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Obama milestones

April 27, 2014

[J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense. For a list of subscribing radio stations, click here.]

Every president has a legacy: some of them good, some of them bad. The general tenor of that legacy will confound the efforts of partisan historians to polish, stymie attempts by political enemies to defame, and ultimately be determined by the milestones reached, by the nation as a whole, during his residence in the White House.

Look at Ronald Reagan, Herbert Hoover, and Ulysses S. Grant: whatever they accomplished before being elected, whatever else they accomplished, good or bad, while president, they are remembered for certain milestones: Reagan for winning the Cold War, Hoover as the guy who was president when the Great Depression hit, and Grant for presiding over the most scandal-plagued presidency in U.S. history.

Until now, that is. Barack Obama has him beat by a mile (stone).

No, it's not too soon to look at Obama's milestones. It's not too soon because they already comprise a collection of negatives and political horrors beyond comparison.

Like Grant, Obama is swimming in scandal without getting himself wet—Grant survived a full eight years and it looks like Obama will, too—but whereas Grant basically had one big scandal, Obama has a bushel-basket of scandals tainting almost every agency and department of the federal government. The EPA is fabricating scientific reports, the ATF is running guns to Mexican drug cartels, the NSA was caught spying on American citizens and foreign heads of state, the State Department is covering up another case of gun running in Benghazi—this time to Muslim terrorists—costing us the life of an ambassador, the IRS has been turned into a political hatchet man for the Democrat Party, the SEAL team that raided Osama bin Laden's compound was murdered en masse by a combination of Pentagon incompetence and loose lips in the White House, the Justice Department was caught spying on the Associated Press, Health and Human Services paid hundreds of millions of dollars to a company run by a personal friend of the Obama family for a website that doesn't work, the Keystone Pipeline has been stalled for almost six years to financially benefit two big Obama campaign donors (that would be Warren Buffet and Tom Steyer), and there are about two dozen examples of green energy stimulus money—big money—going to failing or bankrupt companies whose owners were big Democrat donors.

It seems at times that the Obama administration is filthy and rotten in every single particular, dirty and foul in every possible corner of its Byzantine network of executive agencies, and, more than anything else, for sale to the highest bidder.

So that's one milestone: setting a new record for most scandal-plagued presidency. Fifty or a hundred years from now, that might be all anyone remembers. On a positive note, Ulysses S. Grant won't look quite as bad when Obama is done.

Obama has other milestones for his legacy. For the first time in history, the debt of the United States of America was downgraded by credit rating agencies, a reflection of the massive deficit spending since he took office. The moment the world lost faith in the American dollar: that's definitely a milestone.

For the first time in four decades, the labor participation rate in the United States is below the labor participation rate in Great Britain. So that's another milestone. And tagging along with the lack of jobs, the number of Americans on welfare has mushroomed—and I don't mean like a fungus that grows in the woods. I mean mushroomed like a nuclear explosion. There are now close to fifty million Americans on food stamps, an all-time record that some people think is approaching a theoretical limit of what a free society can handle. There are so many people on food stamps now, the bureaucratic costs alone—just to handle the load of distributing that much money—is almost four billion dollars a year.

Milestones, to be remembered, must be pithy and blunt, so here's a good way to remember Obama's record on the economy: for the first time since the measurement was started, the American middle class is no longer the richest in the world. Sometime last year (or the year before) we were surpassed by the middle class in Canada, with Sweden, Britain, and the Netherlands closing fast.

Yeah, that's a milestone. Most golf games and family vacations by a president, that's another one.

How about this for a milestone: Obama has set the all-time record for number of new federal regulations in a year and will certainly own the record for number of new federal regulations during a presidency. By the time he's done, the adjective "Byzantine" will need to be replaced by "American."

Greatest air superiority fighter jet in history cancelled, primary offensive weapon system of the Navy cancelled, manned spaceflight at NASA cancelled, shrinking the military while sending them into every conflict on the globe... how many countries has Obama sent troops into now? Ten? Twenty? Who can keep count? Whatever the number, it's certainly another milestone.

And oh, by the way, if ending the Cold War was a milestone for Reagan, restarting it must be a milestone twenty five years later.

As much as he would love to be remembered as the first African-American president, that will not be his legacy. He's collected way too much baggage, baggage loaded with failure and scandal, to be remembered for the color of his skin. He wanted to be remembered as the president who would end partisan and racial divides but Gallup runs a poll every year and the numbers verify what we've seen with our own eyes: Barack Obama is the most divisive president in history by a wide margin.

He will be remembered according to that milestone and others, monuments to his hubris and lack of character, marking the road he traveled as president, etching him in the annals of history as a dishonest partisan hack who spent too much time on the golf course.

That's... today’s dose of common sense.

"mile•stone [mahyl-stohn] - noun - a significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc." —

"A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else." — John Burroughs

From Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA       

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