The Great Pyramids of Egypt. The Great Wall of China. The Taj Mahal. The Roman Colosseum. We all know that these are many of the great wonders of the world. But I can think of one that is even more unexplainable than these and it’s right here in America. It’s the hatred that people have for President Obama. I was recently talking with someone who doesn’t follow politics regularly and they asked why people hated the president so much and what he has done so wrong. As I began to think about it, I couldn’t come up with an answer. There’s so much negative publicity and flat-out lies surrounding him that the everyday American doesn’t know just what this administration has done in the three years they’ve been in power. Allow me to elaborate further.
One of the biggest “problems” that people are making a fuss about is illegal immigration. Everyone is saying that the Obama administration has FAILED on controlling the borders. Well, the problem is that the facts just don’t support this claim. Since taking office, the Obama administration has deported over 1.4 million illegal immigrants. People say that we don’t have enough “boots on the ground” at the border. Until January of 2012, the number of guard troops along the border was at record highs and grew every month. The reason for the decrease of troops in 2012 can be explained by the next statistic. People argue that despite all his efforts, we still have a huge mass of illegals crossing the borders every day. Well again, the numbers don’t add up. As of 2011, the net number of illegal immigrants entering the US was at zero. With the increased number of border troops, the number of immigrants caught trying to enter the country has dropped significantly from 1 million in 2005, to 286,000 in 2011. This is a clear sign that fewer immigrants are trying to enter the country illegally. Because of this, we can scale down the number of border patrol agents.
Another reason that people claim to hate the president is because he’s spending too much money and is bankrupting the country. The biggest spending items in 2009 were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama has ended the war in Iraq, eliminating that spending issue. He’s scaled down the war in Afghanistan, which means scaling down the spending there as well. As for annual spending, the Obama administration has one of the lowest growth rates in recent history. Annual spending has gone up just 1.4% under President Obama. When people simply look at the dollar amounts they will be led to believe that President Obama is spending more in dollars than “every president in history combined” as one graphic claims. But the fact of the matter is that most of the spending has been in place before he took office (i.e.: 2 wars, TARP, unemployment, welfare increases, etc.). As a comparison, annual spending under George W. Bush went up 7.3% in his first term and 8.1% in his second; under Clinton it went up 3.2% his first year and 3.9% his second year; under Bush Sr. it went up 5.4%; and under Reagan it went up 8.7% his first year and 4.9% his second year. Under the Obama administrations budget, federal spending fell 0.7% in 2010, rose 4.3% in 2011, is set to rise 0.7% in 2012, and scheduled to fall by 1.3% in 2013. This will equal federal spending under President Obama going from $3.52 trillion a year in 2009, to just $3.58 trillion in 2013…an increase in a whole 0.4%. So what does all this mean? President Obama is reducing spending and holding back spending on new projects, meaning the growth of national debt has slowed under his presidency.
Another reason for the “Obummer bashing” by the right is because of the economy. They like to say that the economy hasn’t improved under this administration. This is something most people don’t really understand because a lot of people use the poor man’s economic scale…“I’m not seeing growth so it’s not happening.” Well it’s more complicated than that. We need to look at the numbers. The first number that will indicate an improving economy is consumer spending. Consumer spending has gone up each of the last 3 quarters, quite significantly over the past year and steadily over the entirety of the administration’s time in office. With these steady increases in consumer spending, we’ve seen the private sector creating more jobs. Unemployment has fallen nearly every month over the last two plus years, with the exception of May 2012 in which it remained the same thanks to decreases in construction jobs (which offset the growths in health care, transportation, and warehousing). The rate sits at 8.2% and will probably fall below 8% by the time of the election this November. Many argue that President Obama failed to live up to his promise to get it under 7% by the end of his first term if his stimulus was passed and that’s partially true. However, the entire stimulus was not spent. Plus, growing economic concerns across Europe have slowed the economic growth here as well, which couldn’t have been predicted then either. And finally, the rate would already be under 7% if public sector jobs were being created and not cut. Thanks to the TEA Party congressmen calling for cuts in public sector spending, we’ve seen layoffs in education and other government fields, which add to the unemployment rate. Under President Reagan, his huge drop in unemployment was almost entirely thanks to public sector job growth, hence the massive growth of public debt during his presidency. Also, the stock market is back to pre-recession levels and GM is back to #1 in the world in auto sales. So I say ALL of that, to say this: the economy is slowly and steadily improving under this presidency. It may not be growing at 4 or 5% but that’s because of the severity of the recession we’re recovering from.
The last reason that most people give for hating President Black Panther is that he’s forced government health care on us all. Well, I don’t know how exactly requiring everyone to purchase health care from PRIVATE health care providers is “government health care” but whatever. They say that the fact that “a majority of Americans don’t want the law” although that can be disputed. They say that the law is causing health care premiums to go up by $1,300 on people after President Obama promised they would fall by $2,200. Well the problem with this is two-fold. For one, the law hasn’t even been fully implemented yet (and won’t until 2014) so there’s no logical way for it to cause health care premiums to rise. Secondly, the promise the president made was that premiums would be $2,200 lower on average if the bill was passed compared to what they would be if it was not passed, NOT $2,200 lower than they were in 2010. Look, I don’t like having to pay for auto insurance every month but it’s for the betterment of society. The health insurance mandate is the same way. Obviously telling people they have to buy something is going to cause negativity. However, it’s good for the overall good of the people. And as an aside here, I’m certainly not crazy about the Affordable Care Act, as I think a single payer system is the way to go, but it’s a start. We need to take regulate the health insurance companies if we want to see the dramatic drops in health care premiums that people are hoping for.
So there it is. The biggest reasons that people hate the president and not one holds water. They hate him because he’s not doing anything about immigration but we’re at a net increase of ZERO. They hate him because he’s spending us into bankruptcy but federal spending is scheduled to grow slower under him than any president since Dwight Eisenhower. They hate him because the economy isn’t improving but EVERY economic index points to the complete opposite fact. They hate him because he’s passed government health care but it’s completely private health care companies providing the insurance with no government options. They hate him because he interceded in Libya but hate him because he’s not acted in Syria. They hate him because he wanted to close Gitmo, but ridicule him because he’s not closed it. They hate him for being too soft on terrorists, but accuse him of being a war criminal for using drone strikes to take out the leaders of the terrorist organizations that want to destroy us. They hate him for being a socialistic, terrorist appeasing, non-American, Muslim that’s secretly plotting the destruction of America…but refuse to accept the reality that he’s actually one of the most cool, calm, and collected president’s we’ve ever had. He’s also one of the most centrist president’s over the last century. He’s one that is playing his cards close to his chest and is taking the high road as much as possible and is the right man to lead the country for the next four years.