Arnold gave his last State of the State message to the California Legislature telling them essentially that the State’s fiscal situation is going to get worse before it gets better. We all knew this but Arnold seems to have been in denial or putting a good spin on it.
Well, for one thing, he has had his hand out in Washington hoping for a Federal bailout of the $22 billion deficit the Golden State faces by June 2011. So making nice was probably good politics.
But when he blasted Congress for the ObamaCare legislation pending and essentially trashed California’s Congressional delegation for going along with it, we knew something had changed.
What was it?
Maybe Nancy is losing her earmark touch? After all, the Napa Wine Train got $49 million to keep the San Francisco crowd chugging across the Golden Gate without getting a DUI ticket for the trip. But the rest of the state can eat dust especially the Central Valley which had its water turned off by the Feds and a Federal Judge.
Maybe Dianne Feinstein is mad at Arnold for proposing so much solar power in the Mohave that all the enviros are pounding on her door to stop it?
Maybe Congressman Waxman is too distracted these days after the Copenhagen meltdown to pay attention to constituent issues?
Senator Boxer has been uncharacteristically quiet these days. Maybe she is running scared with Carly on her heels and a more conservative Republican Assemblyman pushing Carly to go rogue.
The most likely answer is that Schwarzenegger’s support for health care reform and cap and trade were political moves to win Administration support for a bailout. But it sounds like the Feds said they already owned the California voters and didn’t need to spend $22 billion to buy them all over again like they had to do in Nebraska for Ben Nelson or with the Louisiana Purchase for Senator Landrieu
Arnold will leave the State in about the same bad mess he inherited with a few more zeros tacked on. California will still have the same dysfunctional state government dominated by the fringes and those on the state payroll. Business will continue to flee the state in search of lower taxes and a more business friendly place to work. Citizens will also go to other states but probably not Nevada or Arizona. And even illegal immigration is down since there is a slowly dying agribusiness in the Central Valley that is dried up.
And underneath it all, California will still be the same vibrant, innovative source of new ideas it has always been–just waiting to be freed from the constraints of a State Government and political class that no longer serves its strategic interests.