Apparently, Arnold Schwarzenegger was sent back in time to destroy California’s financial infrastructure. Maybe, he thought he could bully the economy into submission or perhaps he thought he could strap on a loin cloth and defeat it in an epic swordfight.
Either way, in its current state, California is screwed.
While Schwarzenegger didn’t get the state into this mess on his own, as governor he deserves most of the blame.
For the past couple of years Democrats and Republicans have played the “we’re not signing a budget, until the last possible minute game.”
For the unfamiliar, it involves introducing a budget that you know your opponent will never sign, and then trapping the entire state in a stalemate that closes government offices and endangers people’s well-being.
The effect this constant push-pull has had on college students has been irreparable.
Students have lost their financial aid, causing them to drop out of college or drastically alter their future plans.
Colleges that receive state funding like Riverside City College must now make hard choices that involve class cuts, budget cuts and in some case the elimination of entire programs.
The tension of this situation can be felt around campus. Important math and English classes are bursting at the seams with students, while financial aid and insurance considerations caused others to take classes they had no interest in, just to meet requirements.
College is meant to be a time where students can explore their options and give themselves a better chance at future employment. With this budget impasse hanging over their heads like a guillotine, it’s hard to concentrate on learning statistics or writing about Shakespeare.
In perhaps the most insulting turn of events, Schwarzenegger decided in the middle of this battle that it would be in the state’s best interest for him to head off to Asia for a week.
As of this printing the standoff has lasted 84 days, causing state offices to close and employees to figure out how to live off of IOUs.
California colleges continually have raised tuitions and fees to accommodate for the loss of government money.
However, this is causing students to be priced out of an education.
At this point, it’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong; it’s about solving the problems the politicians were elected to solve.
College students by definition are poor and cannot afford to pay for the state legislature’s mistakes.
Maybe Arnold could use the money that he made from “Batman and Robin” and “Collateral Damage” to help out, because let’s face it; he owes a refund to anyone who saw those films.
Even more insulting is the fact that this is how the budget has been handled three years in a row.
The continuous disrespect for their constituents shows that these legislators don’t care that they’ve turned California into a national laughingstock.
It’s easy to say that this is what the state gets for electing an inexperienced actor as governor, however, that doesn’t explain why the rest of the legislature seems so out of touch and incompetent at times.
California’s economy passed the crisis point a while back, it’s now on life support and the politicians seem more interested in arguing and pointing fingers than coming up with a cure.
Maybe the only real solution is to go back in time and solve the problem before it happens.
Someone get Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn on the phone.