Lanterns: Debunking the Obama “Accomplishments”


Debunking the Obama “Accomplishments”

I recently stumbled upon an article that cited “28 of Obama’s Greatest Accomplishments.”

This interested me, since, as a conservative, I don’t know if there are 28 positive things he’s done in his full two terms. After reading them, I had to throw the challenge flag on most of them, and upon further review, I’ll let you decide if the call stands or is over-ruled. There are two things I will argue with, either the facts, or whether it’s an actual accomplishment. To be fair, I’ll list all 28.

Claim 1:  Rescued the country from the Great Recession, cutting the unemployment rate from 10% to 4.7% over six years.
Reality:  Yes, the official “unemployment rate” is at 4.9%, but that doesn’t tell the real story. Most of the decline in unemployment has come from people exhausting their benefits. This is realized when you see that we have the lowest workforce participation rate since the 70’s. 

Claim 2: The Affordable Care Act which provided health insurance to over 20 million uninsured Americans.
Reality:  This may be the biggest of all the scam numbers out there. The claim of 20 million is a flat out lie, based strictly on survey data. The actual number of newly insured Americans is around 14 million. Of the 14 million newly added, 11.8 million are the result of expanding Medicaid. This equates to a net gain of only 2.2 million people in the private market. If that’s a success, I’d hate to see what you think a failure is.


Claim 3: Ended the war in Iraq.
Reality:  Well… kinda. Now ISIS controls much of Iraq and Syria, turning the entire region into a hell-hole. Not only that, we are still at war in Afghanistan. We’ve turned Libya into a disaster, and we’ve allowed Russia to prop up Assad. When it comes to foreign policy, it’s hard to imagine making the world worse in the past eight years. Obama has also spent more time at war than any president in history.

Claim 4: Ordered for the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
Reality:  True, although, I’m not sure who wouldn’t make that call. It could be the single easiest call to make… ever. Is it an Obama Accomplishment? That may be a bit generous. 

Claim 5: Passed the $787 billion America Recovery and Reinvestment Act to spur economic growth during the Great Recession.
Reality: The Obama administration claimed, in 2009, that the economy would grow by 4.6 percent, unemployment would drop to 6 percent, and the budget deficit would shrink to 3.5 percent of GDP by the year 2012. In December of 2012, the economy was only growing by 2 percent, the unemployment rate was around 8 percent, and the budget deficit was 8.5% of GDP. By its own measure, the Obama stimulus failed miserably, proving the one thing we all already knew. You cannot spend your way out of debt.

Claim 6: Supported the LGBT community’s fight for marriage equality.
Reality:  He ran for president supporting traditional marriage and opposing gay marriage. He was against it, until it became politically beneficial, Democrats could create another class of victims. 


Claim 7 – Commuted the sentences of nearly 1200 drug offenders to reverse “unjust and outdated prison sentences.”
Reality:  If you think letting convicted criminals out of jail before they serve their time is a good thing, sure.

Claim 8: Saved the U.S. auto industry.
Reality:  This is unknown.  We don’t know what would have happened to GM or Chevy if we hadn’t bailed them out at the expense of the taxpayer. More than likely, they would have been bought out by someone who was better suited to run the companies. For example, when Hostess went out of business, we were never going to be able to buy Twinkies ever again, except someone bought Hostess and the stores never went without Twinkies on their shelves. That is how the free market is supposed to operate. 

Claim 9: Helped put the U.S. on track for energy independence by 2020.
Reality: Obama has been the most anti-energy president in our history. He’s practically bankrupted the coal industry. He made it as hard as he could to use hydraulic fracturing. He and his cronies at the EPA and Democrat Attorneys General have gone after oil companies like Exxon Mobil and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, using RICO statutes. Apparently, we now treat private industry like the Mob. 


Claim 10:  Began the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan.
Reality:  Obama promised to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014. Here we are, three years later, and having fewer troops there is supposed to be one of his greatest accomplishments? I’d say that’s grading on an Obama curve.

