Barack Obama does not deserve your vote

Thinking back over the past few months of this year’s campaign season, I am amazed at the number of people willing to support President Obama for a second term based on his effort.  Much like in my previous post on effort vs. results, there are folks out there willing to re-elect Obama because he tried hard.  Perhaps one of his supporters can explain why his effort is an acceptable substitute for results, but I can’t do it.

The White House claimed in 2009 that by the end of the President’s first term the unemployment rate would be 5.2%, down from the 7.6% it was at the time.  Unfortunately, it remained over 9% for the majority of his presidency even though he promised the $800 billion stimulus package would fix the economy.  If that weren’t bad enough, if we count the include the U-6 rate (the real unemployment rate: those who are under-employed, i.e., want and need full-time employment but settle for part-time work) it’s 14.6%.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The number of people who have signed up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, aka food stamps) under this administration’s watch should be cause for shame, but it seems to be worn as a badge of honor — or at least nothing to be ashamed of.  When he took office in January of 2009, there were 31,983,716 people enrolled in the program.  As of July 2012, 46,681,833 take advantage of the program (in multiple senses of the term).  Additionally, spending on the program has ballooned from $3.6 billion to nearly $6.3 billion, nearly a 100% increase.

When candidate Obama promised to cut the federal deficit in half, many people believed him.  However, the reality is the day Obama took office, January 20, 2009, the federal debt was $10.6 trillion, and as of October 31, 2012 the debt stands at $16.2 trillion.  In essence, he predicted the federal debt to be about $5 trillion, and he has given us one that is three times that.  Think about it, his administration has produced a federal debt which is 300% higher than he promised and predicted.  Success?

Under President Obama, spending on welfare programs has grown by 32% making it the largest single budget item on the books today.  Some people may view this as a plus.  However, I see welfare spending through the lens of the proverb: give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for life.  There’s no doubt this has contributed to the increased deficit.

It seems to me like the ease of access, and the abundance of programs available, there is little personal incentive to succeed.  As it currently stands, the government will provide you with housing, energy assistance (heating fuel in the winter), cell phones, food for your home, food at schools, transportation (subsidized public transportation in the form of bus passes at no cost to the participant), utilities, and more.

Can we truly call this presidency a success?  I’d be interested to know how success is calculated with the President’s supporters, and why the bar is set so low?  Would numbers like the ones above be acceptable under a Republican president?  Doesn’t it seem a bit illogical to vote for a president who doesn’t even meet his own standards?

Vote Mitt Romney today.


  1. I am voting for Gary Johnson.

    Journalists support Obama because they are mostly Democrats. I remember that all newspapers replaced the word “recession” with “recovery” as soon as President Obama took office, before he did anything. The press stopped reporting the Iraqi death toll, conditions at Guantanamo, and almost completely ignored the expansion of the Patriot Act.

    The press also made excuses for the unemployment number. Since when did journalists ever bother to explain that employment is a lagging indicator of growth? They never provide such explanations for Republicans.

    People will vote Obama because he makes them feel happy. People vote emotionally, not logically.

    • A vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama. Johnson cannot win. Every vote that isn’t cast for Romney is a vote for Obama. Primaries are for voting your principles, the general election is for voting for the best candidate who can win. If you are a logical voter, you won’t vote Johnson. You are guilty of voting with your heart if you vote for him. Do the right thing: vote Romney

  2. A Utopian.

  3. I wouldn’t call myself a “supporter” but I will be voting Obama and can explain why with two numbers: -598,000 and +171,000.

    These are the jobs numbers from when Obama took office and last month respectively. You may see slow growth that is not adequate, but that view discounts one of the biggest economic turnarounds in US history. I see acceptable progress and the righting of a ship that was further off course than most people seem to remember. And this turnaround took place despite the Republicans’ best effort to sabotage the Presidents efforts.

    You are completely correct that Obama over-promised and under-delivered on those promises, but I don’t know any politician that doesn’t do that, so that point is moot. I think it is better to aim high and miss than to aim low and hit anyway.

    • JP

      Ask yourself how there is a positive job growth number if the unemployment rate is higher now than when he took office? Doesn’t it strike you as odd? Also, he didn’t turn anything around. It got real bad over his term, then is almost where he started. That’s a good thing? That’s success? That’s treading water after sinking.

