The Shelf Life of States of the State

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2006 State of the State (Photo: Office of the Governor)

It's a big speech. But if you're the person delivering it, it may not be so fun to go back and examine the words that don't feel quite the same with the passing of time.

This morning, Governor Schwarzenegger delivers his sixth State of the State address from the Assembly chambers. (A plug: I'm anchoring a live broadcast of the speech, a special of The California Report, heard on various stations statewide, including KQED).

In preparation for this year's speech, consider the following snippets from the past. Some excerpts sound as though they could still be said this morning; others will no doubt raise red flags with the governor's critics of promises made but not necessarily kept.

Check back later this morning for some sense of what he said this time around, how it was received, and what's next.

"Every governor proposes moving boxes around to reorganize government. I don’t want to move boxes around; I want to blow them up." (2004)

“Our systems are at the breaking point now. We need more roads, more hospitals, more schools, more nurses, more teachers, more police, more fire, more water, more energy, more ports… more, more, more.” (2006)

"If we here in this chamber don’t work together to reform the government, the people will rise up and reform it themselves. And I will join them. And I will fight with them." (2005)

"Professor Schwarzenegger is going to explain now the economics of our budget problem. Our budget problem is not because California's economy is in trouble… I said it back during the recall and I'll say it again; we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem." (2008)

"These huge budget deficits are aftershocks of past financial recklessness... We cannot tax our way out of this problem. More taxes will destroy what we’re trying to save -- which is jobs and revenue… A tax increase would be the final nail in California’s financial coffin… The people of California did not elect me to destroy jobs and businesses by raising taxes." (2004)

"Together, with the help of the Legislature and the people, we brought California back from the brink of bankruptcy. We balanced the budget without raising taxes, and record revenues are flowing into our treasury, and we are paying down our debt." (2006)

"Our prisons are in crisis. We have inherited a problem that was put off year after year after year... Our prison system is a powder keg." (2007)

"I understand the concern that we have now a deficit, and that our plan is maybe too daring, or too bold, or expensive. But sometimes you have to be daring, because the need is so great." (2008)

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new multimedia California Politics & Government Desk.  He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades -- serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and, most recently, as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. He moderated the only gubernatorial debate of 2014, and was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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