In five days, President Barack Hussein Obama will leave the White House.
Off the cuff and in rants to my friends and co-workers, who I know love my rants, I would say Obama was the worst president in history.
However, if I were to take a considered view and honestly compare Obama to the other 42 men who have held that office, I still would have to say he was the worst president in history.
All one has to do is look at his or her paycheck to see that this is true. In October, the average wage of non-managers was $9.20 per hour. In 1972, using constant dollars, the average wage was $9.26. This despite a nearly 3 percent increase in wages last year.
The Obama team is touting his jobs record, i.e., job growth and the unemployment rate.
Yes, the unemployment rate is down to 4.7 percent in December and last month marked the 75th consecutive month of job growth with 156,000 jobs created in December.
However, those figures are misleading, at best.
Yes, the jobless rate is down, but the workforce participation rate is disgustingly low, clocking in at 62.7 percent last month. It was 65.7 percent when Obama took office in 2009. Among prime age men, i.e., those between the ages of 25 and 54, about 15 percent are no longer participating in the workforce. That is a phenomenally large number and a significant waste in human and economic resources.
As for the job growth, many of them are in low-wage service industries or are temporary positions. Besides, shortly after Obama took office, his wasteful stimulus and bailout packages caused unemployment to rise dramatically and jobs to be eliminated so there was really no direction to go but up.
This has also been the weakest economic recovery since World War II. Obama is the first president since Herbert Hoover, who was president during the Great Depression, to never have a single year of 3 percent or higher growth. Obama’s best year was 2.6 percent in 2015. Indeed, Obama had only two quarters in which GDP grew by more than 3 percent.
Overall, average annual economic growth under Obama was somewhere around 1.5 percent at the end of 2015 and he will probably end his presidency at right about that point. Comparatively, Ronald Reagan averaged 3.5 percent and George W. Bush averaged 2.1 percent. Even Jimmy Carter averaged 3.3 percent.
Obama also has the distinction of being the first president in history have the United States at war for every single day of his eight years in office. Obama, our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president, bombed more countries than any other president in history with the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who presided over World War II. And his use of drones to assassinate foreigners and American citizens abroad was downright criminal.
Nor did Obama have a good record of keeping his campaign promises.
According to PolitiFact, which is a left-leaning organization despite its claims of neutrality, of the 533 campaign promises Obama made in 2008, he kept 48 percent of them, compromised on 28 percent and broke 24 percent.
From a liberty perspective, I think that is great. Most of Obama’s policies and promises were antithetical to freedom and should certainly have not seen the light of day.
For example, in the first two years of his presidency, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and Obama had an opportunity to push through much of what he promised. Instead, he squandered it on three major pieces of awful legislation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the stimulus), Dodd-Frank, and the Affordable Care Act.
After those first two years, he lost control of Congress and never got it back.
This led to his egregious constitutional abuses, often supported by leftists who are now scared President-elect Donald Trump will do the same thing, of trying to govern by executive order (the number of orders is irrelevant, folks, it is the content that matters).
Space restrictions prevent a full retelling of the economic horrors and un-American activities of the Obama administration. Suffice it to say, honest historians in the future looking at his record will not judge Obama kindly.
Thomas J. Lucente Jr. is an attorney with the Hearn Law Office in Wapakoneta (419-738-8171) and night editor of The Lima News. Reach him by telephone at 567-242-0398, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @ThomasLucente.