Menckens Ghost

More About: Revolutions, Rebellions & Uprisings

A pessimist becomes an optimist


By Craig J. Cantoni

April 8, 2010


About 15 years ago, readers of my columns began calling me a pessimist (and dumbass) for making dire predictions about where social, economic, and political trends would take the country.  Sadly, although all of my predictions have come true, my prescience was certainly not due to a superior intellect, as readers of my stuff will attest.  Rather it was due to me learning long ago how to extend trend lines on a graph and see where trends would lead if nothing were done to change their direction.  Heck, all I needed to know was how to use a straight edge and pencil.


Thanks to the incessant feedback from critics, I’m happy to announce that I’ve changed my thinking and become an optimist.  Here’s why:


First, about a third of voters are either Tea Partiers or sympathetic to the Tea Party cause.  Coincidentally, that’s about the same percentage of voters who are not dependent in some way on the government for all or part of their income.  Of course, that means that about two-thirds of voters are dependent in some way on the government for all or part of their income.


You might be asking yourself what is so optimistic about two-thirds of voters being dependent on the government in some way.  Wouldn’t that mean that we’re well beyond the tipping point?


No, that’s not how this newborn optimist sees it.  As I see it, all we have to do to reverse the teeter-totter is to reverse the percentages; that is, to have only a third of voters dependent on the government in some way, and two-thirds not dependent on the government in some way.  After all, no more than a third of voters are impoverished and incapable of supporting themselves.  Heck, I’d put the number at less than ten percent.


To reverse the teeter-totter, let's just repeal the laws, programs, and edicts that have taken us to the brink of insolvency and socialism.  It would take hundreds of pages to list all of them, but here are the major ones:


- The Sixteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1913 and established federal income taxes, thus opening the door for progressive taxation and leading to today’s untenable situation in which almost 50 percent of Americans pay no income taxes and essentially mooch off of those who do.


- The Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which established a banking cartel that would be in cahoots with Congress to print money to cover the deficit spending of Congress in order to buy votes.


-  The edicts by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Richard Nixon that ended the gold standard and allowed deficit spending to accelerate.


- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Great Society, and ObamaCare-- all of which will take the deficit and unfunded liabilities to over $100 trillion.


- Half of federal agencies and departments, especially the Department of Education.


-  The Kennedy administration’s declaration that, in addition to getting civil service protections, government employees could unionize, thus leading to states and school districts being held hostage by public-sector unions and going broke from pension costs.


- The thousands of subsidies for thousands of special interests, including farm subsidies, dairy subsidies, sugar subsidies, ethanol subsidies, solar energy subsidies, mass transit subsidies, stadium subsidies, tuition subsidies, mortgage subsidies, and subsidies for being stupid and irresponsible.


Wow, I’m becoming even more optimistic as I think about the possibilities for stopping insolvency and socialism.


What?  You don’t think it’s politically possible to repeal all of the above without a revolution?


Shame on you.  You’re nothing but a pessimist.



Optimistic Mr. Cantoni can be reached at


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