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I got blowback today from Arnold’s office saying it’s wrong to say (as I did in my column) that he wanted a bailout because he explicitly said he didn’t. On January 26, I’m informed, the governor said, “But the key thing here is not to let anyone fool themselves by thinking that the federal government should bail out California or, as far as that goes, that the federal government should bail out any state, because I think that the most important thing is for states to correct their problems and the mistakes that were made.” Of course, he said this after writing a letter to the treasury secretary in October saying California might need a $7 billion federal loan and after plugging earlier in January for a big stimulus bill with lots of funds for infrastructure and sundry other priorities in California ( “Schwarzenegger also asked for financial help to cover rising public health caseloads and the $1.6 billion cost for retrofitting an estimated 160,000 trucks in California so they comply with the state’s landmark legislation that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Reuters reported). The budget deal cut yesterday depends on federal dollars, as the Wall Street Journal notes, “Even with the proposed tax increases and spending cuts, California will need to borrow money and use some of its share of federal stimulus money to make up the budget deficit.” So, Arnold opposes a bailout of California—as long as he gets lots of federal money while opposing a bailout.


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