Claim 11: Signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allowing as many as 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally to avoid deportation and receive work permits.
Reality: If breaking the law is an accomplishment, chalk another one up for Obama. In February of 2015, Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction to stop the implementation of DACA and DAPA, ruling that it was unconstitutional. 

Claim 12: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to re-regulate the financial sector.
RealitySince the implementation of Dodd-Frank, the banks have gotten bigger, and the risk more consolidated. 

Claim 13: Dropped the veteran homeless rate by 50 percent.
Reality:  If this is true, this administration deserves credit for it. We still need to do a far better job of helping our veterans. The VA failures have been never ending. This problem goes much further back than this administration. The VA has been mired in scandals since it was created.

Claim 14: Reversed Bush-era torture policies.
Reality:  If by this we mean letting all of the terrorists leave Gitmo to return to terrorism, then chalk up another Obama accomplishment. An estimated 30% will engage in terrorism after being released.

Claim 15: Began the process of normalizing relations with Cuba.
Reality:  Normalizing relations with a regime that still refuses to give its citizens basic human rights is an accomplishment? 

Claim 16: Increased Department of Veteran Affairs funding.
Reality: Increasing spending is not a success, unless it breeds better results. The VA still has massive waiting lists that never happen under a free market system. 1/3 of all vets on the waiting list are dead, can we really call that an accomplishment?


Claim 17: Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act.
Reality:  Wow, what a booming success.

Claim 18:  Boosted fuel efficiency standards for cars.
Reality:  Otherwise known as, made your cars far more expensive, for little return, using government force. Also, these CAFE standards have caused an unknown amount of deaths.

Claim 19: Improved school nutrition with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.
Reality:  Basically made school lunches taste worse, without really any positive effects. Now they can serve whole grain doughnuts, but not a baguette. Yummy!  What’s not to love.


Claim 20: Repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Reality:  Again, accomplishment? Okay.

Claim 21: Signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, making it a federal crime to assault anyone based on sexual or gender identification.
Reality:  I’ve long been against designating anything a “hate crime.” It kind of goes without saying. When you hurt someone on purpose, it’s probably not because you love them. Interestingly enough, it seems that it’s only a “hate crime” when it’s committed by a white person.

Claim 22:  Helped negotiate the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal.
Reality:  This, so called, “landmark” Iran Nuclear Deal guarantees that Iran will have Nuclear weapons within a decade. Iran has violated this deal multiple times already, and has not gotten any sanctions re-instated, as Obama promised the American people.  In addition, Congress discovered delivery of cold hard cash as a ransom for Americans held in Iran, and the Obama administration is assisting Iran in violating the JCPOA.


Claim 23: He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to combat pay discrimination against women.
Reality: Any attempt at limiting the bargaining power of any person, via wage, leads to an effect of that individual being less employable. Milton Friedman breaks this down brilliantly, as you can see here, back when logic based arguments were made during the debate.  Ironically, female staffers in the White House earn 89 cents for ever dollar that male staffers earn, so I guess a 10.75% gender pay gap is only important if it’s an “evil” business, or a Republican is in charge.

Claim 24:  Nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, making her the first Hispanic ever to serve as a justice.
Reality:  “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King Jr.   

Claim 25: Supported veterans through a $78 billion tuition assistance GI bill.
Reality:  I don’t think anyone will disagree with treating our veterans better.

Claim 26: Won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Reality:  Even the Nobel Secretary regrets giving Obama the “Nobel Peace Prize.” Again, Obama has spent more time at war than any president in modern history.

Claim 27:  Launched My Brother’s Keeper, a White House initiative designed to help young minorities achieve their full potential.
Reality:  More identity politics. We should care about all people equally.

Claim 28: Expanded embryonic stem cell research leading to groundbreaking work in areas including spinal injury treatment and cancer
Reality:  Again, this is one of his “greatest accomplishments?”

I’ll let you decide how many of these so called accomplishments are legitimate, let alone worth mentioning, and how many of them should be overturned. With only a few days left in office, this mess of a presidency is about to end. Here’s to hoping the next guy learns from the mistakes of President Obama. 

Written by Dallas Wagner

Machinist by day, political junkie by night. As a liberty loving American, I wanna save my country!

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