The Cato Institute, which describes itself as “a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace,” has launched an ad campaign in national newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal, where the hardworking staff saw it) with this headline and lede:
This is leadership?
In the face of a looming fiscal catastrophe, the House Republican leadership has proposed $61 billion in spending cuts – but that’s less than 4% of this year’s massive $1.65 trillion federal deficit. The Senate Democrats have only offered a paltry $10 billion in cuts. Clearly, leaders and members of both parties are in deep denial about the fiscal emergency we face.
FEDERAL BUDGET, 2011 ($ BILLIONS)
TOTAL SPENDING $3,819
PROPOSED SPENDING CUTS $61
$61 billion is lunch money in Cato’s estimation. So it proceeds to detail about $1.5 trillion in cuts Congress should be making – from education and farm subsidies to housing and energy subsidies.
The ad then steers readers to the DownsizingGovernment.org website Cato has created, which provides a “department-by-department guide to cutting the federal government’s budget.”
Bottom line: The GOP is now being buffeted by the Tea Party on the right and the Cato Institute on the righteous.
As Cato the Elder himself said:
Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.
GOPniks, take note.