Barack Obama won a historic election in 2008. He was young, he had energy and enthusiasm he connected with Americans with a simple message of change. None of us felt the country was going in the right direction and Obama filled the need for change. Obama promised a more transparent government, he promised to fix immigration, he promised to reduce the deficit and get Americans working again. I disagreed with Obama I was troubled by his lack of experience and his philosophy but I appreciated deeply his desire to transcend race and his promise to make government more open. I voted against Obama but I had hope that he would become a more moderate democrat once in office like Bill Clinton was in the 1990’s.
President Obama was inaugurated in 2009 in the midst of a deep recession and great global uncertainty. He had a tough road ahead no one could dispute that, but he also had a strong mandate and both houses of Congress, a rare thing for a President. Obama is near the end of his first term, where are we now? We have a net decrease in jobs; at no time in the Obama administration have more people been working than when Bush left office. Americans on food stamps are approaching 48 million a 60% increase. The price of gas and energy are up, in the case of gas almost double. The US government has run a more than trillion dollar deficit for every year since Obama became president and Obama added more debt in 19 months than was added from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Obama promised to reduce the deficit seen under Bush but instead added to it substantially. We have a national debt of 16 trillion more than fifty thousand dollars for every citizen an increase of 50% in one single term.
Obama promised to post legislation online and to have a transparent government. When Obamacare was passed House leader Pelosi said Congress had to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it. Obama’s justice department has obfuscated investigators seeking to find out why we intentionally sold assault rifles to gun runners as part of a sting leaving at least one border agent dead. This administration has also mislead on the Libya attack that killed our ambassador and three other Americans refusing to call it is a terrorist attack for weeks when the evidence shows they knew otherwise.
Obama’s biggest achievement legislatively is clearly the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The President used much of his political capital and pushed the law through without bipartisan support. Despite the spin Republicans have many great ideas on how to reform healthcare but they were locked out of the debate and process. Whether or not you think healthcare should be a government provided entitlement, there are some measurable facts around this new law. The CBO has estimated that Obamacare will result in an estimated 800,000 fewer jobs. Why? Because Obamacare forces businesses to pay for healthcare or pay a penalty after they reach a certain level this serves as a powerful disincentive to growth. Obamacare is also very complex and the result is great uncertainty on the part of employers. Obama stated that he expected healthcare costs and premiums to go down under the law they haven’t they have gone up, according to some research premiums may rise as much as $2500 for a family of 4 after the law is fully implemented. One of the immediate effects of the law has been that many physicians are not accepting any more Medicaid or Medicare patients, this is partially because of the cuts in the programs in part to fund Obamacare. Healthcare is a big complex issue I am only seeking to examine the results of Obamacare in the narrow sense and the Presidents promises regarding the law. I will examine Romney’s own healthcare plan in a future article.
Foreign Policy & The War on Terror
I am not inside Obama’s head and I don’t pretend to understand his thinking and his intentions. He had many questionable associations throughout his life which have overall been exposed so I won’t rehash them here. I want to focus on policy and leave the reader to judge based on your own philosophy and reasoning. The world is a dangerous place, the arab spring has lead to more Islamist/ Jihadist power in the middle east and Iran and North Korea continue to develop nuclear weapons. Russia continues to make moves against us and give aid to our enemies such as Iran and Syria. While at a summit with then Russian premier Dmitri Medvedev an open mic caught Obama assuring the Russian Prime Minister that he could be more flexible with him after the election.
The president promised to win the war in Afghanistan and while he did agree to a surge requested he made the awful move of setting an arbitrary and some have argued political deadline for their removal. Commanders wanted two full fighting seasons and he gave them one ensuring the troops would be withdrawn by the election this year. Obama was content to lead from behind and participate in air support for the overthrow of Gaddafi who had given up his nuclear program after we invaded Iraq. He has used third parties to distribute aid and arms to rebels in Syria and the New York Times has exposed that most of this aid has gone to terrorist/jihadis. He has been disengaged and has refused to allow Israel support to bomb Iranian nuclear program sites or give any firm commitment as to what would allow such action. On trade agreements which are very important to keeping America competitive in the world Obama hasn’t negotiated a single new deal while the European Union has more than 20 since 2007 the US has 3 all negotiated and credited to the Bush administration. China has negotiated nearly 20. While Obama has blocked the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline and reduced federal leases for drilling he has backed off shore drilling in Brazil with federal dollars. The overall trend in foreign policy seems to be a lessening of American influence and power in the world.
The president promised a bill on immigration in his first year. Most Americans agree that the status quo must change there is disagreement as to what our policy should be, but Obama has refused to even introduce and argue a bill. He has instead subverted the rule of law by ordering the Justice department to ignore the current law for non criminal illegal immigrants. Wether or not you believe as I do that immigration is a net positive for the country surely it is the presidents responsibility to create a clear and consistent policy with the law not ignore his sworn duty to uphold the law.
The above is a small and simple case against President Obama. I have tried to keep the argument honest and with as little interpretation on my part as possible. In my next piece I will move on to Governor Romney.