Wednesday, October 08, 2003

BALLOT INITIATIVES FOR ME, BUT NOT FOR THEE. Few political boundaries can withstand star appeal. Already conservative backers of Governor Wolfcastle are making pre-emptive excuses for his upcoming term.

Mickey Kaus:
You want a tax increase if cutting the budget isn't enough to close the deficit? Schwarzenegger's the man for that too. As a nominal Republican, he is in a position to attract at least some Republican votes for a budget package that includes both taxes and cuts.

Quick, class -- what is the single issue that Wolfcastle ran on? Tax cuts! Very good! Well, in the immortal words of the Alleycats, nothing means nothing anymore.

More interesting is Kaus' suggestion that Wolfcastle move to "amend the state Constitution to get rid of the paralyzing requirement that two-thirds of the legislature approve any budget." If the two-thirds rule has any logic at all, it is that it makes it harder for larcenous political coalitions to hijack a budget. If Wolfcastle were to muscle this provision out of the state Constitution, it would not be for the benefit of the state's economy, but for the benefit of Two-Term Arnold.

A more breathtaking scam is proposed by David Frum. "Schwarzenegger won’t be able to change California," he deadpans, "unless he changes the way in which California is governed." Frum then proposes the death of Cali's easy ballot initiatives. "These constitutionally protected programs take priority over everything else the state does, including things that are less glamorous but more important... Schwarzenegger knows this well: after all, he entered politics with his own poll-tested budget proposal..." [emphasis mine].

If Arnold makes a terrible botch of things -- not an unimaginable event -- look for Frum to endorse an end to California's terribly unhelpful recall provisions.

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