So what does this have to do with Arnold? Back to his message, to save California by expanding the economy: Excellent long term plan, but what's the Giuliani plan? What are the hard cuts you're willing to make right now to start things moving, the ones that will make every red-blooded Californian damn you to hell? What tax hikes can be made? Nobody can claim greater hatred of taxes than ol' Enobarbus, but it has to be on the table in California, or else services will have to be cut, at least in the short term. Again, as an ideological matter, I'm not opposed to cuts in state services. But as a political matter, I realize that liberal Californians generally are opposed to cuts, and liberal Californians make up a large part of the electorate. Arnold's defense of Prop 13, a clear signal that property taxes are off the table, makes his job harder. He's already criticized Davis on fee hikes, so those are taboo, too. Suggesting a state income tax raise would be ballot-box suicide. About all that's left is that stepchild of trickle-down economics, the liberal trickle-down: keep borrowing and spending, funding services at current rates of growth until the economy booms (cf. Clinton's "victory" over the deficit) or until the tax base has entirely disappeared and you get voted out of office (Dinkins again).
Word is that Schwarzenegger will start talking economic specifics this week. Not a moment too soon.