Cato Institute praises Bill Clinton’s restraint to spend, President Obama calls that level of spending “social darwinism”

Dan Mitchell always has some great cartoons he posts:

Michael Ramirez is a first-rate cartoonist for Investor’s Business Daily. Here are two of his recent gems.

As always, humor works when it is based on something true.

With that in mind, do you prefer this cartoon, which shows Obama scolding the Founding Fathers for their extreme libertarian views?

Or what about this cartoon, which makes the obvious point that growth is rather difficult when the productive sector of the economy is hobbled by too much government.

Obama on Ryan Plan: “It’s Laughable. It Is a Trojan Horse. It’s Thinly-Veiled Social Darwinism.”

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 President Obama then surely President Obama would have thought President Clinton’s effort to cut spending to 18.2 % of GDP in 2001 as extremely devilish.

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.”

Proponent 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.

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