Or maybe he’s just been playing to a new audience.
Just over five years ago, when running for Governor in the recall election, Arnold Schwarzenegger had his finger on the pulse of the state.Â He knew Californians were outraged by a spendthrift state government and opposed the myriad new tax and fee increases proposed by the then-Democratic Governor and state legislature.
But, now that he is Governor and facing a budget crisis even larger than that which led to the ouster of his predecessor, he seems to be playing to a different audience, no longer the overtaxed people of the Golden State.Â Now he seems to be playing to the political class in Sacramento, unwilling to stand up to the public employee unions, hesitant to trim the fat from a bloated budget.
Just last week, negotiating with state legislative leaders, he agreed to a budget which would include numerous tax hikes:
Vehicle license fees would nearly double, going from the current rate of 0.65% to 1.15% of the value of a car or truck. The sales tax would increase by 1 cent, raising the rate in Los Angeles County to 9.75%. Gasoline taxes would increase by 12 cents a gallon. And Californians would pay a new surcharge on their personal income taxes, amounting to 2.5% of their total tax bills.
Republicans in the legislature balked at the tax increases which their (then-)leadership supported.Â In the state Senate, they even “ousted their leader” because he backed said increases.
Well, legislators finally reached a compromise, getting one Republican Senator, Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria, to sign on to a budget proposal so they could have the two-thirds vote necessary to pass the package.
Sonicfrog has more on some of the provisions in that compromise and speculates on what it might mean for politics in the Golden State.Â His post is definitely worth your attention!