Who could have thought that some solid leadership based on reality could possibly be originating in California? The usual brand of leadership that comes from the left coast leads people merrily down the path of social destruction through the gradual erosion of their values. Once the shock value is gone in the theaters and on TV, people stop reacting to the previously unthinkable.
First Miss California took a stand based on her values with the outcome that her stand would not be popular with the “gentleman” who asked her question for the peagent. I was proud of her for taking a side.
Now, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken the reality of the economic mess California finds itself in to heart when he spoke to the legislature.
Today I want to talk about financial crisis. Three months ago the members of this body came together to set aside their ideological differences and did what they believed was best for California. We solved $36 billion of a $42 billion deficit.
But as you know, part of our budget agreement required us, by law, to go back to the people for approval, right at a time when the people wanted to send Sacramento a powerful message. And that message was clear: Do your job. Don’t come to us with those complex issues. Live within your means. Get rid of the waste and inefficiencies and don’t raise taxes.
Now, as I stand here today, we are in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. in the past 18 months one-third of the world’s wealth has vanished. And because of that and because of California’s outdated and volatile tax system, our revenues have dropped 27 percent from last year.
It doesn’t take a whole bunch of imagination to see the writing on the wall. Tough choices have to be made in order to stay afloat. The same sort of choices Washington would have to make if it couldn’t just spend all they want…they’ll print more.
Now, at the same time, we cannot take this budget and make it just about cuts. There are also some great opportunities here for structural reform. Like Winston Churchill said, “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity but an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
So we can all pray that California is successful in re-inventing their state spending habits. If they are successful, they may have paved the way to a return to reality for the rest of the country. One firm example of rising above and dealing with the issues reasonably should be an inspiration to the rest of the nation.
Talk is cheap, and until all of the governors dig in and tell Washington thanks, but no thanks, the wild orgy of spending will go unabated. The states could shame Washington into doing what they should have in the first place.
We are not a nation of victims. None of us should be looking to any government entity to solve our problems. Instead, the American pioneering spirit that has laid dormant for generations should be re-ignited. We each need to hold ourselves accountable for our own choices.
More importantly, we need to hold our elected representatives accountable for theirs. We can’t allow them to side-step the laws that have been put into place. Rushing bills through Congress, bailout/bankruptcy deals and removing business leaders without due process is abuse of power. Our freedom came at a great price, we need to guard it as the priceless heirloom it truly is. Washington needs to be taken to task for their choices. Do not remain silent and wonder what happened. Speak up and speak out for your Constitutional rights and the future of your nation.