Monday, December 19, 2016

God bless you President Obama

8 years goes by fast.  With President Obama's time in office almost up, I'd just like to thank him for the service and leadership he's given his country but more importantly the inspiration and hope he has given me.  Where to start? Well first by starting with the problems.  No president has a perfect track record.  Given the importance of the office of presidency, mistakes often are measured in the number of hundred thousand dead.  Bill Clinton is largely regarded as being one of the most successful US presidents in recent memory.  The economy was humming and he played a critical role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland.  It was also a relatively calm period without wars requiring large US troop numbers.  But his sanctions on Iraq amounted to genocide, over 500,000 children died.  Add in the inaction in the Rwandan genocide and the death toll adds up to over a million.  Bill Clinton is not directly or solely responsible for these deaths. Having said that, had he pursued different policies Over 1 million would have avoided a painful violent death.  I won't go into detail of other presidents who were less successful with their foreign policies.

With that in mind, we should remember that Obama has not been perfect. He made policy mistakes and he faced extreme limits on what he was able to do, in large part due to Republican obstructionism.  All in all Obama has done a remarkable job and it is a good time to reflect on his accomplishments.

First I wanted to share a video about President Obama and the mail he gets, it's a few years old but definitely worth watching.  I think it does a fine job of reflecting on the character of the person he is.  It is in sharp contrast to President Trump and his tweets.

Here are two good articles about Obama's time in the White House.  The first looks at his foreign policy.  The other looks at the personal impact he had in the White House.

There is a long list of accomplishments and many measures of progress that have been accomplished over the last 8 years.  Expanding health coverage, killing Osama Bin Laden, ending wars in the Middle East, saving the automotive industry, decrease pollution, tabling the Iran nuclear threat for another 10 years, monumental progress in LGBT equality, and of course overseeing an economy that now has unemployment under 5% and a budget deficit under 3%.  Much of this can be attributed to the Fed, and not Obama's fiscal policies but as a whole the US has done well for themselves.  The Fed was aggressive with stimulus and the US cleaned up the bad banks quickly.  People like to whine about the economy in the US, but they should come to Europe first.  Massive unemployment, very slow response stimulus and dealing with toxic assets.

It's unfortunate that many of these great accomplishments will soon be deliberately undone by President Trump and his creepy cabinet team.  Unfortunately sometimes you don't know what you have until it is gone. God bless you President Obama.

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