Shortly after being sworn into office in January 2009, President Barack Obama, along with Democrats in Congress, spent trillions of dollars on government bailouts, stimulus packages and various social welfare programs all passed with the promise they would reverse one of the most significant economic crashes the country has experienced.
After nearly eight years in office, though, Obama has failed to deliver on many of his campaign promises and has left America worse-off than it was when he entered the White House.
During the Obama administration, there hasn’t been a single year in which the nation’s gross domestic product grew at 3 percent or higher, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. That’s a first – and not a good one – for a modern president.
Since January 2008, the U.S. population has grown by more than 20 million but the number of jobs has increased by less than 7 million, meaning despite Obama’s boasting about alleged job growth, the number of jobs created has failed to keep up with population growth, normally considered a poor economic indicator. Additionally, as of November, there were 95 million Americans out of the labor force, about 14.5 million more than there were when Obama took office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Other economic indicators are similarly troubling. Average annual food stamp enrollment is up by nearly 16 million compared to 2008.
Thanks in large part to the Obama administration’s government takeover of the student lending industry, the average combined cost of full-time undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board at a four-year college was $25,409 in 2015 – 25 percent higher in inflation-adjusted dollars than it was in 2008. And outstanding student loan debt now tops $1.3 trillion, the highest in history.
Happily, Republican opposition has been able to keep the president at least partially grounded. Had Obama prevailed in all his initiatives, the few positive developments that have occurred during his tenure would never have materialized.
The president’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, has also been a disaster.
And the cherry on top: Obama has somehow managed to add roughly $10 trillion to the national debt, about as much as every other president in American history combined – creating an even larger economic bubble that could end up making the 2008 crash look like the roaring 1920s.
What started with so much hope is about to end in immeasurable disappointment. The most positive thing that can be said about Obama’s time in office is it’s almost over.
Justin Haskins is executive editor of The Heartland Institute, a think-tank devoted to free enterprise.
Tribune News Service