Schwarzenegger Blew Chance for Real Reform
Would-be savior turns out to be just another lying politician
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 7:59 AM CDT
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gestures as he talks with legislative leaders at the start of their meeting concerning the state budget at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, May 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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(Newser) – Arnold Schwarzenegger came into politics with an uncommon opportunity to tell Californians hard truths about taxes and governance, using his surprising mandate to press for reform. Instead, he became just another governor repeating "the same lies and the same nostrums," pretending citizens can have good public services without paying for them. "California is not ungovernable," writes Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times, "it's just been ungoverned."

Schwarzenegger and other state pols have peddled an "onerous lie" that California has the highest taxes in the nation; in fact, they're average, while infrastructure collapses and schools deteriorate. The state needs big changes, especially a revision of Prop 13, a property tax measure that has choked local government. "If Tuesday's election proves anything," writes Hiltzik, "it's that California's political sacred cows all need to be herded into the abattoir and dismembered, once and for all."