By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Boys! Girls! Men! Women! Are you tough enough to be a Californian? You're not some pencil-neck softie content to let any bullying Arizonan kick sand in your face, are you? No! Not when you can melt off the flab of government services with Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dynamic Oligarchy method of toughening up.
How tough do you wanna be?
How does Dynamic Oligarchy work? It's simple: Based on the proven weight-training techniques that served Arnold so well—combined with his regimen of diet, steroids and no marijuana until after competition—the governor will build your stamina and strength by progressively adding fees and debt load to your "weight stack" until you achieve your goals.
Struggling to pay for college? Well, add 10 percent to 40 percent to the high fees you're already paying to go to a state university, and compete for fewer seats as UC enrollments are cut 10 percent. If you go to a community college, look for a 44 percent increase.
Struggling with illness or disability? What are you, a cripple? Toughen up by jumping the new hurdles it'll take to qualify for Medi-Cal. The already-strapped outfit will have $2.7 billion less under Arnoldnomics.
Need help from police, firemen or paramedics in your community? Toughen up again, crybaby, because cities will be getting millions less from the state. Studies have shown that few activities burn as many calories as trying to save your burning house.
Looking to take your family camping, the only vacation that many families can afford these days? Well, park and campground fees are nearly doubling, so toughen up and join the rugged pioneers living amid the ice plant on freeway embankments.
And to keep you from backsliding, repayment on a $15 billion bond will assure that you're lifting more for years to come.
The beauty of Dynamic Oligarchy is that it works where it's needed most. If you're an "unfit" member of society struggling to meet your meek goals, it zeroes right in on you. But if you've already achieved your goals—like if you're rich, for instance—you're off the hook. The governor reportedly considered and rejected a tax on those earning more than $250,000, which could have brought in $1.5 billion, but where's the challenge in that? It's like society is a body, and we're the weak, pasty-white legs that will be getting a more rigorous workout from now on—no pain, no gain!—while the perfect six-pack abs of the rich can kick back with a well-deserved beer. Roll out the Schwarzenkegger!
Maybe you're one of the lucky thousands who saw candidate Schwarzenegger crush a car with a wrecking ball at the OC Fairgrounds a few months ago. I'll never tire of his quote at the time, which ranks with Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine's best: "In movies, I played a character that if I didn't like something, I destroyed it! I viped it out!" Then he brought tons of pig iron down on the hapless auto.
Now that he's dropped the ball on the rest of the state last week, it helps explain why Schwarzenegger said so little in the way of specifics when he was a candidate. He was going to open the books, stamp out the crazy spending, target the special interests. Who could be against that? It played right to every Americans' belief that government is rife with frivolous programs pissing away sopping buckets of our tax dollars. Hidden in hive-like Sacramento office buildings, you just know there lurks a Department of Coddling Ungrateful Immigrants, the Diplomate Board of Chakra Alignments, the Bureau of Lunches & Such. Schwarzenegger was talking a win-win, where we'd fix the budget by simultaneously pruning this nutty, zany out-of-der-heads cash-drunk bureaucracy down to the size the founding fathers had intended. You know, back when they had big buckles on their shoes and "choice of health care providers" meant leeches or witch-dunkers.
How did we know that the special interests Arnold was complaining about were our kids and our poor and ailing elderly? Here the Diapers-and-Depends set toddles and hobbles around looking sympathetic and all, when evidently they've been in the smoky backrooms, making deals and sucking large at the public teat this whole time. In the old country we'd just put them outside to die or learn to survive. Give 'em the shove, Gov!
Look, I know the state is in a budget crisis and hard decisions need to be made. I don't envy the choices Schwarzenegger has. But in keeping some campaign promises and jettisoning others he's looking more like a Bush Republican every day. He promised not to be beholden to special interests or solicit campaign funds from them, yet he has. He promised to order an investigation of the sexual harassment allegations made against him by several women, and cancelled that. He made a splashy and possibly unconstitutional grab of state funds to send to cities and counties to offset the money they lost when he slashed the car tax, and now his budget is taking most of that away from them again. He's playing some of the same masking tricks with the debt that he accused former Gov. Gray Davis of. He's reneged on promises to school kids and the needy.