Californians said "no" loud and clear; "no" to new taxes, "no" to the Terminator, and "no" to Gen. Colin Powell, who said that Americans simply lust after paying new taxes to finance their pet government programs.
"The hell we do," the majority of tax-weary Californians replied at the ballot box.
Last night, Californians who voted blue last November voted red.
The referendum gave Californians a chance to let lawmakers know what they thought of their performance and to decide a course of action for the state that would have prevailed far into the future.
They told them in no uncertain terms.
Recommending a "no" vote, the Visalia Times-Delta noted that "the measures are fundamentally dishonest, fail to address the long-term problems in California's budget structure and ask voters to validate actions taken by the governor and lawmakers in which they shirked their responsibilities."
They added that the state's leaders "refuse to compromise on a realistic budget agreement and take the steps that would create sound financial planning. Instead, they have delayed with a series of false measures and accounting tricks. Now they are asking the state's voters to go along with their con job.
"We refuse to become the dupes of state leaders who abdicate their leadership. We're aware that if the propositions do not pass, widespread hardship will take place in California. Maybe that will finally compel our leaders to action."
The voters heard them.
Not a single county in the entire state voted for the tax-and-spend propositions on yesterday's referendum ballot, not even the peculiar folks who live in Nancy Pelosi's far-left 8th Congressional District who persist in sending the Wicked Witch of the West to the Nation's Capitol to wage war on the CIA and the nation's taxpayers.
The only measure voters did approve was one to freeze salaries of senior public officials during budget emergencies.
You can't blame everything that's gone wrong on Gov. Schwarzenegger -- much of the blame lies with the state's demented state legislature and also on the shoulders of California voters who approved such dubious programs as the $3 billion effort to enable the state to somehow fight global warming, which appears to have stopped on its own 10 years ago without any help from California taxpayers.
Californians have been electing big-spending ultra-liberals to the state legislature for a long time, and any alert observer could not help being scared to death over the way the folks in Sacramento were spending money as if tomorrow would never come.