Looks Like a Fair Take on Schwarzenegger

By October 16, 2007Around the States, Global Warming

The Orange County Register’s editorialists today provide more evidence of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s generally sensible record on business and economic issues as demonstrated in his recent decisions about signing or vetoing legislation. Trouble is, California’s lawmakers pass so much that’s so bad, “generally sensible” still allows too, too many new burdens, mandates, costs and reductions in liberty. From “Editorial: Some bad bills vetoed, too many are not“:

The governor was wise to veto 214 bills during the 2007 legislative session. But we’re grieved he signed 750 new laws, adding to a labyrinth of countless regulations, prohibitions, preferences and special privileges, certainly well beyond the grasp of the most Californians.

We must chide the governor for signing a bill to impose additional fees for motorists starting in mid-2008. Assembly Bill 118 increases smog-abatement charges from $12 to $20 for new-vehicle purchasers and registration fees by $3 for all vehicles. The fees are small, but represent incremental increases cumulatively draining huge amounts of money out of the economy, in this case $210 million a year. The aim for the funds – alternate fuel and clean air technology – is laudable, but government should not be picking the winners and losers in this arena; investors should.

Two words: Biennial sessions.

Still, some positive:

We welcome the governor’s veto of eight more bills described by the California Chamber of Commerce as “job killers.” The Democrat-sponsored legislation would have imposed on businesses new taxes, required employers to pay restitution to employees under a new definition of “lockouts,” increased agricultural costs, permitted lawsuits over misclassification of independent contractors, doubled disability costs and liberalized rules for workers’ compensation.

On that score, Mr. Schwarzenegger appears more consistent than on other matters, having vetoed over the prior three years 26 of 29 bills identified by the Chamber of Commerce as job killers. It shows Mr. Schwarzenegger can rebuff the legislative onslaught when he wants to. We wish he wanted to more often.

On these bills, we bet Schwarzenegger is drawing on his personal experience as an entrepreneur and businessman, one who encountered baffling or bullying regulations throughout his career.

We wish he’d apply that experience to inform his mania for global warming regulation.

Or at least read this column by Mark Steyn on Al Gore.

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