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Schwarzenegger touts budget plan in SF

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was in San Francisco this morning to discuss his 2008 budget proposal — $14.5 billion deficit by end of 2008-09, so no tax hikes but 10 percent across-the-board cuts — with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a public-private partnership of business, labor, government and higher education.

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Listen to the full audio (about 36 minutes, not for the faint of heart) here:

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Californians Against Gov’t Waste

    What a performance! I heard one gentleman ask a question about continuous improvement in government operations. Arnold didn’t answer the question but he did ramble on about fixing the budget system. He said nothing about how his agencies were improving operations like the private sector would. Another lady asked the question about innovation and the Governor rambled on again about fixing the budget system and blaming Sacramento for spending excessively.

    There is a legitimate argument for fixing the budget system and for creating rainy day funds to pace spending with the long term revenue trend line. But it is also important to streamline operations and hold off on projects that can wait in the interim while retooling is done.

    The approach this Governor is using needs more weight on program efficiency and less on pet project spending. Governor Schwarzwenegger made a comparison of our current situation to the great depression. Are we in a depression? We should exercise fiscal responsibility, tighten our belts, focus on efficiency in government agency operations, and hold off on spending billions of dollars on pet projects during the lean years, at least until we have our financial house in order.

    Business can improve its bottom line by increasing sales, cutting costs, exploiting lucrative opportunities, or reducing competition. Government improves its bottom line by maximizing efficiencies, cutting costs, holding projects, creating a friendly business environment, mandating a positive return on investment on projects, or by taxing. Anyone in business or government who doesn’t understand this shouldn’t be in either.