Watercooler 1/19/17; The Obama Legacy Edition Open Thread


Tomorrow Marks The End Of The Obama Era. Just What Is His Legacy ?

Unfortunately for most of us soon to be former president Obama has left his mark on America. It’s been eight long years and there is hardly any aspect of life that hasn’t been touched by him and almost all are testament that it’s often best to leave things alone.

Lets start with looking at what was to be the hallmark of the Obama Administration, the healing of race relations in the country. With his election the healing was to have begun, at the end of his term the cure looks worse than the disease.  According to a CNN Poll 54% of all Americans say race relations have deteriorated under president Obama, while only 16% say they have improved.  There has been a veritable parade of racial incidents not the least of which include full scale rioting the like of which hasn’t been seen since the long hot summers of the sixties.  We had riots over Trayvon Williams, Kimani Gray, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Sylville Smith. In all the instances the administration not only didn’t act to calm the situation down, they managed to inflame what should of been routine matters into full scale crises. This administration ends with police being actively targeted by radicals.

Next there is economy. For those that remember “All in the Family” the theme song had the lines “Mister we could use a man ,Like Herbert Hoover again.” Well we got him. Barrack Obama is the first president not have a year with more than 3% GDP growth.  Nearly 20 million more Americans are receiving food stamps since he took office bringing the number up to 44 million. 10 Million plus working age people have just disappeared from the labor force numbers, this is why you can see 95% employment rates but the number of people employed are actually less than when he took office.  Of that “High Employment Rate” much of it is actually part time positions not qualifying for full benefits. No great shock here, that the prospects for the millennial generation are in the toilet. I guess Obama is hoping they won’t hold a grudge when they get the chance to write history.

Healthcare, why just screw up people’s lives when you can damage the economy as well ? Giving people insurance never was going to magically create more physicians, hospital beds, or lower the cost of drugs. Total healthcare spending is way up under the “Affordable care act” and the average family insurance cost is up nearly 50% from 12,000 to 18,000 a rather stunning increase for a program that was sold as cutting costs. What’s more the program is estimated to have cost 300,000 new jobs in small business . If you have ever been in small business it’s easy to see how that happened. A firm with 10 full time employees can easily be dinged into bankruptcy by the “Affordable Care Act”. Instead of healthcare savings we got ridiculous levels of cost, insurance plans with deductibles that rendered them useless and even more protectionism in the drug markets.

Foreign affairs, he may yet be the first person to have their Nobel Peace Prize recalled. On his watch the Middle East has gone from improving to completely in the crapper. He has set the stage for a nuclear Iran, given the Russians cassus beli to deploy troops and engage in combat directly in the region. In Europe we have seen the Ukraine go from soon to join NATO, to lucky to still be a country, and most of our allies in the area now deeply worried. In the Asia Pacific region we have China feeling their oats, North Korea successfully testing nukes and the Philippines looking to leave our orbit. If you were nostalgic for the cold war Obama was your guy.

In the end history will decide this presidents legacy, it will be interesting to see how people who have had to live with his legacy view it.

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Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread