There she was, on FOXNEWS, being interviewed by Greta Van Susteren on how she intends to win the California gubernatorial election. It was Arianna Huffington, the ex-wife of Michael Huffington who ran for Senator in 1994. With California over $30 billion in debt (California legislators forwarded part of this debt into next year’s budget and borrowed $14 billion to balance the state bank account), Huffington claimed she could balance the budget by stopping corporate tax cheats. Her latest syndicated article said states were robbed of $12.4 billion by corporations finding off shore tax shelters or other loopholes. Huffington forgets that corporations hire employees and that more money in the hands of government means more burden upon tax payers. That $12.4 billion figure wouldn’t balance the California ledger. But Huffington forgets how California got in such a jam. First, its new governor, Gray Davis, made a deal with unions to hire 40,000 more state workers which ran up the tab by $8 billion. Then, with a pot full of excess money, and politicians paid off, the power companies raped the public bank account by a few billion. Even though revenues jumped by 25% since Davis took office, Davis and his Democratic legislature couldn’t balance the budget. The state was counting on revenues from individuals who were profit taking on a booming stock market. Then the stock market crashed, and taxable income fell, and a state government that relied on a constant supply of money found its teat had dried up. This is the group of taxpayers, that just lost their shorts in stocks, that Huffington wants to grab even more money from. By the way, Huffington claims she is more environmental friendly than Schwarzenegger, pointing out she drives a hybrid car while Arnold drives a Hummer. (How’s that for real differences between candidates, while the state finances go into the toilet, we’re arguing over who drives what kind of car.)
When Arnold Schwarzenegger layed back, allowed TV channels to play his old movies to set the stage, and then announced his late entry into the gubernatorial race, the landscape had been changed. Now the question in the public’s mind was who was going to beat Arnold, not how Gray Davis was going to withstand a recall election. With “the terminator” in the official running for state office, Democrats broke ranks with Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante and Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi entering the race. Gov. Davis is facing a lack of confidence in his own party, and his only trump card now is to resign and take the blame for the state’s financial mess so the next Democratic candidate can run without that burden in the election.
Bill Sardi [send him mail] is a health journalist who dabbles from time to time in current affairs. His website is www.askbillsardi.com His most recent web report describes the hazards posed by statin cholesterol-lowering drugs.