Saturday, January 12, 2008

Interview with the Governor of California

[Thanks to Marcelle Cendrars for this interview] "SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency in California Thursday, and released a state budget proposal that would close an estimated $14 billion gap by cutting education funds, releasing inmates and closing dozens of state parks." -- Yahoo headline article opening paragraph Q: Why are you cutting funds for the elderly and the blind? A: Everyone has to absorb some of the cutbacks. Q: But not the corporations? A: You don't want the moneymakers to leave the state, do you? Q: Is it your aim to have the poor leave your state? A: Things are rarely that dramatic, but people have to go where they have to go. Q: Children will be going to schools with much less money allocated per student, yes? A: Like I said, everyone has to hurt a little bit with this attempt to balance the budget. On the college and university level, some may have to take a break. Q: Why won't your raise taxes on wealthy individuals, if not the corporations? Aren't you giving them a break? A: Californians across the board are paying enough in taxes. Q: Do you see the closing of 48 state parks as a problem? A: It's not ideal. Q: Do you see crime going it did when Reagan prematurely released the mentally ill? A: I'm not familiar with the statistics related to those budgetary cuts in the 80s. But, no, I don't see any relationship there. Q: How about the fallout from a four billion dollar cut in Education, including suspension of provisions of a voter-approved initiative that would have guaranteed a minimum funding level for schools? A: Children and teachers can be quite resilient. Q: You also proposed eliminating active supervision of 18,522 parolees and making it far more difficult to return lawbreakers to prison. In all, the cuts and weakened parole policy are expected to reduce your state's prison population by 35,000 in the next two years. Do you expect an outcry against that? A: I never make decisions based on their popularity. Q: Is that how you would characterize the elimination of all dental coverage for three million poor people in California: An unpopular move? A: No, a necessary move. Q: How would you sum up what you've done? A: This is a budget that doesn't please everybody, I know that for sure. But the bottom line is I think this was the fairest way to go. Marcelle Cendrars can be reached at for details concerning this interview.

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