Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Obama's Not So Bad... Right?

A Facebook friend recently shared this post into my news feed:

To my Facebook family and community: I had a discussion with a less than clever associate who insisted that the reason people spread so much vitriol about President Obama is because he is black. I disagreed, but he asked me why people can feel so strongly, and almost seem to hate this President, when things are getting better. Why do they seem to hate him? So I looked up provable, empirical evidence, easy for anyone to fact check, for anyone inclined to do so, to see if the economy is, in fact, improving. And if so, why would they “Hate on him” if things aren't so bad… If these facts make you feel angry, than maybe there is a problem, since it is good news for all Americans. And if it does make you angry, ask yourself why? Why am I angry at this good news? Take a look:
Unemployment is at 5.6%, well below the 7.8% that it was when President Obama took office in 2009, and the 8.3% that it was during his first MONTH in office. The rate of Job creation for all of 2014 averaged 246,000 jobs per month, the highest since 1999, with Private Sector jobs leading the way by far. Even wages are beginning to rise, although very slightly.
The Deficit has fallen sharply. The Stock Market has more than doubled since this president took office. Rates of unpaid bills and medical debt have declined last year for the first time in more than a decade. The growth of healthcare costs has significantly slowed even though millions more people in America now have health care. Many more people are graduating college, gasoline prices have fallen sharply, the worth of your house has gone up...And nobody from the federal government with an Obama badge came to take away my guns…
To my republican friends: Times are not perfect, but they are improving, and we sure as heck are not in a Great Depression by any stretch. We are no longer even in a recession. If you feel angry reading this, ask yourself Why. Do I “Hate on him”? Maybe we can stop. Times are getting better than they were even 6 years ago... You remember. Thanks

Oh, my. Where to start? Well, aside from the fact that he throws out these numbers with no sources or context, let's just take them one at a time, shall we?

Unemployment has been dropping, though at a much slower rate than previous recoveries. That is due less to new job creation, however, than the increase in the number of people who have dropped out of the workforce. (Remember, to be considered in the unemployment figure, you have to "looking for a job.") And of course private sector jobs have led the way, but isn't it odd that it's in Republican states like Texas, not states like Illinois or California? Hmmm.

Yes, the deficit is, finally, *almost* as low as before Obama took office in 2009. Hooray. In the meantime, Obama has taken Bush's extravagant debt spending to stratospheric new heights, exceeding even the precipitous increase brought on by fighting two simultaneous foreign wars by *more than double*, and still counting.

Healthcare costs have decreased and more people have healthcare? Sure. Tell that to the millions who have had their premiums shoot up as much as 78%, and the millions of others being dumped into the overburdened Medicare and Medicaid rolls, forcing a cutback in benefits to enrollees.

More people are graduating college? Great! Except that the majority of them are graduating with a crippling student debt thanks to government student loan subsidies driving up tuition and fees. Congratulations to the most indebted generation of college graduates in US history.

Gasoline prices HAVE fallen sharply. Okay, I'll give this one to him. He obstructed the Keystone Pipeline, and has been trying to cripple the oil and gas industry since his term began, but he has supported fracking in the past, which is what is responsible for the precipitous drop in oil (and thus gasoline) prices.
In 2008, with 1300 active wells, the US produced just shy of 8 million barrels per day. Thanks to fracking, by 2014, with the same 1300 wells, we produced over 12 billion barrels per day. And, oh yeah, many of the jobs he's boasted about are in that icky oil and gas industry, not in abortive solar ventures like Solyndra, into which his administration flushed $500 million dollars. A Saudi prince was recently quoted as saying that oil prices--currently under $50 per barrel--would never again hit $100/barrel.

No, nobody has come to take away my guns as yet. Obama Justice Department appointee Eric Holder was just selling them to Mexican drug cartels, resulting in the deaths of law enforcement officers, like Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Of course, one thing not mentioned in this little screed is foreign policy. Understandable, since it has been an unmitigated disaster. Between supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, allowing the destruction of the US embassy in Benghazi and deaths of a US ambassador and three others, commanding the hastened withdrawal from Iraq leading directly to the ISIS threat that now consumes half the region, hitting the links while Russian bombers probe American territorial airspace, and the currently-imminent US embassy evacuation in Yemen... there isn't much to crow about, is there?

I could go on, but the point is made. The animosity toward the Obama administration didn't just materialize out of thin air. So, if you're NOT angry reading this, you might ask yourself, "Why not?"

1 comment:

  1. Well said.
    I would add that the only reasons budget deficits have dropped at all during Obama's later years are: 1) They're dropping from levels Obama quadrupled from the Bush years, 2) Spending only dropped because of the "Sequestration" that Obama and Democrats whined and complained about for a whole year, 3) New increases in spending are difficult to get through a Republican majority House of Reps.
    On Oil: Remember that Obama has done his best to block new permits for drilling on all Federal lands & waters. Oil production from Federal lands & waters has actually dropped during the Obama presidency. All of the increase in US Oil & Gas production is from private lands, and drilling permits that were issued during the Bush years.