The actor and former governor of California jokingly called himself the "Germinator" as he hoarsely spoke at the Paris launch of the French version of his memoir, "Total Recall".
Schwarzenegger noted that the US deficit had grown by trillions of dollars under both President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush. "It's just that people refuse to live within their means," he said.
The 2013 budget adopted by the French Socialist government in September is aiming to save €36.9 billion ($48 billion), much of it through massive cuts in public spending.
Economists are sceptical that France can achieve this goal.
But Schwarzenegger, who at 20 became the youngest person to win the Mr. Universe body building competition, noted: "If you have a vision and are willing to work hard, you can accomplish anything."
That may even include reducing the deficit.