February 19th, 2009
03:45 PM ET
5 years ago

Schwarzenegger praises California budget deal

Schwarzenegger said the mix of tax hikes and budget cuts will have 'a positive impact' for California.
Schwarzenegger said the mix of tax hikes and budget cuts will have 'a positive impact' for California.

(CNN) – California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is praising his state's budget deal. The agreement, reached earlier today, ended a marathon battle over a bill that raises taxes, cuts spending and helps close the state's $42 billion deficit.

"This is a historic budget, and not only did they pass a great budget but also a great reform package," Schwarzenegger said, soon after the Democratic-controlled state Senate and Assembly passed the budget. "There's budget reform, and then primary reform, education reform, so there's all kind of great things that will have a tremendous impact, a positive impact on the state of California,"

But what does the agreement mean for Schwarzenegger himself, whose approval ratings in California have been stuck in the upper 30 to mid-40 percent range for the past year?

"There's a lot of pain in this budget deal, spending cuts, tax increases," CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said. "I'm not sure Californians will greet it with celebration."

Schwarzenegger has experienced major swings in popularity during his tenure. His approval rating was in the 50s and 60s his first year and a half in office, but plummeted in mid-2005 after he engaged in a series of battles with California Democratic lawmakers, and backed a series of referendums that failed at the ballot box that November.

But the next year, Schwarzenegger began working with the Democrats again, and won a landslide re-election. His approval ratings stayed in the 50s in 2007 before dropping last year.

Schwarzenegger is term-limited, unable to run for re-election next year. One option in his future could be a battle against Sen. Barbara Boxer, who's up for re-election in 2010. But Schwarzenegger has not indicated any interest in entering what would be an rough, and expensive, political battle.

"Governor Schwarzenegger may not want to face the voters next year," Schneider said. "When times are bad and the president is not on the ballot, voters take out their frustration on the governor.


Filed under: Arnold Schwarzenegger
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. california grandma

    you're kidding me, right?
    i live in sacramento.
    IT TAKES MORE THAN AN ACTION FIGURE TO RUN THIS STATE.
    arnold is a JOKE of a governor.
    he's a figure head.
    planted by the media/entertainment industry. (LOL)
    gray davis, (i called him vague) cared more about his future presidential campaign more than running the state and got ripped off by enron for NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
    i don't know if the people in california can AFFORD the weight of incompetence, immigrants and higher taxes much longer.
    they are raising the cost of registering our vehicles.
    cutting funding for schools.
    so we'll end up being a stupid state with no jobs, no transportation but with a huge welfare population.
    but hey, the beach is nice, for a while, until oil rigs are strewn along the horizon and oil spills onto the sand.
    soylent green doesn't seem so far away....

    February 19, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. naqib

    The Dems have run California for years... and this is what you get.

    February 19, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. anywhere but california ~ hugh

    As a Californian, I can say our state government is a political joke! We pay the highest price for gasoline in the country and most of it is due to gas taxes which has now been raised even higher. California has been ripped-off by Caltrans–who oversees all highway construction–by doing work slowly and at such a high cost. We have been fleeced of billions of dollars due to our inept state officials who do little oversight year after year. Typical California politics, which is to do too little too late!

    February 19, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Lakergirl

    Yep. In the middle of a recession, the best thing to do is to raise our taxes to support the unions and state workers- they've got cush jobs, and instead of CA govn't working for the people, we actually work for them. You can call them "revenue increases" or what have you. But fact of the matter is that we, the middle class, are going to suffer with the "TAX INCREASES". I wish these guys in SAC would just cut the sugarcoating and call them TAX INCREASES, because that is what they are. Funny, President Obama will CUT our taxes and CA will RAISE our taxes! We get screwed either way- except our unions and state workers of course. Let's see our LAUSD drop out rate decrease and our test scores increase. You would think that with the money we throw at the schools, we'd be producing positive results, but we are not. Yet they keep throwing our hard earned money at the schools and our teacher's pay (CA teachers are among the highest paid compared to other states)- with NOTHING to show for, of course.

    February 19, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Lakergirl

    We don't NEED the stupid LA to Vegas train. We don't NEED more public transportation. Face it- for years and years- they have tried to promote public transportation, but it's evident that we are not that kind of a state!!! Californians DRIVE. Deal with it. What we NEED to focus on is why- after all this money we are spending on schools- we fail to produce higher test scores and a lower drop out rate. WHY?! This is a BROKEN system that no one wants to fix yet we keep paying for this!!

    WHY are we spending billions on ILLEGAL immigrants when we can't even take care of our own LEGAL immigrants?!

    WHY are we funding the heavily inflated pensions of STATE workers while OUR OWN retirement is going down with the nation's economy?

    WHY is no one looking out for we the citizens?!

    February 19, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. GiroGeezer, Calif.

    Alms for California??
    Bless you Sir!

    Alms for California??
    Thank yee!

    Alms For California??
    Hey! No slugs...

    February 19, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. C

    I THOUGHT TAX CUTS WAS THE SOLUTION FOR EVERYTHING! WHAT OUT ARNOLD, THE FAR RIGHT WILL PUT YOU IN THE DOG HOUSE!

    February 19, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. J.P.

    End result:
    Businesses and wealth individuals will flock in droves to relocate to surrounding states, other other states like Texas, Florida and Alaska, where there is no state tax.

