Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
California's budget crisis is serious. But how much worse can things get?
When referring to budget cuts, we've all heard officials use terms like "unfortunate" and "difficult". Seldom, if ever, have we heard the term "absolutely terrible" to describe the cuts. But that's exactly the language Governor Schwarzenegger's press secretary used in describing the state's fiscal road ahead.
"What you can expect generally is no taxes and terrible cuts, absolutely terrible cuts," Schwarzenegger press secretary Aaron McLear told the Sacramento Bee. "We're not going to get through the deficit we have without some really tough decisions and some really terrible cuts."
As time goes by, the cuts will only get deeper -- and now the governor is having to dig deep. He may have to consider eliminating some prison, health care and welfare programs. Schwarzenegger has no plans to eliminate existing tax breaks for businesses -- he argues that those tax breaks will help businesses grow and help create jobs.
How far is the governor digging to get the job done? Here's one of his ideas: Install traffic enforcement cameras at intersections to drive revenue from speeding tickets. How much controversial revenue could that generate each year?
It seems to be the proverbial deck chair off the Titanic. Rest assured, the cameras won't be going up anytime soon. Both sides of the legislative aisle shot that one down.
How this situation ultimately gets fixed is anybody's guess. Whatever the case, some Californians may face an "absolutely terrible" state of affairs heading toward this year's elections.