After seven divisive years in office, President Obama is leaving America a bequest of mass dependency, racial division and anti-government fury. The “president of cool” is the king of chaos.
The ability of Americans to care for themselves has declined significantly under Obama, with the number on welfare soaring since he took office. According to U.S. census data, there was an average of 96,197,000 people enrolled in one or more means-tested programs in the fourth quarter of 2008. In 2012, the last year for which the Census Bureau has data available online, there was an average of 109,631,000 Americans in these programs.
Census data reveal Obama’s reputation as the “food stamp president” is well-earned. An average of 34,233,000 Americans were on food stamps in the fourth quarter of 2008. By 2012, the average number of Americans on food stamps in the fourth quarter had jumped to 51,471,000 — an increase of 17,238,000 people, more than 50 percent.
As if things couldn’t get any worse for the country, a trend that saw a slight decline in murder rates in major metro areas from 2013 to 2014 reversed dramatically in 2015. An August 2015 report by the New York Times found that the number of murders in cities was up significantly from the same time the previous year.
Between January and August 2014 in Baltimore, 128 murders had been committed. In 2015, 215 murders had been committed there by August, the last month for which there were stats. Washington, D.C., saw 73 murders between January and August 2014. The same period in 2015 saw 105 murders in the capital. Milwaukee, which had 59 murders in the first eight months of 2014, had 104 murders between January and August of 2015, an astonishing increase of 76 percent.
Another dismal failure is Obama’s record on race relations. Despite being a president who arrived in Washington imbued with post-racial promise, the last few years saw the seeds of the Obama administration’s racial demagoguery bear bitter fruit in the form of riots in Ferguson and Baltimore and the rise of the radical Black Lives Matter movement.
A 2009 New York Times/CBS poll found that 66 percent of respondents thought race relations in the U.S. were generally good, while a mere 22 percent thought they were bad. In 2015, however, only 37 percent thought race relations were good, while 57 percent said they were generally bad.
In the 2015 poll, just 21 percent of Americans said race relations were getting better. Double that said they were getting worse. Less than half of Americans — 46 percent — said they approved of Obama’s handling of the issue. Thirty-four percent said the Obama presidency had driven whites and blacks further apart, compared to only 15 percent who said the races had come closer together during his time in office.
Given the desolate shell of a nation the country has become under Obama’s watch, it should come as no surprise that a majority of Americans are fed up with their government. In 2012, halfway into Obama’s presidency, a Gallup poll found that 72 percent of Americans were dissatisfied with the way things in the country were going. By 2015, that number had increased to 79 percent.
In 2009, 51 percent of Americans had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the presidency, according to Gallup. By 2014, that number had plummeted to 29 percent. In 2011, a Pew poll found that a meager 29 percent of Americans trusted the government in Washington always or some of the time. That number plunged even further to 19 percent by 2015.
The state of the Union today speaks volumes about Obama’s record. He will attempt to cast his presidency in as flattering a light as possible on Tuesday night, but try as he might, he cannot conceal the damning consequences of his time in office. When Obama finally leaves the White House, he will be leaving the country worse off than when he found it in almost every conceivable way. The once-proclaimed “Great Uniter” has excelled only in stoking division, deprivation and resentment.