Arnold's attack on the poor

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As usual, Robert Cruickshank at Calitics has it exactly right: The governor's budget isn't just bloody and brutal, it's a direct attack on poor people -- and an effort to divide the interests of the poor and the middle class. If the new round of budget cuts had continued to hit public schools, higher education, state parks and other things that benefit the middle class and the people who are slightly better off, there might be a huge public backlash. Instead, almost everything that he's hacking away is a program that helps the most needy:

Arnold is implicitly telling the middle-class "either you screw these poor families or we're cutting something you want" and counting on the middle-class to react the same way they did in the '80s and '90s - by saying "go ahead, we won't stop you." 

In a sick way, it's brilliant; it worked so well for Ronald Reagan, and Schwarzenegger figures it might work for him, too.

So this budget battle will not just be a test of whether the Democrats have the spine to stand up to the guv and the political skill to outflank the Republicans; it will be a test of whether they -- and the better-off among the voters -- are willing to go beyond narrow self-interest and stand up for the people at the bottom.

If not, what the governor is proposing will be the creation of a permanent underclass in California.

Comments

They drag the middle down with them--but because that's too hard for the average binary thinking schmoe to process, the divide and conquer crew win again.

Posted by Johnny Wendell on May. 17, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

If you keep screaming about how stupid we all are for not agreeing with you we will see the light someday sooner or later.

Now I just need to figure out what group of you people who insist that I am stupid to join up with, the born again Christians who think I am stupid or the "progressives" who think I am stupid.

Posted by Mr Matlock on May. 17, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

There isn't a single syllable here that states that anyone is stupid. That you chose to see it that way doesn't say anything about Messers. Redmond or Cruikshank, but quite a bit about you.

Desperately looking to be insulted and demeaned is the signpost of the perpetual victim, which is especially sad when said victim has never actually been victimized. Sorry that you feel ridiculed and persecuted--but you weren't. Maybe check out the free clinic in the Haight for the treatment you desperately need, and on the taxpayer's dime no less!

Posted by Johnny Wendell on May. 18, 2010 @ 7:00 am

"but because that's too hard for the average binary thinking schmoe to process,"

I personally would have to think you had some impact on my life for me to be botheres, I'm just pointing out the "progressive" view that not agreeing with them makes the rest of us "binary thinking schmoes". And how you seem to think that insulting the other 95% of American schmoes will make us smarten up and agree with the victim classes that you supposedly speak for is a mystery to me as well.

Yes, progressive like all revealed knowledge types are insulting.

Posted by glen matlock on May. 18, 2010 @ 7:57 am

Well the "underclass" or whatever you want to call that group (which has already been created) generally doesn't vote. If they did then In Home Support Services, Medi-Cal and all of those other programs that they utilize would be as tough to cut as the prison guards salaries & retirement benefits are. Nobody seems to want to face up to the fact that all of these programs cost money & aren't likely to be paid for solely by increasing the tax burden of the top 2% of income earners in the state.

Posted by Colin V. Gallagher on May. 22, 2010 @ 5:42 pm