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Schwarzenegger the Moderate?

Rush Limbaugh doesn't much care for Arnold Schwarzenegger's politics:

The American Prowler's George Neumayr detailed Arnold's politics in his article "Here's Arnold!" Quote: "[H]e spoke in generalities and banalities about his plans for the state. To the extent that he said anything, he sounded not like a fiscal conservative but a moderate Democrat. He said that he wanted businesses to come back to California so that the state government could collect enough tax revenues to provide social programs. This is the sort of obtuse comment middle-of-the-road Democrats always make, forgetting that businesses are leaving the state because they are tired of paying high taxes for those big government social programs."

More: "He has told the press he is 'very liberal' about social programs, supports abortion and homosexual adoption, and advocates 'sensible gun controls.' His entree into politics last year was a proposition Democrats endorsed because it raised state spending for what amounted to state babysitting -- before-school and after-school programs that cost the state up to $455 million a year. He has complained openly about the party's conservatism.... Talk magazine described him as 'impatient' with the religious right.... [H]e expressed disgust with the Republicans who impeached Clinton. 'That was another thing I will never forgive the Republican Party for,' he said. 'We spent one year wasting time because there was a human failure. I was ashamed to call myself a Republican during that period.'"

(Rush didn't link to the article he referenced, but it can be found here.)

In other news, Schwarzenegger named Warren Buffett and George Shultz as economic advisors. Buffett promptly went on to describe the foolishness of California's Proposition 13:

Mr. Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., took on California's famous Proposition 13, which has limited property taxes there since 1978. As an example, he pointed out the difference between his own property-tax bills for homes he owns in California and Nebraska.

His home in Omaha, he said, is valued at roughly $500,000. His current yearly property tax bill on that home: $14,401.

In California, he owns a Laguna Beach home valued at $4 million, or eight times as much. The annual property taxes on that home are just $2,264 -- a fraction of what he pays in Omaha.

More to the point, said Mr. Buffett , the taxes on his Omaha home rose $1,920 this year, compared with $23 on the Laguna Beach home. Mr. Buffett attributed the scant jump in California to the restrictions of Proposition 13, which generally limits property-tax increases to 2% a year, no matter how much the value of a property appreciates.

Mr. Buffett stopped short of saying he would urge Mr. Schwarzenegger to seek a reversal of Proposition 13 to increase property taxes -- a move that would almost certainly be attacked by many of Mr. Schwarzenegger's fellow Republicans. But he left little doubt that that is where he is leaning.

Leaving aside the question of whether California's overall tax rate is too high or too low, the reality is that Proposition 13 is fundamentally unfair. As I remember it, Proposition 13 passed in large part on voter sympathy for the elderly losing their homes due to rising property taxes. As a defense against this, it may well have succeeded. But it has also succeeded in allowing the wealthy of Los Altos Hills, Woodside, and Portola Valley who hold onto their homes to pay far less than in property taxes than more recent buyers of homes worth a fraction as much. How can that be defended as fair?

It's true that Schwarzenegger has yet to announce any specifics of what he would do as governor. But if Rush Limbaugh doesn't like him, and if Warren Buffett and George Shultz do, how bad can he be?

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Comments

i always liked that margaritaville song

and charlie brown and snoopy

Pro abortion, pro gun control, pro gay, pro Clinton?!?!?! Explain to me how those beliefs make him a REPUBLICAN!?!?!?!?! He's a friggin DEMOCRAT!

Anti-tax, anti-regulation? Explain to me how those beliefs make him a Democrat? He's a friggin' Republican!

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