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1 9th August 02:27
stephen denney
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Default Conan the Deceiver


Conan the Deceiver

New York Times
August 22, 2003
By PAUL KRUGMAN

The key moment in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Wednesday press
conference came when the bodybuilder who would be governor
brushed aside questions with the declaration, "The public
doesn't care about figures." This was "fuzzy math" on
steroids - Mr. Schwarzenegger was, in effect, asserting
that his celebrity gives him the right to fake his way
through the election. Will he be allowed to get away with
it?

Reporters were trying to press Mr. Schwarzenegger for the
specifics so obviously missing from his budget plans. But
while he hasn't said much about what he proposes to do, the
candidate has nonetheless already managed to say a number
of things that his advisers must know are true lies.

Even Mr. Schwarzenegger's description of the state economy
is pure fantasy. He claims that the state is bleeding jobs
because of its "hostile environment" toward business, and
that California residents groan under an oppressive tax
burden: "From the time they get up in the morning and flush
the toilet, they're taxed."

One look at the numbers tells you that his story is
fiction. Since the mid-1990's California has added jobs
considerably faster than the nation as a whole. And while
the state has been hit hard by the technology slump, it has
done no worse than other parts of the country. A recent
study found that California's tech sector had actually
weathered the slump better than its counterpart in Texas.
Meanwhile, California isn't a high-tax state: through the
1990's, state and local taxes as a share of personal income
more or less matched the national average, and with the
recent plunge in revenue they're now probably below
average.

What is true is that California's taxes are highly
inequitable: thanks to Proposition 13, some people pay
ridiculously low property taxes. Warren Buffett, supposedly
acting as Mr. Schwarzenegger's economic adviser, offered
the perfect example: he pays $14,401 in property taxes on
his $500,000 home in Omaha, but only $2,264 on his $4
million home in Orange County. But the candidate quickly
made it clear that Mr. Buffett should stick to the script
and not mention inconvenient facts.

When Mr. Schwarzenegger threw his biceps into the ring, he
seemed to think that, like George W. Bush, he could adopt a
what-me-worry approach to budget deficits. "The first thing
that you have to do is not worry about should we cut the
programs or raise the taxes and all those things," he told
Fox News. Then someone must have explained to him that a
governor, unlike a president, can't just decide that red
ink isn't a problem. In fact, one reason Gray Davis is so
unpopular is that, unlike the challengers, he has actually
had to take painful steps to close the budget gap. Although
news reports continue, inexplicably, to talk about a $38
billion deficit, the projected gap for next year is only $8
billion.

So Mr. Schwarzenegger now says that he will balance the
budget, while bravely declaring that he is against any
unpleasant measures this might involve. He wants to roll
back the increase in the vehicle license fee, which was
crucial to the state's recent fiscal progress, and he says
he won't propose any offsetting tax increases. And while
these promises mean that he must come up with large
spending cuts, he refuses to say what he will cut. His
excuse is that his advisers couldn't make "heads or tails"
of the California budget.

Please. The details are complicated, but the broad picture
isn't. Education dominates the budget, accounting for more
than half of general fund spending. Medical care dominates
the rest. The last remaining big chunk is corrections.

Yet the candidate says he won't touch education. Sharp cuts
in medical spending would be not only cruel but foolish,
since in many cases they would mean losing federal matching
funds. And prison spending is largely determined by the
state's "three strikes" law. In short, he's not leveling
with voters: there's no way to balance the budget while
honoring all his promises.

But the candidate says that specifics don't matter, that
the public just wants someone "tough enough." Does he
really think that voters will confuse him with the
characters he plays?

