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Steve Lunetta: Where we are headed

Right About Now

Posted: February 1, 2009 7:49 p.m.
Updated: February 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.

In the summer of 1863, the Union Army was chasing Robert E. Lee's Confederate forces that had slipped into Pennsylvania. Lee intended to draw the Union into a final battle that would end the Civil War and divide the nation.

The Union cavalry commander was Brigadier General John Buford Jr. General Buford had tracked the Confederate Army and determined that a critical delaying skirmish had to be fought to enable the Union Army a chance to get into a more favorable position.

Facing the onslaught of nearly 20,000 Confederate troops outside the small town of Gettysburg, Buford knew that it would be a desperate fight. His two brigades, little more than 2,000 men, would be rapidly crushed.

In the 1993 movie, Buford (played by Sam Elliot) recognized the seriousness of the situation in a discussion with his second in command, Col. Thomas Devin:

"You know what is going to happen here in the morning? The whole damn reb army is going to be here. They'll move through the town, occupy these hills on the other side, and when our people get here Lee will have the high ground.

"There will be the devil to pay! ... Devin, I've led a soldier's life and I've never seen anything as brutally clear as this."

Buford could see the situation clearly and knew that he had to act fast to divert a disaster.

The same could be said for the state of California. Republicans are working frantically to save our state, but we are desperately outnumbered and fighting an opponent intent on dividing and isolating us.

Socialism is growing in the Golden State, fed by the cash-rich teacher and prison guard unions and supported by a populace that is easily bought off with promises of an easy and prosperous future without the inconvenience of working for it.

Where will all of this lead? We need only to look toward the city of Detroit for a few of our answers.

Sixty years ago, Detroit was at its zenith. As the "arsenal of democracy," Detroit's wartime production created a booming metropolis where hard work and dedication were amply rewarded.

Throughout the 1950s, the post-war boom continued as American automobiles flooded world markets.

However, dark clouds formed on the horizon. During the recession of 1958, many lost their jobs, and those with more "portable" skills left Detroit to find employment elsewhere.

Middle-class migration to Detroit's suburbs left the inner city poor, destitute, and searching.

In stepped the Democratic Party. Promising federal and state welfare to all citizens, the Democrats seized control of the city and built a political machine that has kept them in power for the last 50 years.

And what has all of this "enlightened" rule brought Detroit? According to The Detroit Literacy Coalition, the citizens of this fair city have a functional illiteracy rate of 47 percent.

Even in crude Third World countries like Cuba, the functional illiteracy rate went from 23 percent to 3 percent under Fidel Castro.

The Detroit News also reported that the graduation rates for Detroit students were the worst in the nation among large school districts. Only 24.9 percent of students graduate from Detroit public schools, lagging far behind the next-worst city, Indianapolis, at 30.5 percent (Clickon Detroit 4/2/08).

Crime is also a great measure of Democratic Party success. According to FBI crime statistics for 2007, Detroit had 2,289 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. CNBC called Detroit "America's most dangerous city."

And still, the Democratic Party holds power in Detroit. After numerous failed policies, graft and corruption, and a socialistic government system that has stripped residents of any drive or desire to succeed, Democrats enjoy unthreatened and unbridled power in this once-great city.

Is this what we want for the state of California? A place of low productivity caused by a failed socialistic education system?

Business needs educated and skilled workers to produce the best products at the lowest possible prices. Detroit has failed its children and its business community, and we are on the way to doing the same.
The city of Detroit has compounded its problems with high taxes that scare all manner of commerce from the area. This business-hostile attitude must not be repeated here.

High taxes damage business and commerce, reduce jobs, and rob us all of prosperity.

As Democrats in Sacramento propose new taxes as the only way to "save" California, let us not forget that the economic engine of the Golden State is not government bureaucracy but the many corporations, companies, LLCs, and sole proprietorships made up of people like you and me.

"I've never seen anything as brutally clear as this." Gen. Buford reminds us to look at Detroit as the example of what our future may hold if we don't take decisive action now.

Republican values of lower taxes, thrift and fiscal responsibility are the keys to California's future.

Steve Lunetta is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right About Now" runs Mondays in The Signal.


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