California's debt triples in Schwarzenegger's 7 years

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December 23, 2010

Budget terminator?

In Arnold Schwarzenegger's 7 years as Governor of California, the state's debt tripled. The debt went from $34 billion in June 2003 to $91 billion on June 30, 2010.[1]

The tripled debt means that every man, woman and child in the state owes $2,362 versus the $977 owed when Schwarzenegger took office. Just to pay interest every year on the state's debt takes up 7.1% of all spending from the state's general fund. Planned future borrowing, such as that for the California High Speed Rail System, will increase annual interest payments on debt alone to 10% of the state's annual budget by 2012.

When Schwarzenegger was elected, he said he would rip up the state's credit cards.

California has the world's eighth-largest economy.

In a December 8 meeting in Sacramento, state treasurer Bill Lockyer said, "Every dollar you spend on debt service is a dollar you don’t have available to educate kids or for health-care or to spend in other ways."[1]

See also