The governator has a rather hypocritical op-ed in Newsweek on the importance of infrastructure to economic stimulus and recovery. Here are some quick excerpts:
America has failed to invest in its infrastructure for the past 50 years, and the bill is coming due. The situation is reminiscent of the ancient Roman Empire, which grew strong because of its advanced aqueduct system, but which fell into decline when that feat of engineering tumbled into disrepair. We're in danger of repeating that history, but it's not too late to fix the problem if we take decisive action now....
None of this makes sense in America. It doesn't make sense that in the greatest country on Earth we still rely on trains that go the same speed as they did 100 years ago, so our shipping times and commutes are longer than other countries....
In 2008 alone in California, we've committed more than $10 billion dollars in infrastructure investment, which will create at least 200,000 jobs over the life of that investment. And when our state unemployment rate has broken 8 percent, that kind of investment has a profound effect.
That last bit is a reference to Proposition 1A and high speed rail, although it'd have been nice had Arnold actually said that openly. But that's a quibble compared to the hypocrisy of this article.
Why do I say hypocrisy? I fully agree with everything I just quoted. The problem is this is another example of our governor's penchant for greenwashing - go tell the national media how awesome you are but back at home, help destroy the state.
You see, despite Arnold's claims to be an infrastructure builder, he has instead helped create a state budget crisis so severe that earlier this week the Pooled Money Investment Board voted to halt ALL infrastructure projects in California - immediately. 200,000 workers face unemployment as early as January 1.
Arnold could have avoided this had he agreed to a Democratic budget plan sent to him by the Legislature yesterday. Instead he announced his intention to veto the solution and consign the state to another indefinite deficit.
The state's bond ratings are plummeting fast, but worse, without infrastructure projects in the works, it's going to be very difficult to attract federal matching funds in Obama's emerging stimulus package. If this budget mess - for which Arnold bears the primary responsibility right now - continues then it may become difficult for us to get HSR funds from Congress in 2009. It'll become all too easy for HSR deniers to argue we don't deserve or can't even use the matching funds.
Arnold's hypocrisy knows no bounds.