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Has President Obama Made Things Better or Worse in the Last Five Years? [167*81]

Updated on January 25, 2014


THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA has made things worse since he assumed office. Are they telling you the truth or lying to you? The one fact they can point to is that at the moment President Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 7.8% and now it is 8.2% (now 7% in 2013). Beyond that, they don't have much else to offer. Obama supporters, however, might fight back with the following:

  1. President stopped an economy heading into a certain depression (as the latest research shows) and kept it at the major recession level.
  2. One month after beginning the implementation of his stimulus program and continuing the implementation of President Bush's TARP program, against the wishes of Conservatives, the stock market hit its low point and began its recovery
  3. One month after beginning the implementation of his stimulus program and continuing the implementation of President Bush's TARP program, against the wishes of Conservatives, the negative growth in GDP stopped getting worse and within three months began positive growth, which it has maintained since
  4. At the time President Obama took office, the unemployment rate was increasing at a rate of 0.25% per month; nine months later it is decreasing at a rate of 0.05% a month.
  5. At the time President Obama took office, first time unemployment claims were 700,000 per month and growing, now there are 400,000 per month, slightly below the historic average.
  6. At the time President Obama took office, the Big Three automakers were facing total bankruptcy and probable permanent closure for some or all of them; something Conservative counselled to let happen. Today, they are all profitable because he didn't follow the Conservative's advice.
  7. Before President Obama took office the War on Terrorism took a back seat to the War in Iraq, which America was losing. After he took office Obama ended the War in Iraq on reasonable terms using gains made in the last days of the Bush administration, restarted the covert War on Terrorism, killing Osama bin Laden and most of the al Qaida leadership, and refocused attention on the forgotten, but true War in Afghanistan where a degree of success is being seen,
  8. Millions of previously uninsured Americans now have health insurance since President Obama took office.
  9. In the last years of the Bush administration the economy shrunk by -4.6% from its high in 2007; under the Obama administration the economy has grown by +6.7% to a new record high.
  10. Four years ago, gays had to hide who they naturally were in order to serve their country, today they don't.
  11. Four years ago, people with dibilitating conditions who might find a cure via stem cell therapy couldn't because federally funded research was banned. Today, that is no longer true and these people have new hope.
  12. Four years ago America had lost the respect of the world, Obama has regained that back for us.
  13. Three years ago, before Obamacare, heathcare costs had been increasing near double-digit rates for the last 50 years! In the last two years, since Obamacare, they have risen only 4% a year!!
  14. Since Obama took office, he has lowered the tax burden on the middle class an average of $3600 per family
  15. Since Obama took office, he has cut taxes for small business, true small business, 18 times.
  16. In 2013, Obama set the stage for taking chemical weapons out of the hands of the Syrian government
  17. In 2013, Obama negotiated the first ever reduction in Iranian nuclear warfare capability
  18. In 2013, Obama called his opponents bluff to blackmail the Presidency into compliance with the threat, and then reality of a government shutdown thereby taking that unAmerican tactic out of the minorities arsenal.
  19. At the end of 2013, Obama oversaw and then signed into law the first compromise budget once the opposition saw their bully, "my way or the highway" strategy fail/
  20. From Oct - Dec 2013, Obama worked through the slings and arrows of a cheering opposition and disappointed population when the Affordable Care Act website failed to perform beginning Oct 2013 and finally truly came on-line in Dec 2013

Yes, the Conservatives are right, unemployment is a bit higher now than when it was rapidly increasing as Obama assumed the presidency (not true anymore, obviously); I guess that is the only variable they need in their calculus in determining failure or success.


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    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      8 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      How much of the $16T is due to the recession and a carry-over from the Bush administration? Obama has lowered projected federal spending by a trillion dollars. How has he failed in the Middle East, by not starting WW III? Exactly what did he trample? It was about time the tax rates were increased on the rich. Everybody else saw there Bush tax cuts become permanent as well as some of the credits from the compromise of 2010. All administrations have scandals, what is new; Bush had is own Fast and Furious Program as well. Conservatives refused to compromise (to your cutting entitlements,if they had, you might have seen some). As to Obamacare, once the wrinkles are worked out, it will be the best thing since social security for those who care about the general welfare of American citizens. For those who don't, it is a big waste of money, just like social security, Medicare, and Medicaid are.

