As if delivering the tagline of his latest movie, California’s governor announced to the state Legislature Tuesday that the “day of reckoning is here.” But Democrats are fighting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to cut funding for schools, the poor and sick children while refusing to raise taxes.
He has outlined a series of cuts that include an additional $5.2 billion reduction in funding for public schools, laying off 5,000 state workers and further cutting the pay of 200,000 others. He has proposed eliminating welfare for 500,000 families, terminating health coverage for nearly 1 million low-income children and closing 220 state parks.
“People come up to me all the time, pleading ‘Governor, please don’t cut my program.’ They tell me how the cuts will affect them and their loved ones,” Schwarzenegger said. “I see the pain in their eyes and hear the fear in their voice. It’s an awful feeling. But we have no choice.”
The Republican governor and legislators of his own party say they will not raise taxes, after agreeing to $12.8 billion in higher sales, personal income and vehicles taxes earlier this year.