The Greatest Trick Obama Ever Pulled Is Convincing the World He's a Socialist

More

As long as we're talking about who built what, let's about what President Obama didn't build. That's socialism.


The below chart, via Buttonwood of The Economist, compares the growth of total government employment during the first four years of the past five presidencies. If Obama is a big government liberal, then what does that make Reagan?

SOCIALISM.png
Less government under Obama is mostly a story less teachers and cops at the state and local level -- but it isn't that entirely. As Buttonwood points out, Obama has only added 16,000 federal government jobs. Reagan added 192,000 over two terms.

But what about the spending? We do have record-setting peacetime deficits. Well, those are the result of the rotten economy rather than redistribution gone wild. Tax revenues have dried up and safety net spending has surged due to the Great Recession. 

The chart below looks at safety net spending -- unemployment insurance, food stamps, and Medicaid -- as a percent of GDP, going back to 1980.

SafetyNetSpending.png

Safety net spending has shot up roughly 50 percent since 2007. In other words, a good bit of Obama's spending hasn't been a choice. It's been automatic.

None of this is what socialism looks like. This is what America looks like when there aren't enough jobs. 
Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew O'Brien

Matthew O'Brien is a former senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In