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Tax Terminator

Arnold has finally come out of the closet. In a Wall Street Journal article he states:

I have often said that the two people who have most profoundly impacted my thinking on economics are Milton Friedman and Adam Smith. At Christmas I sometimes annoy some of my more liberal Hollywood friends by sending them a gift of Mr. Friedman’s classic economic primer, “Free to Choose.” What I learned from Messrs. Friedman and Smith is a lesson that every political leader should never forget: that when the heavy fist of government becomes too overbearing and intrusive, it stifles the unlimited wealth creation process of a free people operating under a free enterprise system.

He then lays out the key elements of his program:

My plan to rescue the economy in California is based on the opposite set of values: I want to slash the cost of doing business in California; I want to unburden businesses from regulations that strangle economic growth; I want to bring taxes down to levels competitive with our neighboring states. Within three years, I want business groups to trumpet the fact that California is once again one of the best places in the country to do business.

He then closes with a statement which is difficult to argue with:

Our state will prosper again when we commit ourselves in California to “Free to Choose” economics. This means removing, one by one, the innumerable impediments to growth–excessive taxes, regulations, and deficit-spending. If we do this we will bring California back as the untarnished Golden State.

Long before the California election I read Mr Schwarzenegger had at least slight libertarian leanings. Given this statement I feel safe declaring he is a fellow traveller at the very least.

The article can be found here. It is well worth reading despite the hassles of getting to it. This is perhaps the first Opinion Journal article I have linked to since they started crashing my browser when I attempt to print to file. In general, I do not refer people to something if I am unable to file a copy for future reference in the all too common case where the link becomes unreachable.

15 comments to Tax Terminator

  • Andy Duncan

    Hi Dale,

    There may be a sting in the tail, to Arnie’s ‘Free to Choose’ declaration. At least that’s what Jeffrey Tucker thinks over on at the Mises Blog:

    Schwarzenegger: Cut Taxes, Centralize Education

    But hey, love the rest of it! 🙂

  • Brian Micklethwait

    Fascinating, and very encouraging.

    To forestall the inevitable cynical reactions that I’m guessing some hard-arsed libertarians might have about this, along the lines of “he’s only saying it, he doesn’t mean it …” …

    I would reply that rhetoric, in politics, is extremely important. The fact that Arnold is now talking like this – even if he later renegs on it, or fails to make it stick because of political mistakes or just because nobody is powerful enough to do that in California, or because the Trilateral Commission nobbles him, blah blah – is a fact of importance in its own right, regardless of how things eventually turn out.

    After all, if words count for nothing and only actions matter, what the hell do we think we are doing here?

    This speech, going by the excerpts you (Dale) have given us, is as “theoretical” as I’ve heard a politician getting in a long long time. The last piece of such geeky geekery I can recall from a serious politician was when pur own Gordon Brown suddenly started talking about Endogenous Growth Theory or some such.

    I guess if you are Arnold Schwarzenegger nobody is going to think you are a geek, eve if, actually, you are a geek, among other things.

    It’s fun watching these things play out, isn’t it?

    And you never know, he may not only mean it, but also do it.

  • Dale Amon

    I’ve not been able to find a reference to fact check my memory, but I believe that Arnold actually has heavy duty academic geek credentials. A couple degrees I think. He is an intellectual terminator as well as a physical one as I understand it.

  • Dale Amon

    Brian: btw… do read the OJ article. It’s got much more of the same. I just picked a few paras at random from a target rich environment.

  • Dale Amon

    Andy: But is there anyone in that race, likely to be a real contender, who even mouths free market statements? Remember my statement: “Always remember to apply the rolled up newspaper to the back end of the dog and the chewy treat to the front end.”

    The best thing to do is encourage politicians that go down this road and discourage those who do not; and at the same time encourage the favorite when he talks the talk and whack him a good one in the seat when he fails to walk the walk.

  • Jacob

    McClintok, the other conservative candidate in California is even more libertarian than Arnold, more principled, articulated and knowledgeable.

  • BigFire

    Consider the alternative:

    Joseph Graham Davis Jr. The best politician money can buy. Who’s busy practicing the Red Hot Chilli Pepper song Give Away in real life.

    Cruz Bustamente, a Davis clone except his ultimate goal is to dissolve concept of US citizenship, and return California back to Mexico.

    Tom McClintock, a Republican politician who’s actually trying to fix the many ills of California. Unfortunately, he won’t win election.

  • Andy Duncan

    Hey Dale,

    Don’t get me wrong. On the day of the election, I’ll be wearing a Vote Arnie badge, dark sunglasses, and a black leather motorbike jacket.

    Not that it’ll do me much good in the Oracle shopping centre, in Reading! 🙂

    We’ve just gotta be careful out there! 🙂

    I hope he gets in, does what he says, turns California into a much freer place, and shows that our way of doing things is the best way of doing things.

    I just get nervous that his advisers don’t make him fall for this compassionate conservative nonsense.


  • i’m impressed! and here i was getting stuck into him saying his terminatorness would come in handing when he’s collecting taxes…

  • Katherine

    I will be out of the country on the election day, but my absentee ballot with Arnold name marked will be in the mail. I only hope that this time the vote will be counted.

    McClintock may be better choice in an ideal world, but we do not live in an ideal world. He cannot win. But if he stays in the race, Bustamante will win and destroy CA.

    MaClintock=Ross Perot.

  • Jacob

    “MaClintock=Ross Perot”
    That was not a fair shot.
    Ross Perot was an incoherent guy. He had no clear idea what he was standing for, except power. He was wrong on most of the issues.
    McClintock is very clear and outspoken in his libertarian-conservative principles.
    A pity he cannot match Arnold’s terminator aura.

  • Katherine

    Jacob, I am sorry, my comment was not clear. I did not mean to compare qualities of these two men. I only compared McClintock to Ross Perot because if he stays in the race he will ultimately play the spoiler – like Perot – handing the victory to the Democrats. If you don’t like Perot comparison, can we say Nader?:-)

    I will repeat myself: in the ideal world McClintock would be The Man. But this is not an ideal world. I am willing to compromise. So I choose Arnold.

  • Sorry to interfere with a rather trivial issue but Dale, pertaining to your copy filing problem with the OJ, instead of printing to file, you may want to check this: http://www.netsnippets.com/product_info.htm

    It’s a quick and convenient way to save information from your browser and the extra benefit, compared to the print to file option, is that everything is stored in the original HTML format (and therefore, every links are saved as well) and it automatically creates an XML index of all your saved articles.

    Yes, that means “sortable” and yes, that means “searchable”.

    And no, I don’t have any interest in this company. It’s just that this is some great stuff.

  • Great, another Republican more concerned about deregulation for corporations than the citizens who had to live through the Enron debacle.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger —-> Get the latest groping news

  • If Arnold is such an intellectual, than why is he a puppet for Bush.