      You have a counter intuitive way of measuring success.

  4. I’m voting for Obama because of what he has done and for what he would have done (or done better) if not for Republican opposition – Repeal DADT and refuse to enforce DOMA, pass Obamacare, Sign the Lily Ledbetter Act, pull us out of a deep recession, being tough on terror without expanding our wars. I fault him for not closing Guantanamo and for signing the NDAA. But otherwise, I’m better off than I was in 2008 and I’m excited for four more years of Obama (and 8 years of Hillary after him), more here:

    • jason

      it seems as though you have forgotten that Obama had complete and total control of the House and Senate for a full two years where he could have done, and did everything he wanted. It appears as though he chose to not address certain issues when he had the chance to do so unopposed.

      You also fail to consider that the insweep of Republican legislators was a response to Obama’s policies. They were elected for the purpose of slowing the president’s success (or failure, depending on your perspective) Why do you think it was one of the largest turnovers in history?

  5. John,

    Even you suggest that an accurate unemployment figure is impossible to establish when you say the real number should be 14%. What the bls can measure more definitively is job loss and job creation–this is not something subject to variables such as people leaving the workforce, under-employed, etc. There is a reason no one reputable has ever cited the U-6 number.

    So again, +171K is not “almost where he started” (-598k).

    Treading water after sinking would be roughly +125k jobs per month–because that is what is needed for keeping up with population growth. We are actually doing better than that. Either way, I like your analogy, but I would revise is to say “doggie paddling slowly with water-logged republican boots on.” Still far better than sinking and not the doom and gloom you have been led to pessimistically believe in.

  6. “Whats funny is he has had less than 125k jobs created per month for much of his term.”

    Yes. That is the whole point. That is why I cite the number at the beginning of his term. And the number has been trending UPWARDS since then to where it is now. That is why -598,000 is worse than +171,000. You are making my argument for me.

    The people-leaving-the-workforce rhetoric that Eric Ericcson loves so much is weak (and redstate is not exactly a non-biased source, by the way). You see, I am in tune with conservatives’ ideology because I listen to Cain, Boortz, etc. and I believe the only way to make a legitimate argument is to know the opposition’s points better than they do. Lately, you seem to only rattle off conservative talking points which is hurting your credibility. So understand that people leave the workforce for a number of legitimate reasons–like retirement and going back to school (before Pell grants gets de-funded by a potential Republican President). The people that do cite the U-6 number are trying to have their cake and eat it too. When the unemployment number has been high, they cite it; when the unemployment number gets lower, they cite people leaving the workforce. Do you really fall for that?

    The non-farm payroll number is much simpler, and therefore, according to Occam’s Razor, is much more indicative of the state of the economy.

    You should read His ideas often align with yours more so than mine, but at least he provides solid, logical explanations for his conclusions. Our dialogue could be much improved if you would start doing the same instead of relying on the talking points of conservative media.

    • I actually dont read red-state, I know their bias. But he used and cited BLS numbers showing the workforce drop out, which explains the discrepancies in the numbers and why its not good from the president.

      It doesnt hurt my credibility just because you dont want to count all the numbers, and only take a very narrow view on the state we’re in. it hurts yours.

      Just because I cite a conservative source, doesnt mean I shelter myself. I read more ideologically differing blogs and sources than ones I agree with, then I look it up using the govt’s sources and see that they’re BS’ing.

      I am always suspicious when someone tells me things that do matter, dont matter. people dropping out of the workforce and going on disability does matter. The U6 number does matter.

  7. It would seem to me that among those leaving the workforce for retirement are those who would rather continue working but cannot find jobs, so, they retire earlier than they had originally planned with less than they had planned to store up for the time when it came.

    Also, those going back to school might indeed be those who cannot find a job in their chosen or current field and take a chance on studying something new in hopes of finding employment afterward, when they were perfectly content in their original field of employment. I had to change careers in order to find a job. I don’t consider the time I went to school to do that as a choice I really wanted to make, but instead was driven by necessity.

    To pretend that these reasons justify the position that things aren’t as bad as they are is really scraping the barrel. The bottom line is that Obama failed miserably in turning around the employment picture and instead, did very little if not actually worsened it.

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