As Barack Obama moves toward the end of his career, expect to hear lots of talk about his legacy. I believe the first African-American president will be remembered kindly by the academic establishment, writing from their ivory towers, because of the historic nature of his election. But for average Americans, it'll be a different story.
Most Americans judge a president based on what he promises versus what he delivers, and they judge him using the question Ronald Reagan asked voters in 1980: "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" At this point in the Obama presidency, the answer is a resounding "No."
Obama promised big results, but he's failed to deliver. For example, look at these four promises and the eventual results. They cover what are arguably his biggest accomplishments.
Obama's $825-billion stimulus failed to keep unemployment below 8%, as he promised. After the stimulus passed, America still lost over one million jobs. If you count people who've become discouraged and are no longer seeking jobs, some economists believe that the real unemployment rate is still above 20%.
Obama called his healthcare package one of his major accomplishments. He told CBS News' Steve Kroft that he was "putting in place a system in which we're going to start lowering healthcare costs." Yet Obamacare has failed to make health insurance more affordable. According to FactCheck.org, Obamacare is actually making healthcare "less affordable." Workers paid an average of $132 more for family coverage this year.
Obama predicted that his investments in green energy would create five million jobs, but The Wall Street Journal reports: "The green jobs subsidy story gets more embarrassing by the day. Three years ago President Obama promised that by the end of the decade, America would have five million green jobs, but so far, some $90 billion in government spending has delivered very few."
Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half, saying: "And that's why today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office." Obama then enacted his deficit reduction plan, which was comprised of a series of massive tax increases. Yet the deficit is still more than twice what he promised.
Based on these results, I'd give the president a solid "F"!
Don't expect much reporting on the president's record, though. Instead, watch as the media continues to focus on polls. They like to judge politicians this way because they can control the outcome. Just ask any honest pollster - it's easy to game the outcome of a poll by manipulating the questions. In fact, the news media is almost desperate to ignore Obama's record... and so is the president himself. He's constantly changing the subject when it comes to his record, focusing instead on topics like "income inequality."
Lucky for Obama, the mainstream media will always help him out.
Just wait... I fully expect them to work hard building the president a legacy he doesn't deserve, as well.
Your eyes on the Hill, Floyd Brown
better go viral before it gets sealed like all his other records ;)