In the midst of a declaration of cutting the state's education budget by ten percent, our governor is offering a brilliant new incentive to keep inner-city kids in school: He wants to give them rides in his tank. An Austrian Army Tank.
Most of the time I try not to think too hard about the implications of having The Terminator for a governor, but in this case, it just makes my head swim. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a native of Austria, said he plans to offer the rides to inner-city children in the Los Angeles area as a reward for staying in school, avoiding drugs and working hard. I have almost gotten used to the amusing way that he pronounces the name of the state he governs. I have almost forgiven him for "Conan the Destroyer". I am working hard to understand the disparity between California's per-student spending (we currently rank thirty-fourth out of the fifty states), and the need to cut the state's education spending. But this?
Schwarzenegger said he had offered trips to his movie sets as an incentive to kids, but since he became governor and stopped making movies in 2003, he hasn't had anything enticing to offer. He said children just aren't that excited about a tour of the state Capitol. I can only assume that an armored assault on the Capitol would bring kids out of the woodwork.
The irony on this one is about as thick as the armor plating. If kids flunk out of school, they might be looking for a way to be all that they can be, and they could wind up driving their very own tank - right down the middle of Mosul.