otherwise he said all the right things … to his current audience.

  8. @Bees
    But the phrase is increase in spending plus population, which seems mathematically impossible, but I bet they could achieve that goal as well.

  9. “Disappointing that in response to legalizing weed he said “we need a study”. Otherwise he said all the right things … to his current audience.”

    He said if it’s the right thing to do we should do it regardless of “the money”. Meaning that unlike the typical liberal meme of legalize and tax he’s saying that we should probably legalize because increases freedom.

    I think that’s the right way to approach the issue. We don’t need more regressive taxation.

  10. What the hell does he mean “if its the right thing to do”? If he doesn’t know, then he’s just another soulless soundbite-spouting fuckhead.

  11. Is it just me, or is reason.tv seriously fucking up the sound modulation? I can’t hear it till the end, when it blasts out my eardrums.

  12. What the hell does he mean “if its the right thing to do”? If he doesn’t know, then he’s just another soulless soundbite-spouting fuckhead.

    My assumption, and I could be wrong, is that “the right thing to do” means “if the voters approve. More specifically, it means, “Holy crap, did Dianne Feinstein beat me up over my willingness to explore ending the Drug War, much less legalization in my Senate race against her in 2000. I hope that the voters are more willing to explore it now.”

    Tom Campbell’s Senate campaign in 2000 has traditionally been a prime example of how libertarian candidates don’t win elections statewide, not even in California.

  13. I’m going to give him a complete pass on the weed situation… for one, because I’m not a pot smoker and don’t prioritize that very highly on things I want politicians to quit fucking up and I do highly prioritize an economy that isn’t being fucked up. And also because he is actually electable, whereas if he’d gone out there and said “Yeah man, POT RULEZ0RZ!!!” like many libertarian “politicians”, he would not be electable.

    I would looooove a governor in my state who had a few more libertarian tendencies, knowing full well I’m not going to get the whole bag.

  14. “I would looooove a governor in my state who had a few more libertarian tendencies, knowing full well I’m not going to get the whole bag.”

    It’s even better than that. He’s clearly more libertarian than he’s even willing to admit. It’s like you said: Self proclaimed pot activists don’t win public office, but closet pot proponents can if they don’t come off like an idiot in interviews.

  15. hint: limiting spending to the increase in inflation plus population

    I am regularly confused by this: wasn’t this what the Gann Initiative was supposed to do? It followed on Prop 13 way back when, then CA stayed under the limit by accident for some years, and then… Gray Davis ate my lunch and then Arnold Schwarzenegger ate Gray Davis.

    Why didn’t the Gann spending limit never kick in?

  16. If you look at what Arnold initially tried to do, a lot of it was in line with libertarian principles, and he was mauled to death by the legislature and special interests ala State employee and Teachers unions. Someone else mentioned it. There is no way to fix this mess without a better electorate. CA really is one of the stupidest places on Earth.

  17. Although electing yet another old white guy may not go over too well. Women and ethnics have a certain cache that ‘ol whitey is currently lacking in the public view.

  18. California deserves to go bankrupt.

    The “progressives” want to give the illegals education, medical care, Social Security,etc

    Do the math. If there was no social services for the illegals or illegals sending home all that money which is taken out of our economy, California wouldnt have a problem.

  19. Yeah, I don’t blame the Governator all that much honestly – this problem seems squarely laid at the feet of the legislature with a lesser role played by the news establishment & electorate for agreeing to every boneheaded idea proposed by said legislature.

  20. @Fast Ed97:

    Hey, Lou Dobbs is on! Time to run home!

  21. If he wins the primary, I’ll certainly vote for him. We could do a lot worse (and have.)

  22. If 56% of calirnians want marijuana Legalized why the heck would they want to vote a guy in who still thinks it’s time for more debate. Come on CA!! you Guy’s can do better than and one with some GUT’S to boot. A Governor is supposed to represent the people and he just told at least 56% of the people that he does not agree with them on a big issue,duh.

  23. And I agree that you’d stand less than a snow ball’s chance in hell of ever getting elected, your very own self.

    Way to libertarians! Insist on making central planks out of issues that you know are going down in flames. Like Ron Paul walking into the RNC and announcing that he’s against Iraq and that we gotta gotta have a gold standard.

    Libertarians exhibit stupidity in at least the same proportion as the rest of the voting public.

    In fact, many days it seems that libertarians have inherited an above the norm proportion.

  24. Sean W. Malone,

    I would looooove a governor in my state who had a few more libertarian tendencies, knowing full well I’m not going to get the whole bag.

    For this I decree: you couldn’t possibly be a real libertarian. Because like Ayn Rand, real libertarians don’t do compromise.

    For the crime of falling short you are hereby banished to live out the rest of your days in a liberal democrat controlled nation.

  25. with a lesser role played by the news establishment & electorate for agreeing to every boneheaded idea proposed by said legislature.

    I think the news establishment has a bigger role than its given credit for. It is they more than anyone else, who determine which issues the people do and don’t focus on. Because of what the MSM does, and does not, choose to report.

    Tell me the MSM isn’t predominantly controlled by liberal democrats. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    The voting public, meanwhile, is rationally ignorant.

  26. Meanwhile, we are once again led to the ultimate conclusion that democracy as we know it sucks the big one.

    The only way to save to state would be to make everyone leave and bring in a new electorate.

    I’d much rather leave them in California. They might have to come here where I live. We’ve got enough idiots voting around here already.

  27. CA is just too big to be governable, and we do have more than our share of idiots, it often seems…

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  29. Great interview bringing a lot of information for us. Let’s hope the new leaders are going to bring back California to what it was. Domestic cleaners London

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