This week marks the second anniversary of the historic inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Arguably, no president in the history of this country has come into office with higher hopes and expectations from the American people. A lot of promises were made during the campaign, none more vague than the mantra hope and change.
So, is the glass half full or half empty at the midway point for this president?
There is no doubt that the economy was in bad shape when Obama was inaugurated. There are many questions as to the cause of the economic downturn with the Democrats preferring to ignore the effects of Fannie and Freddie, and the demands from Barney Frank to loan money to unqualified people, and simply blame former President George W. Bush.
But two years into this presidency, are things any better on the economic front?
The economy, like an elevator, goes up and down. After two years and trillions of dollars spent, we are still in the basement. The administration points to the fact that the economy is no longer declining as proof of it’s policy success, but even an elevator reaches bottom. Sure, there are blips of economic activity, but with the jobless rate hovering around 10% – after Obama claimed it would be less than 8% if we passed his stimulus, we are worse than even the rosiest of pictures the administration has painted. And according to Forbes, far worse with around 18.7% real unemployment.
So, on jobs and the economy, the Obama administration has failed.
The price of oil – and gas at the pumps – has been rising. A large part of this is due to Obama’s ban on offshore drilling. During the Bush Administration, when gas prices rose, Bush announced he was lifting a ban on offshore drilling and price of oil plummeted from the nearly $150 per barrel. This president turned off the tap and oil is on the rise.
Like it or not, our economy is directly driven by the price of oil. Everything from energy to transportation to the manufacturing process is impacted by oil prices. Nearly every time we have had a huge increase in the price of oil, the economy has declined. With oil headed up towards $150 a barrel again and a president who is closely tied to the far left anti-oil environmentalists, Obama finds himself with absolutely no credibility or influence on oil markets. And his feeble attempt to lift his own ban on offshore drilling is fraught with conditions and delays that essentially will leave the drilling ban in place.
And Obama promised to unite people. As a nation, we are more polarized that ever before on every front. Race, politics, religion – you name it. Ironically, much of this acrimony comes from Obama trying to make good on his campaign promises. But you can’t serve two masters without alienating one – or both. The promises made to far left groups will by their very nature alienate an equal or greater number on the right. But more importantly, those in the middle have been alienated as much by the actions as by the process.
And the Democratic Party is in a righteous decline. Sure, Harry Reid and especially Nancy Pelosi had a lot to do with that, but, as Obama is fond of saying, the buck stops with him (before he appoints a commission to deflect).
While small pockets of special interests may be happy with this president for a single issue, overall, most Americans are not.
Truth be told, if the Mainstream Media turned on Obama the way they turned on Bush (although in fairness, they were against Bush from the beginning), this president would be completely finished.
The TEA Party will continue to force the media somewhat into reality, and the media will continue to pretend we are doing well. But as the price of food, gas and shelter continues to climb and the jobs continue to be elusive, even Obama will be unable to ask America to answer the question his 2012 challenger is sure to ask.
“Are you better off than you were four years ago.”
Looking back just two years, the truthful answer is no. We are not.
Obama had overwhelming numbers in both houses of Congress and still managed to create a hyper-partisan atmosphere. There is little reason to expect a reversal of that with the House now in Republican hands and the Senate Democrats grasping at rule changes in an attempt to hold onto their fleeting vestiges of power.
Stay tuned for the second half.