Originally Published: November 30, 2014 6 a.m.
Tom Gatchell, in his letter on Sunday Nov. 16, cites many numbers that, out of context, make President Obama look less than spectacular. However, let me put them in context.
Gatchel mentions $8 trillion added to the public debt. The number is actually $6.1 trillion (52 percent increase) vs. Bush II's $5.8 trillion (101 percent increase). President Reagan actually had the highest increase to the public debt - 186 percent.
Obama has cut the deficit 70 percent since his first term in office, projected to be $506 billion for 2014. This is 2.9 percent of GDP and is less than the average over the past 40 years. Not bad considering the obstruction and obfuscation by the opposing party.
Gatchell then presents a high unemployment number. To put it in perspective, the current unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, down from 10 percent in October 2009. Economists consider full employment to be about 5.5 percent, and hundreds of thousands more jobs still are being created every month. In addition, the economy grew by 3.5 percent in the third quarter. This is a great economic report card thanks to the President's policies.
Finally, Gatchell's claim that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unsustainable is certainly not based on fact. The ACA, along with the Medicaid expansion, has provided affordable health insurance to tens of millions of citizens and, according to Paul Waldman's piece in the Washington Post, "Yes, Obamacare is cutting the deficit," the ACA is cutting the deficit by reducing the increase in medical costs and slowing down Medicare spending. Interestingly, the best run ACA Marketplace is called KYNECT in Kentucky. They all love it but don't know it's Obamacare, and Mitch McConnell won't tell them.
Thanks, President Obama, for turning our economy around.