Over at International Liberty, Dan Mitchell argues that we have two role models from recent history that show it is possible to control the federal budget: Presidents Reagan and Clinton. This video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity has the data:
Personally, I would prefer it if President Obama channeled Clinton rather than Reagan — under Reagan, total spending grew by 23 percent; under Clinton, it grew by only 12.5 percent. But, of course, Mitchell is right that Clinton’s performance “may not have been so impressive if he had succeeded in pushing through his version of government-run health care, or if he didn’t have to deal with a Republican Congress after the 1994 election. It should also be noted that President Reagan cut non-defense spending by almost 10 percent, and that is something unique to his presidency.