Arnold Schwarzenegger’s remarks about his intention to run for president in case adequate changes are made in the US Constitution and the election law, became a surprise for many. The future plans of the sitting governor of California gave reasons to numerous jokes. The most popular one is as follows: “The Terminator decides to destroy America.” As a matter of fact, this joke is very close to truth.
Today, the State of California, which used to bring 13 percent to the nation’s GDP, is ready to declare itself a bankrupt. One of the most prosperous and richest states of the USA is standing on the brink of default. The Californian authorities have severe problems with paying salaries to teachers, firemen and even the police. Governor Schwarzenegger takes radical measures: he cuts state employees, lowers unemployment allowances and releases prisoners. The Californians are already sure that such measures will turn their lives into a nightmare, which could eventually become a very good plot for the next sequel of the “Terminator.”
Is the governor solely responsible for all the trouble of the State of California? It seems that everyone is certain that he is. Schwarzenegger’s popularity rating dropped to the lowest point at the end of March. Only 23 percent of respondents said that they supported his activities as a governor. Seventy-one percent said that he could not do his job well.
The problems in the economy in the erstwhile prosperous state started with the mortgage crisis, like in many other regions of the US. Schwarzenegger’s poor economic strategy only added more fuel to the fire. In addition to the above-mentioned problems with salary payments, one should say that the police of California receive a part of their paychecks in the form of debt warrants. These notes have already been dubbed as the Arnoldbucks.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently stated that California was running out of money. He added that the Legislative Assembly should treat the problem of the budget deficit seriously since it already makes up $26 billion and think about a way to cut expenses. The “terminator” decided that it would be best to economize on social programs and state employees. He is going to fire 5,000 state employees, police officers, for instance, and then have three-billion-dollar cuts in expenses on education.
A.J. Duffy, the president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said that over 25,000 teachers would be fired and the number of students in one class would be increased to 45. Thousands of people will lose medical insurance and receive debt warrants instead of paychecks.
The Parliament of California does not accept Schwarzenegger’s plan and says that one should increase profits rather than cut expenses. California can receive taxes from super profits of the movie industry. As a result, the new financial year has started, but the budget plan of the state is still uncertain.
Jack Kyser, founding economist of the Kyser Center for Economic Research in Los Angeles, said that California was going to cut its expenses. Municipal authorities were still unaware of what was going to happen and how much they could receive from the budget and for which purposes. Many will lose their jobs but it will not save the economy, Mr. Kyser believes.
Arnie is certain, though, that his Schwarzenomics, like Reaganomics, has all opportunities to extricate the state from the crisis. Schwarzenomics will require many social victims. About one million children will be deprived of free medical insurance. The unemployment allowance will be cut too in accordance with Schwarzenegger’s plan. The governor states that about 80 percent of the unemployed in California simply did not want to work.
California has become “Terminator’s last victim” as locals joke. As a matter of fact, seven other states experience similar problems. The deficit of their budgets totals $121 billion.
Some of those living in Hollywood would be ready to support their colleague at the gubernatorial election on November 2, 2010. However, the US Constitution does not allow to take one position longer than two terms. Arnie is not going to participate in the election. Nevertheless, the sitting governor of California is serious about continuing his career in politics. When Jay Leno of NBC’c Tonight Show asked Schwarzenegger whether he was ready to run for president if it was legally possible, the actor responded that he obviously would.
Schwarzenegger is not a US-born citizen. He obtained the US citizenship only in 1983. A presidential candidate is supposed to be a native of the United States, not any other country.
Therefore, the troubled governor can only hope to resume his career in the film industry. Rumor has it that Arnie plans to join forces with James Cameron for a sequel of True Lies.
Who knows what Schwarzenegger will be doing after his term expires in California. Will it be True Lies 2 or Terminator in the White House? Everything is possible in America.