I was riding my bicycle up Old San Marcos Pass when a car flew passed me and then pulled over to the side. As I rode by I saw an arm reach out and tap the ashes of his cigarette onto the dry grass. Sometimes things happen that trigger your thoughts in another direction. What came to mind at that moment were the words from comedian Ron White from one of his shows, You Can’t Fix Stupid.
This led my thought process down the political path as I continued to peddle my way to the top. I started thinking about California and the condition the state is in. For as long as I can remember, California has been in control of liberal Democrats with the sprinkling of conservative governors tossed in. And in all those years, I’ve been witness to the decay of what was once labeled the Golden State.
We are now at the bottom of the heap with nearly the highest taxes (and more to come), the bottom of the education pool, perhaps the worst roads, the highest gas prices, the most regulations, the highest number of illegal immigrants, and businesses are pulling out as fast as they can. Unions control the state and dictate how people are going to vote and how our Legislature runs the state. And yet, knowing all this, we continue to vote in the same people over and over again and continue our spiral downward.
In the meantime, we watch as more and more cities file for bankruptcy. Never more are White’s words more applicable than how California is run. “You can’t fix stupid” sounds harsh, but it summarizes very succinctly what we’re up against.
California has the highest mountain peak in the lower 48, the lowest point in Death Valley, the largest trees, the most coastline, some of the country’s most beautiful cities and probably the most natural resources, including the evil oil. But, like the unions, the environmentalists have also placed a stranglehold around the throat of the state’s black bear. We have over-regulated ourselves into oblivion and relinquished all common sense. With our oil resources, we could become a country unto ourselves, flush in cash, have the best roads and provide everyone with great opportunities of prosperity.
Instead of trying to cut back on all the wasteful spending, gain control on the special interests, do something about the most popular state in which to collect welfare and strip the unions of their power, the wisdom of our governor is to tax more. As always, they use the children and the schools to pry the emotional dollars from our pockets. And again, as we’ve seen in the past, it never works. In the end, the kids still get hurt, the unions keep the money, the debt continues to rise and nothing changes other than we are now deeper in the hole and only wait until the next election cycle so we can raise taxes again because once again the schools (unions) will need more money.
I’m beginning to believe White’s words are true: You just can’t fix stupid, and we’re all to blame.
The universities aren’t better off. The pensions have gotten out of control, and the educators continue to receive astronomical salaries for which they barely have to work — if they work at all. But the burden of their failure is placed upon the students/parents who are asked to pony up more money to fix the mistakes of those they’re aspiring to be.
Carry this liberal agenda of what’s happening in California and you’re witnessing what’s happening to the country on the whole. We are being asked to pay more taxes to fix the mistakes of those we entrust to run this great land. We are continually asked to put out more money, and things are only getting worse. The ruse that the wealthy need to pay their fair share is just that. We are so deep in debt that if everyone in the country worked for free it still wouldn’t help.
Strip away for a moment that there are Republicans and Democrats, liberals or conservatives, and bring things down to the bare bones of what we as a nation facing. We have a $16 trillion debt that costs us $4 billion a day to service. We can’t sustain those numbers. It’s impossible. And we certainly can’t allow it to climb higher.
Taxing people who work hard to fix the mistakes of others won’t fix the mistake, and it won’t get us out of this fiscal nightmare. We have to stop spending and cut back on everything; otherwise, it won’t matter what your political views are. Our money won’t be worth anything and we’ll have accomplished what no terrorist could — we’ll bring America to her knees, and she may never stand again. After all, who is going to bale us out? China?
Almost everything is made outside this country anymore. I walked through the Disney stores last year and turned over everything I could and confirmed it was all made in China. Harley-Davidson, an American icon, has its clothes made in Asia. I remember when I was young all the manufacturing jobs that were in this country, including in our own backyard in Goleta. Assembly lines employing thousands of people. All gone. We can argue that the unions have priced themselves out of the country, but again we only have ourselves to blame. And, we have all the oil we need and yet we continue import from countries that want to kill us. The list is endless, and it’s a sad testament of where we’ve gone.
Maybe a change in leadership won’t accomplish much. It certainly didn’t work out the last round. What we really need is a change in the American people — all of us. We need to make compromises with unions, stop playing with our phones and stand up to get our jobs back to America. Maybe we can’t fix stupid, but if we don’t try then we really are the dummies.
— Henry Schulte of Santa Barbara owns and operates Dos Pueblos Ranch. He has been politically active in the community for years. Click here to read additional columns. The opinions expressed are his own.