Brown: What is former President Obama’s legacy?
Published 6:38 pm Thursday, February 9, 2017
It is important to understand what Former President Obama did and did not accomplish during his eight years. For one reason, they create the benchmarks by which we can objectively judge what President Trump does or does not accomplish.
There were positive accomplishments during Obama’s eight years such as Osama bin Laden being killed, nothing like 9/11 but instead isolated ISIS attacks and possibly restored relations with Cuba.
For gays, transgender and pro-abortionists his eight years were good but in reality, most of those gains came through the courts. However, Obama made 369 judicial appointments including Sotomayor and Kegan to the Supreme Court.
As a husband and father he set a good example as did Michelle and he was re-elected. Hopefully, as the first African American president he did/will motivate those of his race.
With his intellect, public speaking skills, being a consummate politician and a very supportive press he positively influenced public opinion but often with no basis in fact; the word beguiling comes to mind.
Obama supporters point to the Iran Nuclear Deal as a huge success. However, Obama paid a ransom to Iran for the release of hostages, gave them $100B+ and it is increasingly likely that they are still moving forward with nuclear weapons.
How Obamacare was passed, the failure of health.gov, the promise of keeping your doctor and insurance company being false, most of the largest insurance companies pulling out of the exchanges, huge premium and deductible increases and how much taxpayer monies are increasingly required it’s obviously NOT the answer! However, it should prove to be a stimulus to getting a plan that does work.
I do not count a record recovery of the stock market as an Obama accomplishment because he started at a low point of the Dow Jones and the normal recoveries of the market were VERY helpful! Additionally, $9.4T of deficits which doubled our debt, record Quantitative Easing, some of the lowest interest rates and $5.4T of trade deficits during his presidency also helped BUT there is going to be a price to pay for each!
CLIMATE: Obama officially committed the US to the Paris Agreement without the constitutional mandate of the Senate’s role of “advice and consent” so it was easy for Trump to start the process of U.S. withdrawal. It could be that Obama is correct about man made climate change but it has become so political and each side is so locked into their respective positions that neither listens to the other so we are left to making decisions without all the facts.
BUDGET: His only “leadership” at controlling the budget was supporting sequestration which is a horrible way to reduce a budget. He did nothing else to stop hundreds of billions of dollars of wasteful, duplicated and/or low priority expenditures. Note what Trump has already done with Boeing and Lockheed price reductions.
JOBS: Since the election Trump has done more to keep jobs and add new jobs by jawboning than Obama did in eight years. His increased regulations, record number of Czars and Executive Orders, bureaucratic regulations and Obamacare were negative influences. Do not be misled by low unemployment numbers since they do not reflect the lowest percentage of people working in almost 50 years, stagnated wages and most of the new jobs being low skill/low pay.
MILITARY: Again, due to a lack of leadership and sequestration our military strength is the lowest in years.
INTERNATIONAL: I am hard pressed to find successes. Instead think of what has happened in Syria, Benghazi, more US soldiers dying in Afghanistan than under Bush, premature withdrawal from Iraq giving impetus to ISIS, Yemen, etc. Further our relations with Israel, one of our staunchest allies, were terrible. The threats North Korea and China posed in 2009 are worse now and the “Russian reset” was a failure.
RACE RELATIONS: Despite Obama claiming they improved during his eight years the facts are they are the worst in decades. Some of his rushes to judgement didn’t help.
LAW ENFORCEMENT: Given the foregoing and huge increases of law enforcement officers being killed in the line of duty it is obvious that our bedrock “rule of law” is increasingly under siege.
POVERTY: During the past 8 years there has been an almost 30 percent increase of those on welfare, 8M more in poverty and SSI disability becoming the “new welfare” aided and abetted by some of Obama’s policies.
UNFUNDED SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE LIABILITIES: There are MASSIVE unfunded liabilities of both BUT the Obama administration did nothing about them for eight years!
Failed attempts trying to influence the Brexit vote and the Prime Minister vote in Israel, TPP trade agreement, poor Veterans Administration healthcare, poor cyber security, Obama’s admission of failed immigration policies in 2014 which continued, 4000 murders in his home city of Chicago, decreasing public education results and his disastrous federalizing of student loans are more of his failures.
Also during his eight years, Democrats lost the House and Senate, governorships and many state legislative seats.
His last minute pardons of hundreds including transgender soldier Chelsea Manning and $221M for Palestine did not help his track record.
Perhaps Obama having more Muslim influence growing up than any previous president and the mentoring of Bill Ayres, Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky may help to explain some of his appointments, “apology tour,” etc.
One reporter said of his legacy, “two words: Donald Trump.”
On “60 Minutes” then-President Obama said of his eight years, “In every measure our country is better off.” I respectfully disagree!
Jeff Brown is a retired Georgia legislator.