Last night I watched about half of the second Saturday Night Live this season. It's as unfunny it's been in 15 years.
But I found one skit in particular kind of odd. In the season premiere, Darrell Hammond did a riff on then-candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, mocking his lack of specifics in terms of how he would govern.
Hammond played Schwarzenegger countering such criticism. He said stuff like:
People have criticized me for not being specific. So here is my five point plan. First, on education. I'm for the schools and the kids and the learning and stuff like that, and so on.
On jobs...I'm for the hiring and the working, and so on, where the people give the other people money for the work, and stuff like that.
This was the gist of the skit, and it was somewhat amusing. But this week they had a very similar skit, again mocking Arnold for his lack of specifics.
And I found it interesting in light of a very detailed, very comprehensive plan
posted on Arnold's site.
For example, the Economy is first on the agenda, and here are the things he says he will do:
As Governor, I will:
- Repeal the Car Tax: In 2003, the vehicle license fee increase cost California residents and businesses more than $4 billion. Car owners in the state have seen their vehicle license fee increase by 300% from last year. The car tax is regressive and hurts all Californians.
- Oppose the $3 billion split roll property tax increase proposed by Cruz Bustamante: Lt. Governor Bustamante wants to roll back existing Constitutional protections so that he can collect $3 billion more from property owners. According to a 1992 Governor's Office of Planning and Research study, a similar split roll property tax would have reduced the number of jobs in California by nearly 75,000 jobs and reduced personal income by $11.4 billion. That's exactly the wrong direction to take California's economy.
- Stop the 60% Unemployment Insurance Hike on Businesses: California has the easiest eligibility requirements in the country, along with the largest Unemployment Insurance system in the nation. As a result of letting the UI system go unchecked, the cost of insurance for California businesses will increase by 60% in January 2004 - an action that will be directly responsible for killing more jobs in the state. If elected, I will eliminate this hike by taking action to reduce unnecessary costs in this program:
- Eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse that is costing honest hard working Californians more than $250 million per year.
- Rationalize eligibility requirements to ensure that those who draw on UI have contributed to UI.
- Review benefits to make sure that they are in line with the state's needs.
- Implement a 6 Point Energy Plan to reform the current regulatory framework in order to encourage private sector investment and protect ratepayers.
1. Create a uniform energy strategy to stimulate private investment and align the 13 state energy agencies to support that strategy
2. Reform the wholesale power market
3. Assure adequate and diverse fuel for power generation
4. Encourage cost effective conservation by increasing demand response to changing electricity markets
5. Enact electricity reserves requirements for power generators
6. Explore ways to lower the cost of Gray Davis' overpriced power purchase agreements
- I will reform the Unfair Competition Law to:
a. Preserve the power of state, county, and city attorneys to bring lawsuits on behalf of the public
b. Require that lawyers and plaintiffs represent the public interest, not their private pocketbooks
c. Require public notice of settlements
d. Require settlements to be approved by the court
- Propose legislation to limit payment of "front pay" as damages for wrongful termination suits
- Propose legislation to require age discrimination plaintiffs to show adverse impact from the employment decision
- Work with the legislature to:
a. Implement objective and enforceable utilization guidelines and establish well defined networks of providers.
b. Eliminate excessive permanent disability payouts by adopting American Medical Association guidelines for impairment ratings.
c. Reduce unnecessary litigation and judicial involvement by adopting an effective Independent Medical Review process.
- Initiate a comprehensive review of the State Compensation Insurance Fund to assess its current financial condition and take action as necessary.
- Appoint a new team to the Division of Workers' Compensation and make cost containment job one.
- Review all regulations enacted under Gray Davis to determine if they are consistent with the enacting legislation AND minimize the economic impact to the regulated communities. To start with, I will work with the Building Standards Commission to adopt a sensible "PEX" Plastic Pipe code to reduce the cost of building in California as recommended in the Uniform Plumbing Code. Californians pay as much as $53 million more in building costs as a result of prohibitions on the use of plastic pipes in buildings
Some of his assertions are still fairly vague, but I've never seen a public list like this from any politician, and there should be enough specifics to shut up the criticism that we don't know his views or specific policy intentions. To be fair, the criticism should now shift to the validity of those specific policies and views.