There is something that has been repeated over and over during the election cycle and since. It’s something I profoundly don’t understand. It’s something I wish I could actually sit down and talk about with someone who says it. That something is: “We can’t afford to keep going the way we were”.
Here’s the thing. In the past eight years, so much has improved in our country. Yes, it was slow. Yes, it was frustrating. Yes, it took hard work.
So, here’s my question to each one of you who say, “we can’t afford to keep going the way we were”. What is wrong with “going the way we were”?
What was wrong with your life in the last eight years? Were you unable to find a job? Did your investments/retirement accounts diminish? Were you denied healthcare insurance or treatment because of a pre-existing condition? Were you ashamed by how other countries viewed us?
Just what exactly was so bad that you think we need to go back to the leadership that got us into the worst recession in our history, involved us in a war based on false information, created animosity toward our country around the world, and increased unemployment and the national debt?
The process of digging out of the recession has been difficult, at best. Many of the hurdles were caused by Congress refusing to cooperate/compromise in any way with any measures put forth by the President. Our government, historically, is not run by one person. It is a joint effort that includes all three branches of government working together for the good of the citizens. That important cooperation has been non-existent since President Obama took office. Republican members of Congress stated emphatically that they would block anything the the President proposed.
Despite this environment of opposition, President Obama and some members of Congress were able to achieve much to improve our country and our lives.
Since President Barack Obama first took office:
- The economy has added more than 10 million jobs, and job openings are at a 15-year high.
- The unemployment rate has dropped well below the historical norm, but long-term unemployment remains higher than at the start of the Great Recession.
- The buying power of the average worker’s weekly paycheck is up 4.4 percent.
- Corporate profits are running 152 percent higher, and stock prices have soared.
- The number of immigrants caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally has dropped 53 percent.
- Federal debt has more than doubled, and annual deficits, after shrinking, are again on the rise.
- The home ownership rate has dropped by 4 percentage points.
- The number of Americans on food stamps is up 36 percent.
- Oil imports are down 53 percent, and wind and solar power have quadrupled.
- The number of people lacking health insurance has gone down by 15.2 million.
factcheck.org has much more information regarding changes since President Obama took office. Check it out for yourselves.
Now, notice that not all the numbers are good and not all are what we’d like. Yet, despite massive obstruction by the Republicans in Congress, much as gotten better during the past eight years.
So, again, back to where I find myself so confused. Please, tell me what exactly was so wrong with the direction in which we were moving? I’d really like to hear. I pray that it wasn’t because you oppose equality for all, compassion for those who suffer, and opportunity for those in need.
Then, please tell me exactly what Trump said that made you think he would or could make your lives better because that is the second part of my conundrum.