It’s always interesting to read the perceptions of other people writing about the same event. Especially when those people are writing from a different country. Often, Americans are hauntingly laughed at for being ignorant about what is real and what is fabricated, but I would contend that the fabrications have reached their tentacles overseas.
An Irish news reporter commenting on Obama’s legacy and his final state of the union address, revealed an odd view of his accomplishments and failures, as well as an interesting view of what she perceives to be the desires of the American people.
According to her perception, Obama is unilaterally responsible for making community college education affordable in the US. He takes responsibility for turning around the economy, for strict environmental regulations, Obamacare, and same sex marriage. And while Obama focused on a positive approach, it was more like a resume builder for supreme leader of the UN, than a true account of his internship as President.
Education? The US education system is considered to be in crisis. Obama has made no impact on education whatsoever – and certainly has not made it more affordable. Community colleges have always been more affordable than private or public universities! Stating that fact, does not mean Obama has created that reality… College debt in the US has risen to an all time high of $1.2 trillion, with upwards of 67% in default! The interest rate on student debt ranges from 4.29% to 6.84% for 2015-2016. That’s higher than car loans and mortgage rates. And with jobs unavailable for graduates, paying the debt is simply not conceivable.
Unemployment? There are essentially six different measurements of unemployment. One of the measures was created around 1995 and sought to be all inclusive. At it’s starting point, it measured an unemployment rate of about 12 ½%. It declined to roughly 8% in 2008 and shot up to over 18% in 2010 before beginning its descent once again to its present level of about 13%. There is no world standardized method of determining the unemployment rate, so it is a waste to make a comparison.
Environment? The EPA has caused some of the worst disasters it is tasked with deterring. The Colorado Rive Animas disaster, and the Georgia cotton mill disaster were just two that occurred in 2015. Add to the disasters, the current methane expulsion that continues to destroy the air in southern California which is slated to be worse than Chernobyl, and we have a rather different perspective. There was the billions of toxic wastewaters that were injected into California’s aquifers in 2014 and an LA neighborhood that tested positive for toxic levels of hazardous lead poisoning. Just to name a few… Instead – we focus on ‘climate change’.
Obamacare? Well let’s look at Kaiser, given their transparency. In 2009, they reported that the cost of healthcare had risen 131% in the previous decade at which time a family plan cost an employer $13,375 – with deductibles ranging from -0- to $1000. In 2015, Kaiser stated that the average employer based plan cost $17,545 with out of pocket costs of $4955 to $6251. A total cost inflation of 65.5%. Hardly a success for the small businesses and individuals.
The economy? While the world experienced a derivatives fallout that killed the economy in 2009, the US GDP growth rate recovery has not been ‘stellar’, instead it continues to mangle out a 2.4 and 2.2 trend. In 2014, the US ranked 121st of 198 countries in GDP growth. African countries dominated with Libya, South Sudan and Gaza Strip at the bottom, -19.8 an all time blow. According to the IMF, the cumulative growth between 1990 and 2006, showed the US behind Taiwan, Singapore, Turkey, Korea, Israel, China, Ireland, India, Hong Kong and Australia. Stellar?
Obama may be trying to recreate history to write his own legacy, but the facts don’t support his assertions of grandeur. It is like a virtual reality wherein the Truth is obscured. But ultimately, virtual reality is turned off and the bleak gray of what we must face is crystal clear. If we pretend anything less, we do ourselves a disservice in not focusing on what needs fixing.
Positive thinking has its place, as long as that place is grounded in Truth and Reality.