The Blog

Arnold Speaks

He's smooth and polished and comes fully equipped with wiggle room on taxes.

12:00 AM, Aug 21, 2003 • By BILL WHALEN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Just so Arnold doesn't leave a chair at the table for Cruz Bustamante, the leading Democrat on the second half of the recall ballot.

ON TUESDAY, Bustamante unveiled his "Tough Love for California" plan to fix the mess in Sacramento. If elected, Bustamante vowed to raise taxes by nearly $8 billion, in effect declaring war on upper income earners, smokers (an extra $1.50 per cigarette pack) and drinkers (25 cents per gallon of alcohol). He also wants $2 billion in spending cuts, but didn't specify where the ax would fall.

"It is tough love, but the people of the state of California understand what it is to make sacrifices," Bustamante said. Not all Californians will have the make sacrifices, though. Bustamante didn't ask Indian tribes to make a deeper donation from their gambling revenues. Oh by the way, those tribes are heavily underwriting Bustamante's campaign.

Bill Whalen is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he follows California and national politics.