    Hey Cal-eeee-fornia Ahhhnold, we'll gladly take the businesses you've run out of your state... Welcome to Texas.

    February 19, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. abc

    great! now i have to pay more tax to mend fiscal mistakes done by the politicians in the Sacramento. we should pass a federal law placing responsibility onto the trouble "makers" not honest tax payers like myself. argh~ can't wait to vote for a better governor and the reps...

    February 19, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. James

    Big Gov = more programs = more taxes = now all of you are broke! Quit crying about your taxes it is time to spread the wealth.

    February 19, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    "Luke owwwwttt" Qweek, get in da chapa!

    February 19, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. EX-CALIF

    CALIFORNIA HAS BEEN IN A MESS FOR AWHILE, THAT'S IS WHY I LEFT. I AGREE THAT THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE WHEN ARNOLD TOOK OVER. THEY NEED TO CONCENTRATE SPENDING ON EDUCATION, THIS STATE RANKS 43 ON THE LIST OF RANKINGS, THAT'S WHY I LEFT. WHERE IS THE LOTTO MONEY GOING OBVIOUSLY NOT TO EDUCATION LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSE TO WHEN THEY STARTED THE LOTTO. BACK WHEN THE LAST BIG EARTHQUAKE HIT WE WERE IMPOSED A SUPPOSED TEMPORARY TAX TO HELP REBUILD, WELL THAT NEVER WENT AWAY. MY HUSBANDS COMPANY PULLED OUT OF CALIF BECAUSE TAXES AND HIGH WORKERS COMP INSURANCE, THAT'S WHY WE LEFT. SO LAST MAN OUT OF CALIF SAY BY TO MICKEY,MINNI FOR ME

    February 19, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. No Incumbents 2010

    If AHNALD wasn't such a girly man he might grow a set and start acting like a conservative.

    February 19, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. James

    Tony As is always the way with politicians, let thousands lose their jobs, go hungry, lose their homes, as long as he can go home to his mansion and meals prepared by his chef every night.God Bless America! What a joke!
    ____________________________________________________
    When did it become the Governments responsibility to provide you jobs, housing and food??? Do you believe in personal responsibility???

    February 19, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Al

    1. I'm totally for high speed train and more bike roads and more public transportation in our state.
    2. Hope our next governor will be a progressive democrat.

    February 19, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. mo

    Hey,

    i find it amusing that in T3 arnold managed to destroy the entire world, now as a governor managed to putting california in the worst economic situation. I understand that the state was going through some problems before he became governor, but the damage under him increased.

    Gov. Arnold I suggest you go back to making movies after your term ends, and keep your nose out of politics, and the President's tiny legs.

    come on give me a break.

    February 19, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. kristen

    I kind of feel bad for him. It's really the legislature that can't get anything done, and he gets the blame for that. It took the eminent threat of 20,000 state worker layoffs before 1 single republican was willing to sign a budget that included any tax increases. You know why you're broke GOP? Because you've cut taxes for decades and increased spending on non-stimulative items at the same time. There are 30,000 homeless in L.A., but I bet the California National Guard has 30 pairs of new boots per soldier. The GOP doesn't get it.

    February 19, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Lexie

    Washed-up Arnold really doesn't give a rats hiney.....term limits will have him waltzing out the door in fine style.

    February 19, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. Dems be dopes

    We are 15 bil over budget

    We spend 15 bil on illegals

    The size of gov't doubled in 10 years

    Gov't spending doubled in the last 10 years

    1.5 mil taxpayers moved out of the state in the last 10 years

    1.5 mil tax takers moved into the state in the last 10 years

    We have the highest sales tax and gas tax in the nation

    We have the highest marginal income tax rate kicking in at about $43,000.

    Problem?

    February 19, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  20. LM

    I live in this state and embarrassed that this wash up actor is the governor, didn't vote for him or the recall. Gray Davis should have never been recalled.

    Sad that the reason he was recalled was because he wanted to increase the car registration and now we have that increased anyway and then some.

    February 19, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. Matthew, Detroit

    The Democrats in California run the state congress and thus have run it into the ground.

    They have a very limp moderate governor who ran as a conservative financial guy but embraces every liberal idea that his wife gives him.

    He spends spends spends, and thus spent California into a hole.

    Bring in a Democrat governor sure. They will raise taxes, drive out business, give all the illegals free health care, education, increased welfare. Yep. It is nice and sunny, but nothing else to offer as a state.

    February 19, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. Lakergirl

    Thanks CA government for doubling our car tax!!!

    You know what's funny? Back in 2003 Ahhhnold staged a big celebratory rally in repealing the car tax and was BASHING Gray Davis for increasing this....well, looky looky what Arnold just did?! Can we say: RECALL??? This is pathetic.

    February 19, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. beachgirl

    Hey Arnold...... you had a chance to FIX California for years, that's how you got to be our Gov. and look at us now??

    WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?????????????

    February 19, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. Simmy

    I'll bet he voted for President Obama just like his wife.

    February 19, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. RJ

    And this is how you fix a budget deficit.
    You raise taxes and CUT SPENDING.
    It's painful yes, but no pain, no gain.

    Someone needs to tell congress this message.
    You cannot cut taxes and increase spending and expect a balanced budget.

    February 19, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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