Pete Wilson will say anything, do anything and stop at nothing to win Californians' votes. That includes using political cronies trying to pass themselves off as impartial experts to belittle my written economic plan--a plan that John Quigley, chair of the economics department at UC Berkeley, says "does not raise taxes."
My written plan, "Building a New California," has been endorsed by 55 leading economists, including two Nobel laureates, more than 200 business leaders, thousands of educators and mayors of cities up and down this state.
My plan cuts more than $5 billion in government waste. It saves money by eliminating more than 55 agencies and streamlining the burdensome permit process that has driven jobs away. And it invests in our future--in education, in businesses and in our economy.
Pete Wilson doesn't have a plan. Not once in four years has he laid out a vision or a strategy of how he would govern California for another term. And as a last-minute gimmick to win your votes, he proposed cutting taxes if elected again. But take a look at his record.
It was Pete Wilson who raised taxes as early as his first year in office by a record $7 billion, or $1,000 per family. That's more than any other governor in our nation's history and more than New York when it was on the brink of bankruptcy.
It was Pete Wilson who borrowed more than any other governor last year, all because he continued to paper over the state's financial troubles. That record $5-billion debt not only reduced our credit rating to among the lowest in the nation; it also cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
And what Pete Wilson didn't tax or borrow he stole from local governments. All this from the career politician who said while campaigning in 1990 that he was the only candidate who could balance budgets without raising taxes.
As Stanford economics professor and Nobel laureate William Sharpe said, "In times such as these, it takes a great deal of courage to plan to invest in the future."
My plan does exactly that. It's a clear, detailed and achievable blueprint for how I will rebuild California.
Focusing on growth and investment, it will clean up the fiscal mess in Sacramento, create 1 million private-sector jobs that Californians can raise their families on and put schools and colleges first again. My plan will reach its goals because, as another Stanford economic professor and Nobel laureate, Kenneth J. Arrow, says, it is "practical and based on the realities of California's economy" despite Wilson's political attempts to suggest otherwise.
My economic plan does not contain any new general taxes. It is affordable and growth-oriented because it calls for slashing government waste by $5 billion. It calls for innovative ideas like those I have implemented in the Treasurer's office that leverage existing resources to create new jobs. And it calls for building new partnerships with teachers and businesses to improve education and build our economy.
As Berkeley economist Quigley says, my "thoughtful, balanced effort to re-direct existing revenues to more efficient programs of job creation and educational excellence is balanced by prudent financing."
That's the different between Kathleen Brown and Pete Wilson. I have a written plan--something the voters can hold me to--that lays out how I will lead California into the 21st Century. I don't expect people to agree with every proposal in it, but I think they will agree that it is a solid foundation upon which to begin rebuilding California.
Pete Wilson has no plan for the state--only a cynical plan for his reelection that relies on slick yet divisive 30-second TV commercials.
Take Proposition 187, on which Wilson has hinged his reelection campaign. Proposition 187 will only make a bad problem worse, turning teachers and doctors into INS agents, throwing innocent children onto our streets and leading to more guns, gangs and graffiti--and more costs to taxpayers. Even leading Republicans--Jack Kemp, William Bennett and Ron Unz--have opposed Proposition 187.
But after years of silence on illegal immigration, Wilson jumped on what he thought was the 187 bandwagon, fanning the flames of intolerance and almost single-handedly giving legitimacy to this flawed initiative. What makes things even worse is Wilson's dirty little secret--that as a U.S. senator, he authored the largest loophole in the federal immigration laws, letting in 1.3 million "Wilson workers" as cheap labor for the agricultural special interests who contributed more than $600,000 to his campaigns.
Thankfully, my longstanding opposition to Proposition 187 has helped Californians--except for Pete Wilson--wake up to what is right, what is decent and what makes good, common sense. We can stop illegal immigration, but only by strengthening our borders and preventing employers from hiring undocumented workers.
Most important, Wilson's ill-advised crusade against illegal immigration does nothing to help balance our state's budgets, restore excellence to our schools or invest in our future.
So when Pete Wilson tells you he's going to cut taxes if reelected, think about all his broken promises of the past four years. And when he denounces my plan in an attempt to hold onto his 27-year political career, ask yourself why he hasn't bothered to tell you how he would govern another four years.
I want to be California's governor because I believe we have lost focus on qualities that help families and communities succeed where government all too often fails. I have a vision for California and I back it up with a written plan. Here's what California should be: People of all backgrounds, drawn together as partners, as neighbors and as friends by common values. Opportunity, fostered by education that provides skills, spurs ambition and kindles hope. Self-reliance, achieving success through hard work, bolstered by confidence that high taxes and government waste will not squander the reward. Freedom, from violence, from intolerance and from government intrusion. And pride, in our diverse heritage, in ourselves, our children and in what we share as Californians.
Don't read his lips; read my plan. Then decide who can best lead California into the future.
This is the response to an article that ran on this page Tuesday.