Schwarzenegger’s Shame

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian body builder turned movie star turned mogul turned very rich man  turned governor, becomes very emotional when he credits America in general and California in particular for his extraordinary rise  from shy, penniless immigrant to world-famous celebrity and governor of America’s most populous, diverse and liberal state, and the world’s eighth richest economy.

It’s a great performance, right out of one of those sentimental old B movies that Hollywood used to make. But he hasn’t done it in a while. After he made hash of the   state’s  finances, and broke more promises than he made, he chose to revert to The Terminator (he’s not just an action figure, he’s a  franchise!) .

Tuesday, the Terminator made a series of additional cuts in the already lean, mean and mindless new budget. Using the line item veto, he focused exclusively on the  people and programs that had  suffered the worst cuts in the budget negotiations. It’s the first rule in  Sacramento: never hit  anyone who can hit back.

These latest,  most brazen and cruelest cuts amount to a direct assault on our most vulnerable residents:  children, old people, poor people,  the disabled and the chronically ill.

In all, the old body builder slashed a total of $489 million   from  Child Welfare Services, the Office of AIDS Prevention and Treatment, critical services for the mentally and physically  disabled,   the Department of Aging, the Department of Public Health, programs for abused and neglected children, domestic-violence programs, Healthy Families, which provides health care for poor children, and state parks (100 of which will be closed), among others.
It was a shameful act by a man who, with the stroke of his blue pencil, denied untold numbers of children, older people and disabled people the opportunity he had to live fully and well in this blessed place.
Legislators have already  questioned the legality of the line item veto. There may be lawsuits, or a vote to overturn the veto, but it would requre a 2/3 majority of the Legislature to overturn the veto.
And the children and elderly and the  disabled continue to  wait.

3 thoughts on “Schwarzenegger’s Shame”

  1. It is the government’s duty to protect citizens and to ensure their well-being. Schwarzenegger is not doing this. The funding priority for battered women’s shelters (BWS) should be the same as for prisons, because human life is at risk. Prisons keep the criminals in, and BWS’s keep the good people in, and the criminals out.The Governor’s illegal budget cuts, with backing of big oil(Chevron Corp. of San Ramon), are very dangerous for women and children, who are victims of domestic violence and it is sub-human. During a recession, with its higher unemployment, government funding for BWS’s should be increased, not eliminated. Obviously, this budget picks-on the most vulnerable, and it endangers. If a battered wife is murdered in front of a closed-down BSW, then,Schwarzenegger and his oil industry tyrants, should be charged with first-degree murder.

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