Schwarzenegger wields knife, talks budget cuts in video

Schwarzenegger announced a major plan Monday to eliminate California's $26 billion deficit.
California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ruffled feathers this week by posting a video on Twitter, in which he brandishes a large knife while talking about the state’s recent budget cuts.

Schwarzenegger announced a major plan Monday to eliminate California’s $26 billion deficit, with state agencies looking at billions of dollars in cuts as part of the plan. On Tuesday, the Hollywood actor turned governor posted a video, in which he handles a 2-foot-long knife before thanking Californians for providing him with creative ideas for slashing the budget. By Wednesday, critics had emerged, some wondering how Schwarzenegger could post a lighthearted video about a proposed budget plan that could slash services for needy people. The governor addressed the critics at a news conference, saying that though the budget process was tough he had not lost his sense of humor.

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“You sent a governor to Sacramento — not El Stiffo, like some in the past were,” Schwarzennegger said. “[I am] someone a little bit more entertaining, and who has a little bit more fun with the whole thing, not have fun making the cuts — they sadden me — but fun with the job itself.” California lawmakers will have to make about $15 billion in cuts in Schwarzenegger’s new plan to balance the state budget. Offering few details about the plan, Schwarzenegger said the “basic agreement” includes no tax increases. He said details would be publicly released soon, after legislative leaders discuss the plan with their caucuses. A vote could come by Thursday night, Schwarzenegger said. The state’s budget impasse forced California to issue IOUs this month to stave off a nearly $3 billion shortfall for July. Some county agencies, state vendors and taxpayers are being paid in paper.