Schwarzenegger Finally Learns: Freedom Is Profitable, Statism Starves

Throughout the course of American history people have prospered when government expansion and regulatory polices have been kept in check. On the national level during the 20th century this was evident during the administrations of Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) and Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) -- both drastically cut taxes, defended the private sector, curtailed the size and scope of government, and witnessed unprecedented economic booms. Conversely, people have suffered during administrations like Jimmy Carter’s (1977-1981) where taxes and regulations were rampant.

In other words, freedom is profitable but progressivism, or “liberalism” as it is known today, is not.

And this appears to be a lesson that California’s Governor Schwarzenegger has finally learned, albeit reluctantly, as he is aggressively pursuing a way to open a portion of California waters to offshore drilling.

California currently faces a state deficit of more than $23 billion, which is the result of years of Democrat-run state legislatures, budget-busting spending, and exacerbating tax rates. Between the state legislature’s liberalism and Schwarzenegger’s “green agenda,” California has been transformed into the People’s Republic of California and the coffers have gone dry. Or to put it as NBC anchor Brian Williams did on July 21, 2009: “California is our biggest state in terms of population and it long ago ran out of money.”

Things are so bad that some state agencies have already begun issuing IOUs to banks instead of real payments and some businesses within the state are “[trying] to pay their employees … [and] their vendors … with IOUs.” No wonder there’s a mass exodus from the state among those who still somehow possess the means to get out.

In the midst of this statewide implosion, Schwarzenegger wants to work out a lease for Plains Exploration & Production Co. that would allow them to drill off the Santa Barbara coast for 14 years and would net the California budget $2 billion in royalties throughout the lease. Moreover, as part of the lease agreement Plains Exploration & Production Co. would “advance an immediate $100 million to the state to address urgent cash-flow needs.”