In the previous eight years, America has reversed a great recession that was tilting on another great depression, rebooted our auto industry, saved our retirement funds and unleashed the longest stretch of job creation in U.S. history. Under President Barack Obama’s leadership, we opened up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, and took out the mastermind of 9-11. Perhaps our biggest accomplishments were winning marriage equality and securing the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens.
Here are some facts to ponder…
Under President Obama, the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.9 percent. It has reached its lowest level since 2007. The current rate is a stunning decline from the 9.3 percent in 2009, the year President Obama took office.
Under President Obama, the number of immigrants convicted of crimes who were deported was double the number who were deported during the Bush administration. In fiscal year 2016, 58 percent of the 240,255 immigrants deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement were convicted criminals.
Under President Obama, national spending on health care, as a percent of the gross domestic product, only rose from 16.3 percent to 18.1 percent, as more people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Under President Obama, the national debt as a percentage of the gross domestic product nearly doubled, which is not a good thing. In fiscal year 2016, the Congressional Budget Office projected the debt to be nearly 77 percent of the gross domestic product. This, we still need to work on.
Under President Obama, the number of Mexicans living in the United States illegally declined, and it is now a million below its peak during the Bush administration.
Under President Obama, the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people continued to decline, contrary to President-elect Donald Trump’s statement that decades of progress are now being reversed. A number of cities saw recent upticks, but over all, crime is still lower than in the 1990s.
Under President Obama, the number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq declined steadily, from 187,900 to 12,992. That means a much lower number of parents, spouses, sons and daughters will be coming home in body bags or without limbs or with PTSD. In July, the president announced the U.S. would keep more troops in Afghanistan than initially planned.
What will Obama’s legacy be? Only history will tell, but I believe that once all the facts come out, he will be considered among the best.