Here's a thought experiment.
California is in a world of hurt because tax revenues don't match expenditures.
It is my contention that we would be much better off if the Republican putsch that recalled Gray Davis and put Arnold in place had failed. The two things that Arnold did that would not have happened otherwise are:
- The vehicle tax would have not been rolled back meaning that the 2002 budget crisis would not have been nearly so deep.
- Only under a borrow and spend Republican would California's debt have increased as much as it did under Arnie. And consider: a principle strategy of the Right to "reduce government" was to destroy the capacity to fund a safety net for citizens by piling on so much debt without paying for it so that finally the system collapsed.
Thus, when Arnie came in, he and his Republican friends eviscerated the ability to fund our state needs and then piled up massive debts. As always, it is the typical Chicago boy's goal of imposing a "free market" economy even if (or perhaps especially when) it means inflicting massive pain on the majority of the population. But, never fear. The rich definitely become richer under this scheme until the great vampire squid sucks out the life force and the entire system collapses.
Arnie and his friends have done very well under this policy. Nevertheless, it was not enough for them and they are working hard to squeeze out the rest of the wealth remaining while looking for another state or country to invade and drain.
So, how would California look today if Arnie hadn't happened?