I have been writing President Obama letters and have not received a personal response yet. (He reads 10 letters a day personally and responds to each of them.) However, I did receive a form letter in the form of an email July 6, 2012. I don’t know which letter of mine generated this response, but if I had to guess then I think it would be this one below.
Obama on Ryan Plan: “It’s Laughable. It Is a Trojan Horse. It’s Thinly-Veiled Social Darwinism.”
President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.
Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has hit a home run with this post. If Congressman Paul Ryan could get criticized for wanting to bring down our federal spending to around 20% in 11 years and earn the label of “social darwinist” from you then surely you would have thought President Clinton’s effort to cut spending to 18.2 % of GDP in 2001 as extremely devilish.
April 3, 2012 by Dan Mitchell
Actually, Bill Clinton must be something even worse than a social Darwinist. That’s because the title of this post is wrong. Obama said that Paul Ryan’s plan (which allows spending to grow by an average of 3.1 percent per year over the next decade) is a form of “social Darwinism.”
But the proposal from the House Budget Committee Chairman only reduces the burden of federal spending to 20.25 percent of GDP by the year 2023.
Yet when Bill Clinton left office in 2001, following several years of spending restraint, the federal government was consuming 18.2 percent of economic output.
And by the President’s reasoning, this must make Clinton something worse than a Darwinist. Perhaps Marquis de Sade or Hannibal Lecter.
Here’s a blurb from the New York Times on Obama’s speech.
Mr. Obama’s attack, in a speech during a lunch with editors and reporters from The Associated Press, was part of a broader indictment of the Republican economic blueprint for the nation. The Republican budget, and the philosophy it represents, he said in remarks prepared for delivery, is “antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it.” …“Disguised as a deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly veiled social Darwinism,” Mr. Obama said. “By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training, research and development — it’s a prescription for decline.”
I’m particularly amused by the President’s demagoguery that Ryan’s plan is “antithetical to our entire history” and “a radical vision.”
Is he really unaware that a small and constrained central government is part of America’s history and vision? Doesn’t he know that the federal government, for two-thirds of our nation’s history, consumed less than 5 percent of GDP?
Of course, that was back in the dark ages when people in Washington actually believed that the Constitution’s list of enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8, actually enumerated the powers of the federal government. How quaint.
No wonder this Ramirez cartoon is so effectively amusing. It certainly seems to capture the President’s view of America’s founding principles.
Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.
Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 6, 2012
Thank you for writing. I have heard from many Americans about Government spending and our national debt. I appreciate your perspective.
I am committed to working in a bipartisan way to solve the financial challenges before us and to construct an economy where every hard-working American gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules. By focusing on job creation, security for working families, and fiscal responsibility, we can get people the help they need, prepare for the future, and reduce the Federal deficit.
This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and those trying to reach it. After decades of eroding middle-class security and after a recession that plunged our economy into a crisis from which we are still fighting to recover, it is time to construct an economy built to last. To put our Nation back on a path of living within our means, we must cut wasteful spending, ask all Americans to shoulder their fair share, and make tough choices on some things we cannot afford. The Federal Government, like families across America, is going to have to cut spending while protecting investments that are vital to growing our economy and creating jobs. My proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2013 targets scarce Federal resources to the areas critical to growing our economy and restoring middle-class security: education and skills for American workers, innovation and manufacturing, clean energy, and infrastructure. This proposal will reduce our deficit by $4 trillion by 2022 and will help put our country back on a more sustainable fiscal path.
An economy built to last also demands we renew the American values of fair play and shared responsibility—principles that must guide our approach to solving our Nation’s deficit problem. As we extend middle-class tax cuts to help working families, I am pursuing the end of costly tax breaks and special deductions for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations. I have repeatedly called on Congress to stop giving away $4 billion a year in oil subsidies to an industry that has never been more profitable, and instead, to pass clean energy tax credits to cultivate a market for innovation in clean energy technology. I also proposed a fee on big banks and other major financial institutions to recoup taxpayer assistance that was crucial to saving the economy.
To prevent Congress from worsening our deficit outlook, I pushed for and signed into law pay-as-you-go rules for Congress—rules critical to creating the surpluses of the 1990s. Additionally, I established the Campaign to Cut Waste, which is aggressively rooting out misspent tax dollars, and sent Congress the Consolidating and Reforming Government Act to reinstate the authority past presidents have had to streamline the Executive Branch and create a leaner, more efficient Federal Government. Through these and other efforts, we can reduce the deficit and ensure a more stable future for our children.
To learn more about our budget, please visit www.Budget.gov. Thank you, again, for writing.