Saturday, January 21, 2017

Barack H. Obama: My Perspective

I did a summary of Bush's presidency 8 years ago.  I'll do another one for Obama.

I'll admit it, 8 years ago, I was fearing the worst.  I was both saddened and afraid that my fellow Americans had decided to put a man in the White House who boasted throughout his campaign that he would "fundamentally transform America" with government-run healthcare, taxing the rich, and imposing policies and regulations that would severely restrict America's economy and employment opportunities.  I was very uncomfortable with his eagerness to remove all of our troops from Iraq as well as his overall apparent laissez-faire attitudes in foreign policy.  Barack Obama reminded me a lot of Jimmy Carter.

As it turned out, my fears were fairly well founded.  Obama, along with an exuberant Democratic Party (and only a Democratic Party) rammed through the "Affordable Care Act" and proclaimed it as a major step forward for Americans.  Obama famously (infamously) claimed we would be able to keep our insurance companies and our doctors.  Obama severely restricted use of public lands for oil exploration.  Obama did everything he could to shut down all coal-based power plants.  Obama was part of the drive to penalize all fossil fuel producers and users through a world-wide "cap and trade" initiative.  Obama abandoned Iraq and antagonized Israel.

Obama's policies did nothing to put America forward.  Unemployment stayed high but labor statistics showed it lowering because the Administration basically removed people who hadn't worked in five years from the equation.  So while unemployment slightly lowered over time, "labor force participation" lowered significantly too.  Guess what stats the mainstream media reported?  Of course, it was the new interpretation of the unemployment rate.

People did lose their health insurance.  People did lose their doctors who either were tied to an insurance plan they could no longer afford or because the doctor wouldn't participate in the "ObamaCare" program.  This same program prompted companies to limit employees to under 30 hours a week to keep them part-time and therefore, exempt from the company having to provide insurance. (However, these part-time employees were still technically "employed" thus, keeping the unemployment rate lower.) 

ISIS arose from the ashes of an abandoned Iraq.  Home sales fell.  Food stamp participation rose.  Companies were moving out of the United States.  Median family income went down.  The Federal Debt nearly doubled from $10 trillion to $19 trillion.

Yet with a nation that should be feeling so morose, Obama stayed upbeat.  He played a lot of golf, his wife and daughters traveled to nice places all over the world without him at the nation's expense.  Barack and Michelle Obama were basically America's number one celebrity couple.  Things were always great according to him, or at least getting better.  Obama's presidency has to be a case of a lot of people not realizing how miserable they are.  This is because the mainstream media, for 8 years (yeah CNN, I'm looking at you) endlessly praised this presidency.  This applies to blacks in particular.  Blacks, who under the Obama economy suffered more than anyone!  Race relations got worse, not better during the Obama presidency.  Yet, blacks seemed to continually praise the Obama's.  This is really a sad statement about how ignorant so many are in this country. 

With all of this, is the United States of America as bad off as I feared it would be at this point?  Honestly no.  America has endured and even in some ways, showed it's true fortitude.  I marvel at companies like SpaceX who are trying to make outer space a commercial endeavor in lieu of NASA.  I marvel at the resilience of energy companies to find new ways of obtaining oil via fracking. 

The weird thing is, despite Obama's trying so hard to kill America's fossil fuel infrastructure, he ended up unintentionally strengthening it.  With all the anti-gun talk going on, gun sales flourished during the Obama presidency.  I truly think that gun manufacturers and shops secretly love it when a Democrat is president.

This was a rough 8 years for many with such a radical at the helm.  Donald Trump is clearly an "equal and opposite reaction" to the socialistic climate that Obama put forward.  He wasn't my choice but we'll see.  To me the good news about all this is that Obama did not quite fundamentally change our nation.

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