Schwarzenegger on fiscal restraint learns from Bush

Since replacing Gray Davis as governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has adopted the George W. Bush approach to balancing budgets: keep tax rates from rising, talk about spending cuts but do nothing, and use a lot of misleading rhetoric to keep the press at bay. So he gives a speech yesterday and here is how AP reports it:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called a special session of the Legislature on Wednesday to tackle a list of proposals aimed at closing an $8.1 billion deficit, improving education and reforming state government…The governor said the session would focus on his proposals to cut state spending if its grows beyond incoming revenues, limit the cost of pensions paid to the state’s public employees, pay teachers based on merit instead of tenure and change how California’s legislative and congressional districts are drawn…Missing from his speech, however, were details of how Schwarzenegger plans to fix a $8.1 billion budget deficit next year without raising taxes. Last year, an estimated $17 billion deficit was closed by spending cuts mixed with more than $7 billion in loans, one-time solutions and accounting gimmicks.

Let’s see. We’ll improve education as we reduce the deficit? No details WHERE the governor wishes to reduce spending – except perhaps taking away retirement benefits. But this notion that borrowing reduces a deficit is just bad reporting. Now where else have we heard this line?