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Governator’s ‘fiscal conservatism’ does not justify cutting state employees’ wages to level below state minimum

If you’ve ever seen FX Network’s brilliant ’30 Days,’ produced by ‘Supersize Me’ documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, you probably know how difficult it really is to live on $6.55 an hour. Apparently our Governor, a practical ‘gazilionaire,’ doesn’t have cable… or a clue.

California Progress Report posted yesterday that the Sac Bee has learned that Ah-nold, after announcing a slew of highly paid appointees, plans to cut the wages of 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour, which of course is even lower than the current $8.00/hr state minimum wage. You know the states’ rights movement had to be dealt a setback by this news.

Apparently, Schwarzenegger does believe in federalism, but only when it suits his needs. This isn’t what we wanted in a supposed ‘centrist.’ He is becoming more and more of a burden to the movement over time; post-partisanship is supposed to combine the best ideas of each party, not the worst, and once again he is betraying those principals.

The Progress Report article also says:

“The governor also plans to issue a hard hiring freeze except for state jobs “directly related to the preservation and protection of human life and safety.” He also will suspend work for all retired annuitants, permanent intermittent employees, seasonal employees, temporary help workers, student assistants and some contractors.”

Has the state Republican party asked Arnold to bring more jobs to the state in exchange? Of course not. This decree will be handed down by executive order. The whole situation is reminiscent of the numerous times when W. declared a lower unemployment rate, but neglected to mention the number of people who are underemployed

At least the Dems are leading the charge, doing something right for once (from a new DPOC email):


Dear Sarah,

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is planning to reduce the salaries of 200,000 state employees to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour. Democratic Controller John Chiang, the man who writes the checks for California, has bravely said “No” to the Governor.

We’re asking you today to stand with Controller Chiang and sign our petition to say “No” to Arnold’s attack on California’s workers.

I hate to admit it, but they ‘get’ this one. We need a balanced budget and bond reform, not Governors who feel they have the sole right to break their own state’s laws because they lack the creative vision to solve our financial crises. Sure, Gray Davis is blamed for putting us in the current budget crisis, but Schwarzenegger has done nothing to get us out, except for making this ill-advised move. It’s time for him to admit that he must share in some of the failure in order to stay credible. He should not pass the buck for his personal shortcomings to 200,000 people who have served the state well through good times and bad.