Obama's "Successes"

It appears my local paper is providing yet another bit of fisking fodder. In this case this fellow thinks Obama has been a successful President and he lists his accomplishments. I responded to his letter with one of my own, but limited it to addressing only a few of his points. I have responded to all of his points in this post.

I find it interesting that you list all of President Obama's 'successes' while failing to also tell us just how these successes were anything but. Since you didn't feel the need to do so, I figured I would address them myself.

He saved our automobile industry from collapse. No, he did not. He unconstitutionally interfered in the bankruptcy process of both GM and Chrysler. Both companies would have survived Chapter 11 and come out it in a better position to thrive. But by his interference he cost taxpayers billions we will never get back. He handed over large portion of GM to the UAW, stiffing the bondholders in the process. It was the over-the-top union contracts that helped drive GM into bankruptcy and Obama rewarded them by ripping off the bondholders – mostly mutual funds held owned by retirement and pension funds.

He has practically eliminated our dependence on foreign oil. I'm sorry Patrick, but this happened in spite of Obama. He's tried everything to quash development of our expanding oil and natural gas reserves. He closed federal lands to oil and gas exploration. He's also made it more expensive to move that oil by using every delaying tactic to prevent construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

He oversaw the restructuring of our banking system. Really? You mean the piece-of-crap Dodd-Frank legislation that has ended up causing far more problems than it was supposed to solve?

He has helped to bring our unemployment down from over 10 percent to under 6 percent. Umm, no. The actual unemployment rate – the so-called U6 rate - is still above 12 percent. The unemployment figures you're touting as a success merely signify that the number of people collecting unemployment has dropped. That doesn't mean they're employed. It means their unemployment benefits have been exhausted and when they happens they drop off the unemployment roles. We now have a labor participation rate that hasn't been this low in over 4 decades.

He has slowed the flow of American jobs away from the U.S. Not from what I can see. Most of the exodus has stopped not because of any policies implemented by Obama, but in spite of them. As our energy costs have fallen due to our expanded oil and gas production and wages overseas have gone up, the off-shoring trend has reversed and on-shoring is taking place, though at a low rate. If the President was serious about creating more jobs here in the US he would be working to do away with the onerous corporate income tax that has kept trillions of dollars in corporate earnings that have already been taxed from being repatriated. (We are the only nation that taxes overseas earnings that have already been taxed where they were earned, and doing so at a confiscatory rate of 35%. The US has the highest corporate taxes in the world. Much of those taxes on domestic earnings are paid not by the corporations but by us in the form of higher prices and fees. All the corporations are doing is collecting the for the government, even if indirectly.

He has assisted efforts to make our economy become the leader of the world again. I have no idea where you came up with this canard. With all of the increasingly restrictive business regulations, over-the-top environmental requirements imposed by an agency that has gone so far outside its charter, trying to force increasing energy costs by fiat “for our own good”, and promoting a health care system that is costing everyone more money while at the same time providing less health care, our economy is even now weakening compared to many others. He's strangling the economy, not helping it.

He brought our troops home from Iraq. Yeah he did, but prematurely because he didn't want to be bothered to negotiate a Status Of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government. Now we're paying the price for that as ISIS is spreading its power like a cancer. If we had remained in Iraq ISIS would have died aborning.

He has reduced our military role in Afghanistan dramatically. Same issue as in Iraq, at least in regards to a resurgent Taliban. Too many like you forget why we went into Afghanistan in the first place: They were shielding and protecting Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks, refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden and his followers. They were given an ultimatum and they decided to ignore it, so we allied ourselves with the Northern Alliance, groups of Afghans who had no use for the Taliban and wanted them gone as much as we did.

He has established a system to provide health insurance for millions. Wrong again. Obamacare doesn't provide one more bit of health care to anyone. You've made the mistake so many others have that somehow access to health insurance automatically equates to access to health care. It does not. It has also stripped millions of Americans of health insurance they already had, already liked, and could already afford and replaced it with something that is more expensive, provides less coverage, and in many cases means they can no longer see doctors they've had for years. How can that be considered a success?

He has reduced the unfettered increases in our national debt. Not even close. This president created more debt than all of the other presidents combined. He wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on a stimulus plan that did nothing more than fill the pockets of cronies and political supporters while doing nothing to help the economy. If you think that over $500 billion in deficit spending this past fiscal year is a reduction, then you've forgotten the trillion dollar deficits he created year after year after year. If a trillion dollar deficit is a problem, then a $500 billion deficit is not the solution.

He has built an international coalition to confront ISIL. As compared to the coalitions both George H.W Bush and George W. Bush put together, Obama's is a loose gathering of parties that do not trust each other and have little or no trust in Obama. The president's response to ISIL wouldn't even have been necessary if he hadn't prematurely cut and run from Iraq.

He is leading an international effort to stop Russian aggression. You mean the lukewarm effort that has been nothing more than talk and posturing, with minor 'sanctions' the Russians barely felt? Our huge increase in oil and gas production that has dropped world energy prices has done far more to damage the Russians than anything Obama and his so-called “Smart Diplomacy” have done.

He has improved services and benefits for our military men and women and their families. Not from what I can see.

I could go on and on, but frankly I don't see the point. I have no doubt you will see my take on your list of Obama's successes as nothing but political sour grapes. But I am a student of history, and I know a weak and ineffective leader when I see one, and Obama is that kind of leader. He's not successful by any measure.

'Nuff said.