It's A Two-Cantoni Day

5 May 2004

In the Google IPO coverage, I read that another foundation will be established to work on ”the world’s biggest problems.” That’s good. Better that a foundation’s money goes to solve the world’s biggest problems than the taxpayer’s money via a bloated government, etc. If you want to see how those endeavors usually work out, just read my second post from Craig Cantoni for today: (Note: all emphasis is mine)

Loopy Thinking at the American Enterprise Institute
by Craig J. Cantoni
April 29, 2004

The president of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Christopher DeMuth, has been in Washington, D.C. too long. As evidenced by his op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, his thinking has become as loopy as the Beltway.

The op-ed begins with straight talk about government spending and the economy. He correctly states that ”domestic discretionary non-security spending grew by 15% from 2001 through 2003 and will probably increase by more than 25% during President Bush’s first term—a much faster growth rate than at any time during the Clinton administration.” He continues by saying that federal spending now totals $20,000 per household and that Bush’s Medicare drug benefit will add $10 trillion to the government’s unfunded liabilities.

Proceeding with his straight talk, DeMuth goes on to say that the growth of the regulatory state has exploded under the Bush administration, and he expresses concern that the fondness for big government is undermining the economy, technological innovation and the nation’s long-term security.

But then DeMuth veers off course and starts his loopy thinking.

Having presented clear evidence that Bush and his fellow Republicans in the Republican-controlled Congress are not fiscal conservatives, he goes on to say that they really are conservatives. In other words, they should be judged on what they call themselves, not on what they have done.

DeMuth then attempts to square the circle created by his loopy thinking by hypothesizing that Bush has been too preoccupied with Iraq to keep Congress from giving free goodies to special-interest groups.

Whew, I’m getting dizzy from following his loops.

What DeMuth appears to be saying is that unless a conservative president has time to stand guard over the nation’s wealth, a conservative Congress will steal it.

He conveniently forgets that Bush spent a lot of time getting his Medicare prescription giveaway passed, that he made eleventh-hour calls to Arizona congressman Jeff Flake and a few other true conservatives to pressure them to vote for the largess, that he had time to enact steel tariffs in order to buy votes from steelworkers, that he increased funding for the Department of Education, that he enacted the unconstitutional ”Leave No Child Behind” program, and that he gave a State of the Union Address in which he made steroid use by athletes an important federal issue.

DeMuth is also silent about how Bush made his money. He made it the old-fashioned liberal way. Cronies of his dad let him in on a deal to mooch from taxpayers with taxpayer-subsidized baseball.

It’s a shame that DeMuth has been infected with Beltway thinking. He should start a recovery program by walking a few blocks from his office to the Cato Institute, which, in spite of being headquartered in Washington, has not lost touch with reality and bashes both parties when they go against limited-government principles.

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Mr. Cantoni is an author, columnist and founder of Honest Americans Against Legal Theft (HAALT). He can be reached at

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