February 19th, 2009
03:45 PM ET
9 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. richard

    this idiot governator won the recount against davis on a platform of fewer taxes and now he is the biggest advocate for raising taxes during a recession!?

    his biggest case against davis was that california didn't need to increase the car tax to close the budget...

    now he has raised the car tax, gas tax, income tax and is sending out IOU's in place of refund checks!


    February 19, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. SUZY

    He will not be BOCK!!

    February 19, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Rick CT

    They're going to need all the infrastructure projects to widen the roads headed out of CA.

    February 19, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Gosh ! I thought Americans were bad. Next door they have the French with the same mindset – "After God. Obama is next." Lord help us here in California. After the terminator who next. I pray that we do not have another democrat whose brain is half developed. All democrats for that matter. They appear to be all stupid. They even gone to the extent of inviting Republican Senator Gregg again to assist them rewrite the historic bill in two flippin days. Schwarzenegger did a great job of bringing the boneheads together. A prerequisite for leadership.

    February 19, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Donna - Los Angeles

    Arnold sucks, period. We got rid of Gray Davis for him, why.

    February 19, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Gorbashov

    Once again, The Republican legislative leadersip in California and nationally proves why they are, and will continue to be THEE minority party.

    February 19, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. MW in Calif

    Steve – what liberal policies are you even talking about? Do you even live in this state or do you just like spouting off nonsense such as money for marsh mouse studies and railways from L.A. to Las Vegas? Both of these only exist in that small vacum you call your brain. Rush has spoon fed you lies and rumors and you drink it up like a good neobot. Try living in the real world here in California before commenting.

    February 19, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Jared in Cali

    I like how all these people who DON'T live in California are passing judgment on the Governor. Spare us, please. Why don't you worry about your own democratic senators who've hijacked your states?

    February 19, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. fearful for my country

    Hey Arnold. Want to fix your budget? STOP giving to the illegals. Cut off all funding to illegal aliens and your budget will work itself out.

    February 19, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. yuri

    Arnie may 've an approval rating of 30% – 40%, but sure has still some juice goin' on for him. We observe a singular absence of a truely challengin' opponent who can withstand the rigors of electioneering.

    As for the GOP in general, Jindal seems to be approachin' the radar screen from the offing. It remains to be seen if he can deliver. Rigidly conservative principles are a hard sell and it almost seems the right wingers are runnin' the risk of bein' dubbed as antidiluvians.

    February 19, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Pat Lee Sucks

    I thought anybody who said the economy is weak was a girlie man?

    February 19, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Terry - California

    Sorry Governor Schwarzenegger, this is not a great budget resolution. If you want a budget that really works, appoint men and women from all walks of life here in California, to a Budget Spending Committee. If you want accountability, let the grass roots folks vote on where the money goes. We can call it "Reality Spending" and there would be weekly television shows that present how the real folks are spending "Their Own Tax Dollars".

    February 19, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |

    I remember the day that I was waiting to vote in the recall election in California. People were actually saying I am voting for the terminator! I was not one of the "star struck" people that voted for him. His first act after being elected was to lower the care registration fee. Now that the economy has tanked, he wants to take our blood to solve the economic disaster that he helped create. We are all trying to survive and this new budget will only add to the angst that we are already feeling. He should have stuck to acting although his looks were gone so maybe that was no longer an option!

    February 19, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Ron

    I love how the Republicans are all of the sudden worried about archiving emails and other documents especially after the Bush Republican administration told everyone that what they did was nobody's business.

    February 19, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    I can see Canada from my house! February 19th, 2009 4:07 pm ET
    I have an idea, Gary: can we drill for oil at your house? We can run a test well right in your front yard.

    Absolutely you can drill in my yard. Oil companies pay big bucks for leasing the right to drill, and massive bucks if they find anything. Who wouldn't want oil found on their property? Even if they found nothing, I'd get enough to pay of the mortgage (and fill in the hole)! If they hit oil, I'd be living in Maui. Wanna ask any more stupid questions?

    February 19, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. USANUM1

    Well CA, WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!! Increased TAXES AND CUT SPENDING!!! You've been SPENDING AND SPENDING, like the bunch of liberal democrats are making our country do now, that you've gotten your state into a well deserved bind! Pelosi has NO CLUE how to run ANYTHING and it is now showing! Our country would be fine if we'd REMOVE PELOSI and OBAMA, put them down to a janitor position, AND LET SOMEONE IN THERE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE DOING!!! Maybe now CA will start to see how the REAL world is supposed to work!!

    February 19, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Andre

    He was a bad actor and he is a bad governor.

    February 19, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Keith

    Big pain indeed. They took away two obscure state holidays and substituted 2 personal days off for state employees. Lavish pensions and liberal disability (i.e. octomom) are unchanged. Typical bait and switch.

    February 19, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Tony

    Hopefully the Terminator just terminated his re-election.

    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!

    February 19, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Matthew, Detroit

    The budget has too many taxes and too much spending.

    Too much money for golf courses.

    Too much money for the care of illegals.

    Too much spending. Cut the budget, cut the spending.

    Everyone in America has to balance their checkbook. Every business has to balance its checkbook.


    February 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    This sounds like a compromise to me; nobody seems happy with what was passed but the business of the state can now go on. Enough of this my way or the highway; our adult leaders learned to work together and come to an agreement. Sure, no one wants to be taxed more but no one wants to see their 401k balance in a tailspin or see your employer go bankrupt and lay you off and other problems? And enough of this silly exodus from California because of taxes. 37 other states are fighting a deficit; just where is this supposed exodus going to? I haven't heard of a single state that is booming and flush with cash. These are tough times yet a lot of commentators just want to protect themselves and don't care about anything else – that's a recipe for gridlock.

    February 19, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    I would also add that partisan politics did bit Arnold in the rear. He got elected by putting down Gray Davis and then had the same problems work him over.

    February 19, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Matthew, Detroit

    I wish I had oil in my FRONT YARD.

    I would wall asleep to the sound of the well pumping oil.


    ARNOLD has got to go. He has become more of a weak knee liberal than he was when he came in as a moderate.

    Lousy governor. They even RUINED the SOLAR initiative when you were FORCED to use UNION labor to install the solar system. Joke.

    February 19, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |


    All I can say to you is wow. Democrats have run Cali into the ground and this budget does nothing more than help put the final nail in the coffin. Once everyones taxes go sky high things will go back to the way they were in the 90's with true Republicans (not Bush) getting some fiscal responsibilities into this Gov't.

    February 19, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Matthew, Detroit





    February 19, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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