As Californians go to the ballot box to vote whether or not to increase their taxes, government leaders in Sacramento are trotting out "the usual human shields" - kindergarteners, firefighters, policemen and nurses to frighten people into voting.
The ballot initiative, promoted by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has little to no chance of passing according to the Los Angeles Times. But that did stop the governor from using fear tactics, as Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck pointed out on his May 19 program.
"What's their plan to turn the state around? They have one?" Beck said. "Yes - the Governator, he proposed $15 billion in cuts. Wow. And he warned that if his, if his propositions failed, California will need to release 40,000 prisoners out on the streets."
The Fox News Channel host mocked this notion, as if the worst case of all scenarios would be wrapped up into one.
"California, they're just going to do, they'll have no choice - we got to let the rapists go!" Beck said. "They're also gonna lay off more than 50,000 teachers so your children will be stupid forever. And they're going to close down the fire stations."
Beck called the argument "fraud" despite the vivid imagery it creates.
"How many times do we have to hear the fraudulent argument, ‘You know what - if we don't, we run out of money, you know what we're gonna have to do - we're going to have to close all the prisons down, let the rapists and murderers go out, and they're gonna be in the classrooms with your children who won't have a teacher there while the building is on fire! That's what's gonna happen!'" he said.
"No, it's not," Beck continued. "When you literally have no government structure whatsoever, then I'll believe you got nothing less important to cut than firefighters and opening up the prisons. You can make the argument when that happens."
Instead - Beck named a few other cuts that could be made to the California government to bridge the budget gap.
"But when you're still spending $1.5 million for, I'm not kidding you - non-toxic dry cleaning or $40.5 million for migrant day care, or the estimated $13 billion for education, health service and other services for the state's 3.2 million illegal immigrants - and yes, I understand that they cut their budget for the sea otter program by close to half," Beck said. "They did, but before you let the murderers out on the streets, may I suggest you make the otter budget, California, look like the first letter of otter - zero."
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey also attacked the idea that California only pays for essentials on May 8.
"Ah, yes, because California doesn't spend money on anything but police and fire departments," Morrissey wrote. "The Governator didn't pledge six billion dollars for stem-cell research, for instance, or other non-essential nonsense. This is a typical, extortive, dog-in-the-manger ploy by Schwarzenegger and the Sacramento elite. Either give us your money, they warn, or we'll sic the criminals on you."