The favorite parlor game among Capitol observers these days seems to be trying to guess “which Schwarzenegger” will appear in 2007. For guidance, I suggest going back to this Schwarzenegger quote, which happens to be my favorite. As it happens, he said this at his first press conference as a candidate for governor, outside the Burbank studio of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, where he had just announced he was running. I’ve always thought it captured the yin and the yang of his governing philosophy better than anything he’s said since:
“The most important thing is that we bring business back to California. There are more businesses leaving California now than ever before. When businesses come back, revenue comes back. When revenue comes back, we can afford all kinds of different programs that are very important. We want to make sure that the children are not left with without any books. We want to make sure that our children have the books, that they have their place in the classroom. We want to make sure they have after school programs. We want to make sure the mothers have affordable day care. We want to make sure the older folks have their care that they need. That everything has to be provided for the people. We have such a great state, there's no reason why we are in the state we are in today.”
Now you can, and we have, disputed some of what he says here, particularly about businesses leaving the state. But the reason I like the quote is that it sums up his unique approach to governing: boost business in order to produce more tax revenue that you can spend on health, education and welfare programs. You hear Republicans talk all the time about growing the economy, but rarely do they cite as a reason for doing so their desire to spend tax revenue. And you hear Democrats talk all the time about the need for more tax revenue. But helping business so that more tax revenue comes into the state’s coffers? Not so much. That’s the essence of the Schwarzenegger way, and you can find it somewhere in most of his incarnations. What’s amazing to me is that he laid it out in his very first statement to the press as a candidate. And while emphaszing different sides of the equation at different times, he has pretty much followed that course ever since. Expect more of the same.
Posted by dweintraub at 9:17 PM