So here's the question: Can a celebrity candidate muscle
his way into public office without ever being held
accountable for his statements?**

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/22/opinion/22KRUG.html?ex=1062579977&ei=1&en=7ff547e7f0e21a65


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2 9th August 12:23
revenant
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Default Conan the Deceiver


Actually, he's absolutely right. californians have been lied to so many
times about the budget and what we do/do not owe, that most don't really
care anymore. I think what a lot of Californians are looking for is this..
1: The power to stay on.
2: Taxes to go down (or at least stay the same)
3: California to become more attractive to businesses
4: commute times to drop.
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3 9th August 12:24
rico x. partay
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Default Conan the Deceiver


Sure, and some people would like the tooth fairy to place
several one hundred dollar bills under their pillows every Tuesday
night, which is about as likely as Arnold's fantasy world coming
true.
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4 9th August 12:24
the pervert
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Default Conan the Deceiver


Conan the Deceiver

New York Times
August 22, 2003
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Mr. Krogman's statement, like the rest of the piece, was clearly bullshit.
One problem is that Mr. Schwarzenegger openly said what he saw to be true.
Not politically acceptable, but to the point. I happen to agree with him re
he public not caring about figures other than those in their checkbooks.

Mr. Krogman, obviously a partisan Democrat, spews a lot of fuzzy logic of
his own. "Will he be allowed to get away with it?" Probably. Some, on
either side of the political spectrum, will believe what they are told to
believe. He is, in effect, asserting that his piece appearing in the New
York Times (a newspaper no longer so well known for its credibility) gives
him the right to be taken seriously regardless of the ridiculous content of
his column. The difference is that Mr. Schwarzenegger isn't doing this as a
career move. He has plenty of money of his own. Neither Mr. Krogman, nor
Mr. Busamante nor any of the Democratic spinmeisters can say that. Mr.
Schwarzenegger would be taking a HUGE financial hit if he wins the election.
Again, the other side can't say that. They need to win to keep their jobs.

Look at the motives, folks. Look at the integrity and credibility factors.
Disagree on issues if you, indeed, have differences. I don't agree with any
particular political agenda or perspective on everything. I can make up my
own mind, but I'll make my decisions based on facts and reason. That lets
Mr. Krogman, the real deceiver, out.

Last observation. Notice where Mr. Denny is posting from? I did mention
credibility, didn't I?
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5 9th August 12:24
revenant
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Posts: 1
Default Conan the Deceiver


Err... Sorry... I think I am missing something. Which part of Arnold's
policy, at least what little he haas outlined, is not possible?

Let's look at it this way... in 1998 California was not in horrible shape.
People were not dying in the streets. We had problems, just as we do now.
Some things have gotten margianlly better, some marginally worse.
However.... our spending is up 40% from that time. Seems likeif we went
right back to that budget as a astarting point, then inflated it to match
our current revenue (up 28 %) we'd be in O.K. shape. and that would put an
immediate 11 billion dollar dent in our defecit.
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6 9th August 21:26
jafo
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Default Conan the Deceiver


So let's cut the price of Buffett's Omaha home in half...
are you saying that the owner of a what is at today's rates
a modest $250,000 home should pay $7,000 a year in property
taxes? A nearly 3% tax rate would return us to the thrilling
days of pre-13 yesteryear when people were quite literally
being taxed out of their homes.

--
Jafo
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7 9th August 21:26
revenant
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Posts: 1
Default Conan the Deceiver


Steve,

I'd like option 2 (expanded highways) please. But it isn't likely. Look
at the 101, a handful of people can block what would be good for 10's of
thousands.
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8 9th August 23:00
socalmike
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Default Conan the Deceiver


if thats your sole primary residence? not necessarily. however, mister
buffet owns a few homes, so sure- he can afford to pay a lil more tax. i
cant.

mebbe make prop13 only apply to your primary residence, and tax the shit out
of any additional homes you own?
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9 9th August 23:02
rob
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Default Conan the Deceiver


And a guy who calls himself "the pervert" is more credible than someone
posting from one of this nation's top 20 schools?
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10 13th August 10:14
the pervert
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Default Conan the Deceiver


Oh goody. Another name flame.

Care to argue based on the actual content of my post? Apparently not.
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