Transcript: Arnold Schwarzenegger Interview

SCHWARZENEGGER: It's nothing to do that much with money; it has to do with streamlining it and letting the local officials make the decisions, that they know best what they need to do in the local level. Sacramento doesn't know what is best. We have to make sure that we have, for instance, the best teachers in the inner-city schools where there is a lot of problems. We have to make sure that we have equal education. Right now in California we don't have equal education for all students. The inner-city schools have a problem. The other schools, the more affluent schools, they are doing well. The inner-city schools don't have the books many times. They don't have the homework material all the time.

JENNINGS: How do you get new books without money?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, we just have to make sure that we streamline the whole thing.

JENNINGS: What's the definition…what do you want to streamline?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Make it more efficient. See where the mistakes are. See where the waste is and then re-channel it and make sure that it goes into the classroom. Right now, for instance Peter, for every dollar that we are putting into education, only 40 cents goes into the classroom. We have to change that. We have to make sure that they get fair education, good education. You can throw more money at it. That's not the way to do it because right now we don't have more money. We have to be fiscally responsible.

JENNINGS: And you will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes except in an emergency. Is that your position?

SCHWARZENEGGER: That's right. Because we don't have a problem here in California of being undertaxed. We have a problem here that we have overspent. We had a growth of 21 percent in California. We had a growth of 28 percent when it comes to revenues. We had a growth of 36 percent when it comes to spending. Why would you spend an increase of 36 percent when you only have a growth of only 28 percent. Why not stay with the 28 percent? It's fiscally irresponsible.

JENNINGS: So where do you get the money?

SCHWARZENEGGER: It's not where you get the money. It's don't spend more than you have. We have the money. We have $73 billion coming into this state. So only spend seventy-three. And then when $80 billion is coming in, then you can look and say ok we can spend $80 billion. And I would even recommend then to put a few billion aside for the rainy day. That's another big mistake we're making here.

JENNINGS: It's raining already Mr. Schwarzenegger.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Oh yeah, but I have no reserves. Do you know where the reserves are? Pete Wilson left $9 billion in reserves. Nine billion dollar surplus. It's gone. Do you know why? Because the liberal have been spending and spending and spending. We have to control them.

JENNINGS: What do you do about this deficit?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Stop spending. That's why I said that the first thing I would do is open up the books and show where is now the waste going in government. Because people don't do that. It's not a common thing.

JENNINGS: Do you not know now?

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