The Island Of Joe

4 June 2004

A friend named Joe mutters, ”when we start the Island of Joe, things are going to be different.” Normally, the muttering begins after listening to a radio or TV news broadcast. The ”liberals” get him down, and he thinks of setting sail for the ”new world.”

I’ve often wondered (too seriously for some) where we would go if we began to have the urges that caused the original colonists to abandon Europe for America. Where is the New World? Joe knows we would simply head for the Island of Joe. We haven’t found it on a map.

On the first boat leaving for the island there’s one person in particular that I’d want on board. No one is better at finding the gaps between what the Founders intended for this nation and where we are today. Better still, he can (and is unafraid to) communicate those gaps better than anyone I know. Here’s the latest from Craig Cantoni:

What Is a Moderate Republican?
by Craig J. Cantoni
June 4, 2004

After publishing a four-page article yesterday saying that Republicans are either in denial or power-hungry liars for claiming that they are for limited government and that they have actually limited government, an Arizona Republic editorialist was on the local PBS affiliate last night speaking favorably about ”moderate Republicans.” Can someone please tell me what a ”moderate Republican” is?

I think it is someone who goes along with Democrats regarding increased taxes and spending on education and other social programs, but I’m not sure. If that is the right definition, then I have a follow-up question: Why is that considered moderation?

To me, the term smacks of some kind of Orwellian doublespeak or Politburo propaganda, especially considering the statistics on the growth of government that I cited in my article and which I’ll summarize below. It’s the opposite of moderation. It’s immoderation, or to use a synonym, excessive. It would be akin to calling someone who drinks a fifth of Jack Daniels each night a ”moderate drinker.” Given the facts about taxes and spending, the big spenders should be called ”excessive Republicans” or ”immoderate Republicans” or ”thieving Republicans.” Here are some of the facts:

– Federal spending comes to $20,000 per household. Is that moderation? – The cost of regulations adds about another $8,000. Is that moderation? – We are leaving our kids a horrible legacy of debt in the trillions of dollars for our entitlements and other selfish, greedy gorging. Some economists put the total bill for future generations at $40 trillion. If that’s moderation, then robbing piggy banks is moderation. – Transfer payments, which are a euphemism for citizens taking money from their neighbors, now account for 40% of federal spending, up 20-fold from 1900, when they accounted for 2% of federal spending. Moderation? – When my grandparents immigrated here in the early 20th century, total government expenditures were about 8% of Gross Domestic Product. Today, they are about 375% higher. Moderation? – In 1914, the year after the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment and five years before my dad’s birth in the coal mining town where his dad worked in the mines and was able to keep almost all of his money from the tax man, the income tax per capita was $69 in inflation-adjusted dollars. Today, it is over $2,500. Moderation? – The tax rate on a median family was zero in 1914. Today, it is over 25%. Moderation? – In 1914, there were four pages of IRS forms. Today, there are over 4,000 pages. Moderation? – Discretionary non-defense spending will have increased by 30% in President Bush’s first term. Moderation? – There are now about 22 million federal, state and local public-sector employees, or about 83% more than manufacturing employees. The nation has ”outsourced” millions of wealth-producing jobs from the private sector to the wealth-taking public sector. Moderation? – Local county and city governments have spent about $1 billion on subsidies to private sports teams and another billion for an expanded convention center and a biotech research center in the face of excess convention capacity and excess biotech investment across the country. In addition, they are proposing $2.3 billion on a light-rail line that will actually increase pollution and have a negligible effect on traffic. That comes to $4.3 billion, which is equivalent to the annual income of about 108,000 families. Moderation?

Help me out here. In view of the foregoing facts, could someone please tell me what the term ”moderate Republican” means and why the mainstream media loves to use it? Thanks in advance for sending your response to the e-mail address below. I may summarize the responses without the names for a future article.

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Mr. Cantoni is a moderate author, moderate columnist, moderate small ”L” libertarian and moderate founder of Honest Americans Against Legal Theft (HAALT). He lives with his moderate family in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the summer temperatures are not moderate. He can be reached at

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