Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Schwarzenegger Defends Tax Hikes, Applauds Stimulus

From The Los Angeles Times:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday defended his decision to raise taxes as a necessary step to stem California's staggering economic crisis.

During appearances on morning news shows in Washington, D.C., Schwarzenegger said he would gladly accept money from the federal stimulus package approved by Congress last week even though some fellow Republican governors had balked at the program. And he predicted that although California's economy would begin rebounding next year, it would take "years from now to get back to where we were."

"I don't think that we have turned a corner yet," Schwarzenegger said on CNN's "State of the Union With John King."

The $130-billion state budget signed Friday by Schwarzenegger has earned the second-term governor jeers from state Republicans, some of whom argued for more spending cuts over tax hikes, which include across-the-board sales- and income-tax increases for the first time in 17 years. Schwarzenegger said that he drastically slashed spending in the new budget and that elected officials who disagree with his approach are "not in touch" with the public.

"It's very simple. Listen to the people," Schwarzenegger said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."

The governor called the federal stimulus plan a "terrific package" and said Republican leaders throughout the nation needed to shelve party ideologies in the face of the ongoing economic crisis. He cited, for example, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who has said he may refuse federal stimulus money for his state.

Blog Archive