Government Spending

A Schwarzeneggerian Parable of Government Action

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The Manhattan Institute's Josh Barro surveys last week's state of the state speeches by the governors of New York and California and catches Arnold Schwarzenegger making an unintentionally revealing point:

While much of the content of the governors' speeches was necessarily similar, their tone and emphasis were strikingly different. New York Governor David Paterson took a direct approach, declaring that he would dispense with "congratulatory pronouncements and self-reflected praise" given the state's ongoing difficulties. He went on to renew his on-again, off-again hard line against profligate spending by the legislature.

Schwarzenegger instead began with a cute story about his pet pig and pet pony, who conspire together to steal his dog's food. He then compared this to what he and the legislature can accomplish, if only they work together. The parable makes sense—what are a governor and his legislature other than a bunch of animals working together to divide up somebody else's property?—but I don't think that's exactly what Schwarzenegger meant.

Read the rest here. For Reason's coverage of Schwarzenegger's failed state polices, see here and here.