The most obscene political speech I ever heard was delivered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 for the Orange County Republican Party’s annual Flag Day dinner.  He began with his stock boy-immigrant-from-Austria spiel, a version of which you might have heard him give at the 2004 GOP National Convention.  Then he brought up the red-white-and-blue American-flag underwear he wore as an Austrian teen.  As this is a family magazine, I’ll spare the readers his lurid details.

Yet even as the Orange County audience laughed and wrote checks, Arnold, their fellow Republican, was teaming with state Democrats—and a few sellout GOP legislators—to pass record spending increases.  After all, in 2007 business was booming.  Recessions had been abolished.  The business cycle had been repealed.  The median price for an Orange County home was $650,000—and rising.

What economists called the “wealth effect”—home “owners” remortgaging their houses and blowing part of the windfall on hot tubs and BMWs—was flooding Orange County, and all California, with untold wealth.

In addition to this fiscal lunacy, there were other signs that Arnold was not so much an Austrian who, as he said in his stock speech, fled Austrian socialism for American capitalism, but rather someone bent on turning California into a simulacrum of the socialist Austria of his youth.

Arnold became obsessed with “global warming.”  In 2006 he signed into law Assembly Bill 32, which enacted the most draconian restrictions on carbon emissions in the country.  Businesses took note and stopped expansions.

That same year he boasted in his State of the State Address that he was the leader of a California “nation state” which would show America, and the world, how perpetually to expand a green, high-tech economy.  Unable to run for president of the United States because of his foreign birth, he would make California a de facto country.  A Time story paired Arnold with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the “postpartisan” twins.

Among the nearly 1,000 bills signed every year—almost all tyrannical—he pushed and signed into law a bill banning driving while using a cell phone, unless you clip one of those cockroaches to your ear.  He first opposed “legalizing” same-sex “marriage,” then backed it.

In October 2007, he signed into law Senate Bill 385, which, in the summary issued by the governor’s office, would “adopt emergency measures and new policies to ensure that all mortgage lenders and brokers are subject to federal guidelines on non-traditional mortgages.”  We now know that “non-traditional mortgages” are those that went to folks, often poor immigrants, who couldn’t afford them.

During his first five years in office (2003-08), Arnold increased state spending 40 percent, far outstripping state taxpayers’ ability to pay for his profligacy, even in boom times.  He has “balanced” state budgets by borrowing and gimmicks—shifting funds around and projecting federal aid that never comes.  Even President Obama’s borrowed “stimulus” money fell two billion dollars short of state expectations.

In 2008, the U.S. economy finally buckled under the weight of years of fiscal mismanagement at all levels of government, as well as misfeasance in private industry.  The crash struck nowhere harder than in California.  Unemployment is now over ten percent, and rising.

California’s budget deficit grew to an incredible $42 billion.  By contrast, Michigan, with about 30 percent of California’s population, suffered a deficit of only four billion, despite being in a recession for most of the decade.

In 2003, Arnold was elected chiefly because he promised to terminate an illegal tax on cars that had been imposed, by executive fiat, by Gov. Gray Davis.  When Davis was recalled, the new governor made good on that promise, and pledged to stop all tax increases.

But in 2009, Arnold’s antitax pledges deflated like his body when he quit taking steroids.  He pushed through the Democratic-run legislature a raft of tax increases, including a new car tax.  California income and sales taxes, already the highest in America, now are even higher.  Of course, all these taxes are supposed to be “temporary,” lasting only two years.  And a special May 19 statewide vote will be held to approve another $16 billion in tax increases.

Even that won’t be enough.  On March 14, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office determined that California is still at least six billion dollars in the red.  State legislators began talking of even more tax increases.

In response, another tax revolt is baking in the warm California sun.  Like Proposition 13 in 1978, it could spark a national tax revolt.

Schwarzenegger will leave office in January 2011 a complete disgrace, having never really balanced a budget and leaving the state effectively bankrupt.  He turned the Golden State into the Pyrite State.