    • AlexDrinkH2O profile image


      8 years ago from Southern New England, USA

      And the $16 trillion national debt? The total failure of his Middle East policy? His trampling on the Constitution? His tax increases? The Obamacare mess? The several scandals in his administration (Fats & Furious as an example)? His refusal to cut entitlement spending? The worst Attorney General in US history? Oh yeah, GREAT president. Give me a break.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I appreciate your comments William, thank you for making them. I would offer this fundamental difference between the Conservative view and the non-Conservative (I use that since it covers a lot of territory beyond Liberal or Progressive, it includes some Republicans of the Kennedy - Reagan era as well): Conservatives believe that federal intervention of any sort to help the citizenry or business out of trouble is a bad thing and should never be done; history shows, however, this reticence does not extend to providing incentives and special breaks to industries in general and specific businesses to help them grow, btw. Everybody else does believe the phrase "general Welfare" does extend to the People and is a function of the federal government to help the People and Business, when it effects the People in a huge way, out of trouble. That is simply the two sides of the coin, you don't see it as a function of government, and that was the case all the way up to 1933, where the People suffered horribly every five or so years as a result, and I believe it is a function of government, which has been in style since 1933, and, as a result, the People have led much more comfortable lives for much longer periods of times and have yet to suffer the misery of the those prior to 1933.

      I will give you the unemployment issue, as I did in the hub itself. But I do need to point out, which I have in more detail in other hubs, that under Reagan, unemployment was above 10% something like 5 to 7 times as long as that under Obama and it was above 9% for a little longer under Reagan than under Obama. It didn't stay above 8% for as long because Reagan had the priveledge of have Democrats in Congess trying to help him get things better than promising to make Reagan fail in making things better. How Obama has managed to keep unemployment below 9% in the face of the Conservative onslaught of negatavism, roadblocks, and other obstructionist activities (all of which keeps business wondering what is wrong with government and sitting on the sidelines) is beyond me.

      As to the sidelines, all I can do is refer you to the CBO and the majority of economists, TARP and the stimulus worked. They stopped the recession from turning into a full-blown depression and it started the recovery sooner than it would have than if left to run its course. I realize you cannot ever accept that as the truth, because that means giving up on the idea that Keynesian economics doesn't work and only Austrian economics does. Unfortunately, history makes a very compelling case that the opposite is actually the case.

      As many of other hubs as well as my own of shown, the tax increase on the wealthy causing a loss of jobs or preventing the creation of more is simply a myth. Even more to the point, it is a mathematical impossibilty for several different reasons but the main one being there aren't enough jobs tied directly to the part of the personal income that would be subject to the extra 5% tax to even register in the statistics.

    • My Esoteric profile imageAUTHOR

      Scott Belford 

      9 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks HS, I appreciate your comment. I know the Democratic campaign mentions all of these, one or two at a time, but there ought to be a chart behind they Obama's and Binden and the other surrogates listing everyone of them every time they speak reminding them of the totality of what has been accomplished.

    • William Young profile image

      William Young 

      9 years ago from Eaglle Grove, Iowa

      Your article is brilliantly written, but I would respectfully disagree that President Obama has made the economy better. We have had 8% unemployment for over 40 straight months, the 800 billion dollar stimulus really did nothing to improve the economy. 23 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed, or have stopped looking for work altogether. There's no question that President Bush spend a ton of money on the War in Iraq, Afghanistan and the auto bailouts. But every solution that Obama has to offer has big government at its core. If he would just stop trying to sell the American people this narrative that the government and endless entitlement programs is the only thing that can save them, and step back and be more supportive of our free market system, he could be a great president. You don't grow the economy and create jobs by raising the tax debt of the job creators. President Obama refuses to see that.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      9 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I totally agree with all of your points that President Obama has improved our economy. One change is that the first time unemployment claims have been far below 400,000 for several months. He helped to stabilize the economy and now it is growing albeit slowly. Once the housing market improves and it has started to, the economy will grow rapidly. Great Hub again, My Esoteric.


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