Schwarzenegger: Deficit Tops $20 billion

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Yes, it's heart attack time. Yesterday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a group of Orange County business leaders that the state faces a $20 billion budget deficit this year. According to the Associated Press, that figure is twice was the governor was projecting just a few days ago. The housing market slump has cut into state revenue, and high gas prices have cut consumer spending and the taxes that accompany it. Now, the annual budget dance will be even worse this summer, as Democrats and Republicans fight over taxes and spending cuts. We could take this moment to note that the vehicle licensing fee, which the governor abolished as his first act in office, would have cut billions from the truly catastrophic shortfall the state faces. But that would be beneath us. In any case, bringing it back would require a two-thirds majority in the state legislature, and the Republicans have been notoriously dogmatic on tax hikes. Suddenly, recalling Jeff Denham doesn't seem like such a bad idea...

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