Letter: Facts on the Obama Administration’s performance
The letters section of this newspaper often contains baseless rants from President Obama’s detractors. But in reality, the Obama administration has not been as ineffective and wasteful as its detractors would have us believe, nor as effective and fiscally responsible as the president and his supporters often assert. Here’s a balanced (and certainly incomplete) summary of actual facts about this administration’s successes and failures, courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Foundation, Factcheck.org. Since President Obama took office:
• The economy has added twice as many jobs than during his predecessor’s entire eight years. The S&P 500 has gained 110 percent.
• Home ownership has dropped by 2.3 percent but there are signs of improvement.
• Lenders initiated fewer foreclosure proceedings in June than at any time in the past seven-and-a-half years.
• Consumer prices have risen a modest 9.9 percent but wages have barely kept pace. Real weekly earnings rose just 0.1 percent.
• The federal debt recently declined due to a surge of tax season payments to the Treasury but is still up nearly 90 percent, and on a path to double.
• While states and cities laid off millions to make ends meet, the administration continued hiring. The federal workforce is nearly 5 percent larger and has grown faster than the U.S. population. Thus, the present trend seems to be toward bigger central and smaller local government.
• President Obama has traveled to 38 countries, visiting some more than once. (Bush visited 75.)
• Exports have risen 31 percent since he took office and only 2 percent in the last 12 months. Thus, the president is not meeting his stated goal of doubling U.S. exports. (This is probably due, at least in part, to weak foreign economies.)
• Domestic oil production is up 46 percent. Oil imports have dropped 38 percent but the U.S. still depends on imports for more than a third of its consumption. Wind and solar power have increased 176 percent but still make up just 3.4 percent of electric generation. Coal still accounts for the biggest share: nearly 39 percent.
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