The Schwarzenegger Recovery?

The title of the latest from Jonah Goldberg might suggest that he was about to criticize Governor Schwarzenegger. Alas, this is as far as he goes in criticism:

I was against the recall on the grounds that the people of California elected Gray Davis and therefore they deserved to be punished. Seriously. Democracy isn’t merely about “the people” getting what they want, it’s also about the people getting what they deserve. Mobs get what they want every time.

At least, this line settled a debate between me and my sensible but Republican wife. We are planning a trip to vineyards of Northern California – and I had suggested she invite Mr. Goldberg so she did not have to deal with my liberalism on the long trip from Southern California. But she acted very negatively saying clowns are not allowed in her car. When I suggested she was being almost mean as he was, she pointed this out:

California is doing better now, in part because of Schwarzenegger and in part because the economy has rebounded since 2003.

She then asked me as an economist to figure out what actual policies were mentioned in Mr. Goldberg’s op-ed. Schwarzenegger may have given a speech before the Republican Convention last summer, but the wife noted as she watched it, it was as goofy as Zell Miller’s was insane.

But why did we replace Gray Davis with Arnold Schwarzenegger? As I recall, he promised to eliminate the deficit without tax increases or reductions in our commitment to education. I thought then that this free lunch promise was absurd. It seems the replacement governor has reduced our commitment to education and yet we still have a deficit – in spite of a recovery that has nothing to do with Schwarzenegger’s policies.

Maybe we can help the wine country by mailing Mr. Goldberg a few bottles of wine given that the wife refuses to invite him on our trip. I did say she was a sensible Republican.