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Schwarzenegger: ‘Our Wallet is Empty’

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By BVN Staff –

Declaring that California’s day of reckoning is here,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday pressed lawmakers for a swift resolution to a deepening financial crisis that threatens the country’s most populous state with insolvency.  “We are running out of time and excuses,” said Schwarzenegger hours before lawmakers heard public testimony about the potential fallout.

The Governor is pushing to close a $24 billion budget gap with a proposal that seeks to draw more blood from local governments.

Schwarzenegger is proposing to tap $2 billion in property-tax revenues and borrow $744 million in

gasoline-tax revenues from California cities. San Bernardino City Manager Charles McNeely said his city stands to lose $3 million in property taxes.

If passed, the proposal would add to the city’s budget cuts which include layoffs, furloughs, and deep cuts in services such as public safety, social services and parks and recreation.

The governor is facing withering criticism over his proposal to cut billions from K-12 schools, state colleges and universities and shutter low-income health and welfare programs Healthy Families,

CalWorks and Cal-Grants.

“People come up to me all the time, pleading ‘governor, please don’t cut my program, ‘” Schwarzenegger said.

“They tell me how the cuts will affect them and their loved ones. I see the pain in their eyes and hear the fear in their voice. It’s an awful feeling. But we have no choice,” he said “Our wallet is empty. Our bank is closed. Our credit is dried up.”

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